Tully Gorge campground is a clean, well maintained and specatcular camp ground nestled within the gorge next to the Tully River. It is surrounded by beautiful rainforest and you can fall asleep listening the the river bubble over the rocks.
The drive in presents no issues for 2wds as it is sealed all the way. There are some steep and windy sections that may mean it will be a bit slower drive for those towing but nothing to be concerned about.
It is a low cost campground that is managed by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services (QPWS) so e-tags must be purchased prior to camping. Bookings can be made online, over the phone or at the tourist information centre in Tully. Bare in mind that there is no phone reception there so you will have to book in advance.
The facilities were very clean with flushing toilets and cold showers. There are no bins for rubbish at the campground so you need to take it out with you.
The area is also has a separate day use area with a designated carpark which means that you don’t have day visitors parking in campsites. The day use area is used by rafting companies, but they seem to be very considerate of those camping. The day use area also had sheltered picnic tables and BBQs.
The camping area is a large open space with no marked campsites. Non-drinking water taps and fireplaces are scattered throughout. Firewood is not provided and being a National Park you are NOT allowed to collect it within the park so grab some on your way in. Also ensure that you check if there are any fire bans in the area.
Ensure you read the QPWS information board at the front of the camping area so you are aware of any rules, restrictions and warnings for the area.
Tourist Information Centre: Bruce Highway, Tully
Chemical Toilet Dumppoint: Tully Showgrounds, Butler St, Tully
Waste Transfer Stateion: 360 Tully Gorge Road, Jarra Creek
Tully Gorge National Park is also a Wet Tropics Heritage Listed area and forms part of Wooroonooran Important Bird Area. The Southern Cassowary is endemic to this region.
But what it is most famous for it the Tully River. The Tully River runs through the National Park starting at the Cardwell Ranges, which is part of the great dividing range and flows out to the Coral Sea on the east cost of Queensland. The Tully River is a very popular but challenging white water destination with multiple rapids and lush rainforests.
Whether you are into adventerous activites or just seeing the sights there is plenty to see and do in Tully. Here are some you should check out:
- Sugar Mill Tours
- Visit the Golden Gumboot
- Wet a line in the Tully River
- Climb Mount Tyson or enjoy a bush walk in Tully Gorge National Park
- Take a dip in Aligators Nest day use area or in natures own infinity pool (we didn't get there but it is on the bucket list now.) in Tully Gorge National Park
- Collect a map from the visitors center and take yourself on a self guided tour of the Tully Heritage Trail
- And for the more adventerous rafting or kayaking the mighty Tully River.
Closest Town And Distance: Tully, Qld - 41km
What We Liked: The question is "Why isn't this place busy?"
There are only two reasons that I can think of:
1. It is a fair way off the main highway if you are just passing through, or
2. People just don't know it is there.
It would definately rate as one of the top QPWS campgrounds that we have stayed at and I think this is due to a the pristine location and the standard of how the grounds and facilities are maintained.
What We Didn't Like: It was really hard deciding what we didn't like about this campground cause it was great but for me it would have to be how cold it got.
We were there in October and whilst it was a coolish day when the sun disappeared it got real cold. But this is easy solved by sitting around enjoying a campfire.
Ussher Point Campground is on the east coast and has some magnificent views over the ocean, however during the dry season it is not protected from the prevailing winds and it can get quite windy up there. Ussher Point is one of the most remote and isolated campgrounds in the Northern Peninsula Area which definitely adds to the experience.
Ussher Point Campground is a low cost campground that is managed by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services (QPWS) so e-tags must be purchased prior to camping. Bookings can be made online, over the phone or at any of the QPWS Ranger Stations. Bare in mind that there is no phone reception there so you will have to book in advance.
The track into the campground is 4WD only and medium difficulty with a few large washouts to navigate around, it has a mix of surfaces including sand, rock and one or two muddy spots that in the peak of the Dry season may not be existent. QPWS does not recommend the towing of any caravans or camper trailers into the park. You will also need to be mindful of the height of your rig as there are some rather large fallen trees above the track.
QPWS booking system has all campsites listed as TENT ONLY and within the four designated areas within Ussher Point all of which are considerably spaced out and with the exception of coming and going it will be like you have the whole place to yourself. The campsites have a restriction to the number of vehicles and people that are allowed at each site which is highlighted in the booking system. Each site is marked however we could not find the actual sign for Campsite Three.
