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Information for Campers

Welcome to Kowanyama!

We, the Traditional Owners of this land welcome you. We want you to have a safe and wonderful experience during your visit. Please read the Kowanyama Camping Terms and Conditions and the information below before you leave home.


Obey the terms and conditions!

Respect of country and others makes for an enjoyable experience by everyone. Make sure you have read and follow the Kowanyama Camping Terms and Conditions on the Kowcamp website before you leave home to ensure you are in compliance.


Display your permit!

The Corporation has on ground to support to monitor land management and access to country. Please print the attached permit and display inside of your vehicle (front dashboard area). Failure to display and permit for access would imply trespassing on Aboriginal lands and relevant action would be taken and authorities notified.


Notice! If you make changes to your booking regarding reservation dates, the number of persons, or a number and registration number of vehicles you must have paid for those changes and have in your possession an updated permit reflecting changes to the original booking when you arrive.


Take away your rubbish!

Waste disposal is difficult in remote areas. Help us take care of our country. Please leave your campsite clean for the next campers by removing all your rubbish when you leave. Rubbish may be disposed of in Kowanyama at any public bin. Failure to leave a clean site may attract a site cleaning fee or loss of future reservation privileges.


Prepare for travelling to a remote area

The remoteness of Cape York means that telecommunications and data access may be limited if available at all. Please prepare to not be contactable and ensure you have local emergency contacts (Police, Community Council, Fire and Rescue Services, Local Health Clinic) and satellite phone access if you are concerned. Mobile phone service is limited to within the boundary of the Kowanyama township.


Please make sure you always have adequate supplies of water, food, fuel and a first aid kit while on land and on water. Groceries are available at the Kowanyama Store and the Anglican Coffee Shop.

Local Culture and History


You have chosen to stay on the traditional lands of the Kokoberra, Yir Yoront (or Kokomnjen) and Kunjen clans. Each group has its own distinct language and culture.


The Kowanyama People’s hold native title rights over about 2,731sq km of land and waters in south-western Cape York. On 22 October 2009, Justice Andrew Greenwood of the Federal Court of Australia made a consent determination recognising the Kowanyama People’s native title rights including:


  • exclusive native title rights over about 2,518sq km of Deed of Grant in Trust land

  • non-exclusive native title rights over about 213sq km of sea, beach and tidal areas.


The name ‘Kowanyama’ means 'the place of many waters' and the area includes the Mitchell River System which has a tidal ecosystem where seasonal watering occurs over 40km. The significant wetlands area continues to be used and monitored and managed by the traditional owners.


Closed Access where fishing is not permitted.


Important Notice! The waters of the South Mitchell River between its junction with the Mitchell River and its entrance to the Gulf of Carpentaria and all waters adjoining it are closed to all fin fishing.


The maps on the following pages provide guidance for seeing where restrictions on access and travel are limited:

  • Kowanyama Camping and Fishing Guide Map

  • Cape York Peninsula Access Roads Map

  • Alcohol Restrictions Map.

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