Explore Cooktown | Tropical Far North Queensland | Cape York |Australia
Rainforest & Great Barrier Reef Tropical North Queensland
If you are searching for a unique authentic boutique lodge accommodation experience near Cooktown on Cape York, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef coast or in the Greater Daintree Rainforest, you have found us!
We are a private family run business, guests realise the difference as soon as they arrive. We operate differently to a hotel, motel, guest house or resort ensuring guests feel right at home in our wilderness.
Mungumby Lodge is just south of and close to Cooktown, or north of Port Douglas and Cairns. We offer quality private accommodation for travellers seeking to stay in a lodge that offers a personal nature experience. Our property is located at the apex of three very distinct ecosystems and Aboriginal cultures. We are accessible, enjoying life and open year round. Our solid wood bungalows offer private ensuite bathrooms are very clean, spacious and gadget free. Each are located within the enclosed gardens with a great setting and outlook. Most guests advise we live in paradise, we wake up to this and to the bird song every day.
Come and Explore Cooktown and SE Cape York .
11th August 2017
Hamish & Isabella, thank-you for sharing this place with us. Waking up in the morning to the symphony of the rainforest sounds, refreshes the soul. You are both such warm people and you welcomed us in this way. Thank you for sharing some of your incredible knowledge with us; and of course the delicious food! This place is a big-ticket item for our friends down south, and for us both to return one day! Keep on loving and enjoying this beautiful place.
Lyal & Pat Toowoon Bay, NSW.
Located just before and a short distance from Cooktown. We have ten spacious wooden bungalows with ensuite bathrooms and private patios. These are constructed separately from each other and the main building within the gardens. A large Homestead with wide-open living areas overlooking the beautiful Mungumby Creek. For meals, reading or just plain relaxing by the pool, guests use the spacious homestead surrounded by large tropical gardens and pool overlooking the rainforest canopy.
There are no telephones in the rooms, however fax, e-mail and message services are available and the homestead phone line is portable. We also have Internet available only from the office due to satellite connection. Mungumby Lodge is the Australian Centre for Digital Detox, so Wifi Free. TV’s and mobile coverage are not available due to location and available transmission. Nature is our entertainer!
Within walking distance are opportunities to swim in croc free jungle waterfalls, observe wildlife, indulge in Aboriginal Culture or relive history . Once settled you will have the comfort of knowing that you have chosen the perfect base to explore greater Cooktown and Tropical North Queensland’s most pristine landscapes. From the Great Barrier Reef coast to Lakefield & Cape Melvile National Parks, Archer Point, Little Annan River Gorge, Cedar Bay (Mangkal-Mangkalba), Laura & the Quinkan Country, Bloomfield falls (Wujal Wujal), Black Mountain (Kalkajaka), Daintree and Cape Tribulation, this region provides a world of unique soft adventures.
Dog friendly Accommodation Cooktown (terms & conditions apply)
If your dog is friendly, well behaved and remains on a lead, Mungumby Lodge and team are happy to ensure your dog has a great break to.
We Are Open All Year Round
Getting here is very easy year round. A superb drive from Cairns Airport on the Mulligan Highway is a nice way to travel and suitable for conventional vehicles. Do forget the road to Laura is totally sealed to Laura so why not slip up to the Split Rock Art or visit the Quinkan galleries with a Aboriginal guide (Queensland’s most famous Aboriginal Rock Art) from Lakeland Downs on your way here or on your return. Flights to Cooktown are offered x 2 per day Monday-Friday and 1 on Saturday and car rentals are available from the airport when booked in advance. There is a private airstrip available near the lodge for private charters. Helicopter transfers along the reef & rainforest coast are awesome and can land at the lodge.
Travelling to Cooktown, Cape York & Mungumby Lodge
The drive to our lodge from Cooktown is only 25 minutes south, on the Mulligan Highway then turn into the famous Rainforest & Reef Coastal drive, the road is sealed all the way to Mungumby Road the lodge driveway which is then unsealed (4kms) to the lodge. Coming from Cairns, Helenvale is located 3 kilometres north of the Little Annan River crossing on the inland Mulligan Highway. This road is sealed all the way from Mareeba to Mungumby Road.
Travelling the Rainforest & Reef coastal road, which is a very scenic the road is sealed till Cape Tribulation. From this point on, the track is unsealed and very much 4×4 country. It is known as the notorious Bloomfield Track and spans 32kms from Cape Tribulation to the Bloomfield River where it then becomes the Bloomfield Road up to Helenvale. From Wujal Wujal to Helenvale the road is fully sealed.
