Sunset while camping at cape melville

Camping at Cape Melville

Camping at Cape Melville is one of our most treasured locations. Because it is so spectacular!

The giant black rocks covering the hillsides, sloping down onto a stunning white beach is one of a kind.

On this trip we headed back to the region as it has been some time (like a decade) since last visiting.

It was a quick weekend trip as a reconnaissance for our big trip to Princess Charlotte Bay.

We needed to see if we could drop off crew here to be picked up by car. As opposed to heading all the way back to Cooktown by boat.

Cape Melville map

We headed into the park via Kalpower station and back to Cooktown down the coast road past Starke and Hopevale

Where is Cape Melville?

Camping at Cape Melville can be accessed from the south via Laura and Old Laura or detour via  Cooktown in Far North Queensland.

We did the drive from the northern beaches of Cairns to Cape Melville in one day.

We left Cairns around 4 am and arrived at 4 pm with a few stops on the way. To expedite the trip travel through Laura instead of Cooktown.

The road was far better than last time we were here, however beware if you’re towing a heavy trailer.

Some fellow campers with a 5.5 m boat broke an axle and busted two tyres so that the last 30 k’s took 6 hours.

So we suggest a smaller boat and don’t load it up with camping gear!

Click play and join us as we go Camping at Cape Melville.





Things to do while visiting.

There are a number of interesting things to do while visiting Cape Melville.

  1. The remains of a WWII bomber can be found on the beach. Simply head south at low tide and it's about 1 km past the last creek crossing.
  2. Swim in the beautiful freshwater stream. The spring fed creek runs behind the beach with a track adjacent. Follow it along right to the end.
  3. There is an historic tombstone marking the deaths of 300 + pearlers who lost their lives in cyclone Mahina in 1899
  4. Relax under the shady beach front trees and read a book.
  5. If you've brought your tinny, on a good day access the Flinders Islands. There is a huge cathedral of indigenous rock paintings that is well worth a visit. We have a whole video episode on that coming up as part of our Princess Charlotte Bay adventure.
Historic bomber engines on the beach

Historic bomber engines on the beach. Just one of the many things to look out for while camping at Cape Melville.

Remnants of a crashed aircraft on teh beach at Cape Melville

Remnants of a crashed aircraft on the beach at Cape Melville

Rocks behind the campsites at Cape Melville

The huge rocks are a spectacular feature of the backdrop while camping at Cape Melville.

Pearlers grave at Cape Melville

A memorial to the 300 pearlers who lost their lives in Cyclone Mahina in 1899. About a kilometre along the beach past the last creek heading toward the cape is a small track. We drove in about 100 metres and then the track ran out so it was a short walk from there slightly up hill to the memorial.

4 wheel drive car on the beach at Cape Melville

Let your tyres down and don't travel at high tide when driving on the beach. Access to some campsites is beach only. Karen's short wheel base "Snowy" does the job admirably.

Tips for your Cape Melville adventure.

Be sure and book your camp site prior to entering the park.

We stayed at Wongai camp site, but they are all equally beautiful with adequate shade and beachfront access.

Granite campsite can only be accessed at low tide as there is no track - beach access only.

Camping at Cape Melville is remote. There is no internet or reception at all so be sure and take adequate food, water and fuel.

When we travel remote like this we also take our satellite phone.

Double the travel time if it has been raining heavily and don't take on the beach driving at high tide.

Year round water can be sourced from the freshwater stream running behind the beach. But it still pays to take plenty of water just in case.

Saltwater croc inhabit this area so stay out of the tidal creeks and ocean.

Camping at Cape Melville faces north so is generally protected from the South east tradewinds.

Although you will cop a flogging during northerlies which happened during our stay.

While you are up in far north Queensland, be sure and see Blencoe Falls. Camping up there is TOPS and can be accessed in good weather with a two wheel drive vehicle.

And another favourite of ours is Goshen Station. Also two wheel drive access in good weather.

Camping at cape Melville beach access

With numerous sand spits and gutters, school barra can be caught off the beach.

And while you’re in North Queensland, if you’d love to catch a barra we have some free tips here:

Princess Charlotte Bay adventure.

During October we took our Big Boat Mood Swings to Princess Charlotte Bay! Read the Ship's Log > click here. 

We can't wait to show you the amazing time we had. Episodes One is >> here.


People waste a lot of time, money and energy on things that are unlikely to significantly improve their fish catches.

Buying too many lures and new fishing gear is one. Trying to gain relevant insights from YouTube is another.

There's a saying... Eagles don't take flight lessons from chickens.

Hence we created our courses. To provide proven, step by step (no BS) straight to the point info that WILL improve your catches.

Coz it's exactly what I do! And so do thousands of my students.

To learn more about our courses >> click here.

Catching big fish on Wonky holes

Would you believe we bumped into Sean while in Princess Charlotte bay. It's amazing the places we bump into students. From Melbourne Woolworths, Lizard Island, Dundee beach to Bathurst bay in FNQ. If you ever see us around be sure and come over to say G'day.

New lures in the shop.

Our new lures in the SHOP have gone gang busters and we sold out of our Scaleblazer lures in a matter of hours. We have ordered more so stay tuned.

Pillager stocks are running super low now as well so jump in as things are taking longer than expected due to COVID. We caught about ten different species on the Pillager lures while we were away so I'd have to say the will pretty much catch anything. It's the flutter on the drop that does it.

We have also ordered our new Levitator jigs and they are being manufactured as we speak so stay tuned for those.


Ryan Moody Levitator jigs

Our new Levitator jigs have been trialed and are undergoing manufacture as we speak.

We hope you enjoyed our video: Camping at Cape Melville.

Here are some more fishing tips and action videos you may find helpful (or at least entertaining).


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About The Author

Ryan Moody

Ryan Moody started his fishing career on the reef boats before catching bucket list marlin for the likes of champion heavy tackle angler Johnno Johnson, INXS and the King of Sweden. Branching out in the late 80's to guided barramundi fishing, Ryan has made a name for himself as a Big Barramundi specialist and to date has put clients onto over 2000 metre plus barra. That is over 2 kilometres of metre plus barra! With attitudes changing from 'keep all you can' towards catch and release, Ryan has decided to share his extensive knowledge and hopefully inspire people of all ages to get out from behind the computer screen/TV and into the fishing outdoors lifestyle he has spent his life perfecting.

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