Lockhart River Information
Situated approximately 800kms north of Cairns, Lockhart River and Portland Roads is the last east coast settlement before you get to the tip of Cape York, Australia.
Lockhart River is an area of rainforest and lowland wet tropics. It is one of the most beautiful and diverse regions in the world, a paradise for birds, butterflies and many unique animals, insects and plants. Some of the species here are only found in this area.
The Lockhart River Aboriginal Community is made up of eight clans, including Umpila and Kanthanumpu. About 850 aboriginal people live here.
The Lockhart River Art Gang features world famous aboriginal artists such as Rosella Namok, Samantha Hobson, Silas Hobson, Fiona Omeenyo and Irene Namok, Dorothy Short, many of whom have artworks in the Australian National Gallery in Canberra and throughout the world. The local artists are known as the Lockhart River Art Gang.
This is an incredibly beautiful part of the world. Stand on the beach, and look back towards the spectacular mountains of the Kutini Payamu National Park (formerly know as Iron Range National Park). Close by is the iconic Chilli beach, a North Queensland tropical beach, fringed with coconut palms, and clear waters lapping at white sand.
Quintell Beach is also spectacular, with huge boulders and rock formations on the beach. Huge trees grow on the edge of the beach. Climb one and pretend you’re the Swiss Family Robinson living in your beachside treehouse.
Lockhart River Facilities
There is a well stocked general store in Lockhart River. Some of the supplies and groceries come by ship from Cairns, so food can be expensive and of limited range. The local supermarket sells fresh bread, hot chooks, fruit, veggies, fresh meat and dry goods like flour, sugar, washing powder, and personal items like deodorant.
You can get petrol and diesel during store hours. The store hour is open 8.00 am to 5.30 pm, Monday to Friday, Saturdays from 8.00 am to 12.00 pm. It is always closed on Sundays and public holidays.
Remember though that local communities rely on tourism to bring in money, so please do some of your shopping locally. Lockhart River is the last east coast settlement before the tip, so you may want to stock up here.
The barge pulls in at Quintell Beach once a week with supplies and general cargo.
There is a Land and Sea Centre in town with information about the area. Lockhart River also has a medical centre, with five nurses and five indigenous health workers. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, there is a visiting doctor from the Royal Flying Doctor Service.
Lockhart River also has a police station, a primary school, post office, a Commonwealth Bank agency, ATMs at the Council office and inside the store, a Council office, and an airport. There are five flights a week to and from Cairns, and there is also diesel available at the airport.
Alcohol Management Area
Lockhart River is an alcohol management area (under the alcohol management plan), which means that no alcohol is permitted in the community. This means that Lockhart River is a dry community, so there is no alcohol available in town and there is no hotel.
If you are a bona fide traveler, you can have alcohol in your car, but it must be covered and you can’t drink it in town. Do not drink or give or sell alcohol to anyone in town. Heavy fines apply if you do not abide by these rules. For more information on the alcohol restrictions, please visit DATSIMA website.
The Greenhoose is just out of the Lockhart River Indigenous Community, therefore we are not governed by the alcohol management plan. Saying this, only guests of the Greenhoose can drink alcohol here. We do not permit guests or staff to bring in visitors to drink alcohol. We do not store alcohol and we do not have a liquor license so we do not sell alcohol under any circumstances.
Two kilometers from town is the beautiful Quintell Beach. Many of the large rocks in certain areas of the beach have stories and local legends associated with them.
The beach is safe to walk along, but unless you want to do the Crocodile Roll, don’t go swimming here!
This beautiful palm fringed beach has lots of shells and driftwood. It’s a wild beach, so you’ll find all sorts of things washed up here, making it a beachcomber’s delight. Don’t forget to stop and check out the amazing thong tree!
There’s a boat ramp at Quintell Beach, where you can launch your boat to go out and do some fishing.
Drive 30kms north of the Greenhoose through pristine rainforest and you’ll come to Chilli Beach. This is your iconic tropical beach, fringed with palm trees, white sand lapped by crystal clear waters.
You can drive down Chilli Beach to the mouth of Chilli Creek where you may see a crocodile sunning himself on the opposite bank. Needless to say, we wouldn’t recommend cooling off in Chilli Creek.
It can get very hot and humid here. Generally, you’ll only get cool nights during the winter months. The winter months (May to November) are dry and warm and are known as the dry season, and the summer months (December to April) are hot and humid. This is known as the wet season, when we have huge downpours of rain for an hour or so. The rain stops, and the air becomes very steamy and humid.
Have a look at Lockhart River's weather on the Elders website: http://www.eldersweather.com.au/qld/peninsula/lockhart-river
Northern Australia has cyclones, but like all towns Lockhart River has a cyclone plan whereby if there is a serious cyclone there are designated shelters where you can go for safety. The police notify us with information from the BOM Cyclone page. The Greenhoose has a satellite phone so if phone lines are cut we still have phone access.
The wet season is the most spectacular as far as wildlife, flora and fauna, access to the reef, fishing the reef is good because we don’t have the tradewinds blowing. You’ll see a lot of birds, and it’s really green during the wet season.
It's also worth checking out the Bureau of Meteorology website: http://www.bom.gov.au/qld/