Budget Camping Atherton Tablelands: Danbulla, Lake Tinaroo

The campgrounds around Lake Tinaroo on the Atherton Tablelands are run by the Queensland Government. Here are the pros and cons.

CONS

  • The lake is man-made and the forests have been planted so the area does not have the richness of diversity that natural old-growth forests have.
  • It is popular for water skiers, so expect to hear motor boats. The quietest are probably Kauri Creek and School Point.
  • Facilities are more basic than the privately run camping and caravan parks on the Atherton Tablelands. There are no showers.
  • Making a booking for the first time is time consuming (see below).

PROS

  • The rates are lower than the privately run places if there are only 1 or 2 of you.
  • Most campsites are right on the lake.
  • If you like fishing, you can catch dinner. Sooty grunter and barramundi are both found in Lake Tinaroo.

RATES: All camping fees are $5.95 per person per night, or $23.95 for families.

Downfall Creek camping area. Lake Tinaroo on the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: TwoDutchies.com
Downfall Creek camping area. Lake Tinaroo on the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: TwoDutchies.com

How to Make an Online Booking in 100 Easy Steps

To make an online booking you have to:

  • Create an account with Queensland National Parks
  • They send you an email asking for confirmation
  • You must confirm
  • They send you an email to confirm that you have confirmed with a link to the log-in page
  • You must log in
  • Then you must enter your details into the profile form but the form only accepts 4 digits in the post code field (If you’re not from Australia just make something up. ‘0000’ works fine.)
  • Once you have gone through all of that, you’ll find the ‘Make a Booking’ button on the left-hand menu and are ready to begin the process of actually booking your site.
Camping at Lake Tinaroo on the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: TwoDutchies.com
Downfall Creek camping at Lake Tinaroo on the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: TwoDutchies.com

Platypus Camping

Platypus campground has one site for a campervan, the rest are for tents. It is in a hoop pine forest by the shore of Lake Tinaroo overlooking the dam wall. It has mobile phone coverage.

Facilities

  • Flushing toilets
  • Picnic tables
  • Wood barbecues
  • Individual fire rings

RATES: All camping fees are $5.95 per person per night, or $23.95 for families.

Platypus Campground on Lake Tinaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia.
Platypus Campground on Lake Tinaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia.
Platypus campground on Lake TInaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Dirk Veltkamp
Platypus campground on Lake TInaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Dirk Veltkamp
Platypus campground on Lake TInaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Dirk Veltkamp
Platypus campground on Lake TInaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Dirk Veltkamp

Downfall Creek Camping Area

The campground looks over tall pine plantations and native forests and has uninterrupted water views. Camp sites are separated by native vegetation that attracts birds and butterflies. A 2.4 km walk through the forest and plantations brings you to the Kauri Creek camping area. It has mobile phone coverage.

Facilities

  • Flushing toilets
  • Fire rings

RATES: All camping fees are $5.95 per person per night, or $23.95 for families.

Downfall Creek camping area, Lake Tinaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: FirieBob
Downfall Creek camping area, Lake Tinaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: FirieBob
Downfall Creek camping area, Lake Tinaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Camping.de
Downfall Creek camping area, Lake Tinaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Camping.de
Lake TInaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: KenDuncan.com
Lake TInaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: KenDuncan.com

Kauri Creek Camping Area

Kauri Creek campground is on the banks of an inlet to Lake Tinaroo with crystal clear water and a sandy bottom. It’s great for swimming and kayaking and is generally quiet. A 600 metre walk along the forested Link track brings you to the Kauri Creek day-use area. It has mobile phone coverage.

Facilities

  • Flushing toilets
  • Shower room (bring your own shower)
  • Individual fire rings

RATES: All camping fees are $5.95 per person per night, or $23.95 for families.

Kauri Creek campground, Lake Tinaroo on the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: AussieCampOvenForum.com
Kauri Creek campground, Lake Tinaroo on the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: AussieCampOvenForum.com
Kauri Creek campground, Lake Tinaroo on the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: AussieCampOvenForum.com
Kauri Creek campground, Lake Tinaroo on the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: AussieCampOvenForum.com
Kauri Creek campground, Lake Tinaroo on the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: AussieCampOvenForum.com
Kauri Creek campground, Lake Tinaroo on the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: AussieCampOvenForum.com
Kauri Creek campground, Lake Tinaroo on the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia.
Kauri Creek campground, Lake Tinaroo on the Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia.

School Point Camping Area

School Point was once the site of a school before the dam was made. It is the most remote and least visited. There are 11 purpose built level sites, each with a tap, and 5 of the sites are suitable for campervans. The campground has stunning views of Lake Tinaroo and is nestled in pine plantations and landscaped bush. It has no mobile phone coverage.

Facilities

  • Flush toilets
  • Fires allowed

RATES: All camping fees are $5.95 per person per night, or $23.95 for families.

The following photos are courtesy of Bazman63. His blog on School Point camping area is worth a read.

School Point camping area on Lake Tinaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Bazman63.wordpress.com
School Point camping area on Lake Tinaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Bazman63.wordpress.com
School Point camping area on Lake Tinaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Bazman63.wordpress.com
School Point camping area on Lake Tinaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Bazman63.wordpress.com
Two bush stone curlews stalking through the wildflowers at School Point camping area on Lake Tinaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Bazman63.wordpress.com
Two bush stone curlews stalking through the wildflowers at School Point camping area on Lake Tinaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Bazman63.wordpress.com
Kookaburra at School Point camping area on Lake Tinaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Bazman63.wordpress.com
Kookaburra at School Point camping area on Lake Tinaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Bazman63.wordpress.com
Sunset at School Point camping area on Lake Tinaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Bazman63.wordpress.com
Sunset at School Point camping area on Lake Tinaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo: Bazman63.wordpress.com

Fong-On Bay Camping Area

This large camping area is popular among waterskiers and large groups, but if you come through the week and not during school holidays, you might get it mostly to yourself. The campground is located on a peninsula and most of the camp sites have water access and views. Beyond the lake, rolling hills, forests and pine plantations form a picturesque backdrop.

Facilities

  • Flushing toilets
  • Individual and communal fire rings
  • A small shelter is available to facilitate group activities

RATES: All camping fees are $5.95 per person per night, or $23.95 for families.

Fong On Bay camping area, Lake TInaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo RedBullDust.blogspot.com
Fong On Bay camping area, Lake TInaroo, Atherton Tablelands, Queensland, Australia. Photo RedBullDust.blogspot.com

A  map of more camping options and places of interest on the Misty Mountains Loop.

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