– Campsite One – One vehicle (4 people)
Is located right on a lake away from the coast there is a marked turnoff to the campsite so you will not have passing traffic. We are unsure of how well it fishes, but did see birds working over it, it is recommended that you are croc safe at all times. Being off the coast it is sheltered from the winds that the other sites have, it is a small flat clearing with a dirt base and is well shaded from the surrounding trees.
– Campsite Two – Two vehicles (8 people)
Is located at the top of a hill right on the main track to campsites 3 and 4. It is surrounded by coastal vegetation which offers some protection from the winds but also blocks the view of the coast. It is a small clearing and if the campsite sign was not there one could easily mistake it for a bypass/turning area. The base was coastal grasses with a gentle slope and there was no overhead shade offered from the surrounding vegetation. This campsite would be suitable for those that don’t care about a view or being near water just want some protection from the wind.
– Campsite Three – One vehicle (4 people)
Located on the dunes of the beach the campsite is an open area with no shelter from the winds or shade from surrounding trees. We did not see a sign indicating the exact location of the campsite but it was the most logical location. There is a freshwater creek with stained water that runs between the campsite and the actual beach, It is likely crocodiles are present however we didn’t see any during our stay. The sand getting in and at the actual campsite is quite soft so we would recommend letting down the tyre pressure and bringing a ground mat. The walk along the beach is nice leading up to a white sandy beach area with frequent small waterfalls out of the small cliffs. There is ALOT of marine debris on the beach so take a bag pick some up you never know what you may find, we found a message in a bottle from a cruise liner sent adrift at Christmas of 2016.
– Campsite Four – One vehicle (4 people)
If you are after a campsite with a view this is it, located at the very top of a cliff it over looks the oceans and the surrounding coastline. Just be careful near the edge as there is no guard rail and it is a LONG way down. There is no wind protection or shade in this very large open camping area whilst it is on the main track it is the last campsite and will only get the traffic of those off exploring. The base is dirt/small rocks and the ground gently slopes down away from the cliff face.
You will need to be prepared to be fully self sufficient being one of the most remote camps in the Northern Peninsula Area it does not have the services or facilities of those closer to the communities. There are NO facilities, phone reception, drinking water and it is a long drive into town. Generators are permitted but to have run at lower than 65dB(A) when measured 7 meters away from the generator and only between 8am – 7pm.
You will notice on your way in that there is a lot of damage to the area from the feral pigs please keep in mind that they dig up and eat ANYTHING. So to save the area being ruined by dug up toilet paper make sure you burn all toilet paper. It is also suggested that you do not leave food scraps around your campsite as you don’t want any uninvited guests.
Campfires are permitted when fire restrictions are not in place but you cannot collect firewood in the resource reserve or the surrounding National Park.
Campsite 1 is likely to have mosquitoes and midgies at all times, the other campsites are likely dependant on the wind at the time.
As there are only limited campsites and it does take a while to drive out to Ussher Point, booking and purchasing your etag prior to arrival is strongly recommended. Maximum stay is 21 days.
About The Area:
Jardine River Resource Reserve is approximately 20,000 hectares that is accessed by land through Jardine River National Park.
The diverse landscapes including lakes, marsh lands, sand dunes, cliffs and coastline dotted with termite mounds make Ussher Point a fantastic destination. To top it off there is a historical plane crash to search for, caves with hundreds of bats to walk through and great fishing off the beach or river to the south.
The fantastic Sadd Point and Escape river are within reach for a day trip or as the next camping destination for those with more time on their hands.
Closest Town And Distance: Injinoo, Cape York - 83 km. Bamaga, Cape York – 90 km
What We Liked: The highlight of Ussher Point for us was the magnificent views, even with the high winds and the dirty water from the rough seas it was beautiful.
It also catered for a range of camping types on the dunes, by the lake or on the cliffs and it was a fun drive in.
What We Didn't Like: Whilst it was interesting seeing all the strange things that had washed up on the beach we didn’t like the fact that there was so much rubbish in the oceans. It really makes you wonder why we are producing so much waste in the first place.