Guidance to find Pandanus Park: The Rangers at the Lakefield Ranger Station have copies of the access map and have kindly offered to give advice on how best to access Pandanus Park. However they are not able to act as a guide vehicle for newcomers.
Length of Stay: There is no set or normal length of stay and no minimum period. Most veterans tend to arrive in the week before Long Tan Day (18th August) then depart on or about the 20th August. This ensures they are at Pandanus for the Service of Remembrance on the 18th August. A handful of long term campers arrive as soon as the roads are open and depart around mid-September.
Vehicle Access: 4 wheel drive, high clearance vehicles are recommended whilst camper trailers and caravans regularly make the trip though experience has shown that all vehicles should be sturdy enough to cope with the rough roads. Unfortunately highway style motor homes and long (over 18 feet) caravans may experience difficulty in crossing some of the creeks so attempting to reach Pandanus Park in these vehicles requires careful consideration.
Access Route: Access to Pandanus Park is best achieved via Mareeba to Laura as this ensures bitumen roads to Laura. From Laura follow the road signs to Lakefield National Park and then the Kalpowar Crossing camp ground. From there cross the Normanby River via the causeway then drive the 17 kilometres of tracks to Pandanus Park. A longer but more picturesque route for 4WD vehicles without trailers is via Cape Tribulation and the Bloomfield Track to Cooktown then via the Battlecamp Road to meet the north-south road to Kalpowar Crossing.
The causeway at the Kalpowar Crossing over the Normanby River will almost always have water flowing over it and whilst the causeway has a solid concrete base it curves markedly to the left. Please note that the base of the crossing may not always be visible. We recommend first timers either follow another vehicle across the causeway or use the cascading water on your left as an indication of the edge of the concrete. If in doubt do not cross and most certainly do not wade to check the crossing! Take care because the causeway is a narrow, single lane, crossing.
DO NOT WADE THROUGH KALPOWAR CROSSING TO TEST ITS DEPTH – SALTWATER CROCODILES INHABIT THE WATER AT THE CROSSING
Once you have crossed the causeway drive ahead for about five kilometres to the entrance to the yard of Kalpowar Homestead. The homestead will be on your right and the entrance gate is now identified by a sign placed there by the Veterans as service to the Traditional Owners.