The coast road is often closed in the Wet season due to swollen river crossings, however the inland road is open 12 months of the year day & night and a great drive north.
Travel times Cairns to Mungumby Lodge:
Mulligan Highway from Cairns to Helenvale (self drive) Mossman via Mulligan Highway to Helenvale (self drive)
3.5 hrs 2.5 hrs
Flight from Cairns to Helenvale airstrip
Private transfer Cooktown airport to Mungumby
Coastal Bloomfield Track via Cape Tribulation (self drive)
Google or Bing maps and some navigators are 100% guaranteed to get you lost or head you in the wrong location on Cape York, especially when trying to find Mungumby Lodge. Mungumby Lodge has been in the same location long before Google arrived or stopped listening. RACQ road updates over the wet season cannot be trusted to be up to date. A good HEMA Map is available at most roadside stores or download them online. Even better get the Explore Cooktown tourism guide or call the Visitor Information Centre. Our GPS = 15 deg 42’24.24″min S – 145 deg 15’16.14″ min E.
Air safaris across the reef and rainforest are a spectacular way to visit, even if it is only one way! Self-drive or safari options from Cairns & its Northern Beaches also offer spectacular sights from the ground. Inland offers the true outback, unlike the rainforest clad coast road it is sealed almost all the way!
A local Cairns based airline that services Cooktown 2 times daily Monday to Friday among other destinations, departing from Hinterland Aviation terminal at Cairns General Aviation section of Cairns airport. Check in is required at least 45 mins prior to flight departure. As the luggage restriction is 20kg per person including hand we recommend that customers leave some luggage at their hotel in Cairns for pick up on their return. These very scenic coastal flights are a very personal way of getting to Cooktown quickly.
Historically Daintree Air Services have offered their popular Air-Tours, Scenic Flights and Air Charter Services from their Cairns Base. 2018 marks a big change in the Company’s long History as their new Cooktown base is expected to open in May 2018. The Cooktown base represents a huge financial commitment and a big vote of Confidence in the future of Cooktown
and Surrounds. Clients can now book to Depart on Charter Flights anywhere in Australia directly out of and returning directly to Cooktown rather than having to travel to Cooktown via Cairns as they have had to do previously. The very
popular Reef Flights, Lizard Island Day Tours and Cape York Day Tours will also be available from Cooktown.
You can add these to your booking with Mungumby Lodge!
The Greater Cooktown Region.
In 1873 a group of sturdy tents were built on the shores of the Endeavour river, this seaside tented village became Cooks Town. Cooktown was later named in the honour of Captain James Cook, who in 1770 beached the HM Bark the Endeavour on the Southern banks. He named the Endeavour River where the crew made repairs after running aground on Endeavour reef located on the same latitude as Mungumby Lodge, this is one of many reefs that fringe this Rainforest & Reef coastline.
More than 100 years after Cook’s visit the area remained as it had always been, a peaceful, tranquil spot inhabited only by nomadic Aboriginals. In 1873 all this came to an abrupt end when James Venture Mulligan discovered gold in the Palmer River. It was decided that the site of Cook’s landing on the Endeavour River would be used as a port for the trek to the Goldfields and would become a busy remote Far Northern seaport.
On October 25th 1873 the steam ship Leichhardt arrived with building materials. Officials and prospectors to establish the township of “Cooks Town”. Prospectors poured in from everywhere and the town grew quickly. The town boasted 65 hotels, 20 eating houses and 32 general stores. By 1885 Cooktown’s population exceeded 35,000 including thousands of Chinese.
Cooktown depended on the mining of gold for its survival, and after the removal of 55 tons of alluvial gold, 8 years later production began to decline. By the turn of the century the population was barely 2,000, but with the growing pearling, tin and cattle industries the town managed to survive with its town status. During the second World War most of the town was evacuated. Cooktown survived once again and today it is a small village that is the Heart of Cape York and slowly increasing interest as a tourist attraction.
The surrounding region south of Cooktown hosts a diverse range of flora & fauna and show cases some of Queensland’s best frontier history. The nature is second to none, the Aboriginal culture of the Quinkan extremely interesting and the regions scenery awesome. The foreshore of Cooktown with its monuments pays tribute to early explorers’ courage and the Cooktown cemetery with history written on the stones and Chinese shrines, with the Miribilli wall telling traditional stories of Aboriginal ancestors. The James Cook Museum, Grassy hill look out and Cherry Tree bay a must.
Located on Shiptons Flat a short 20 minutes south of Cooktown on the Cape York Peninsula around 186m above sea level is the end of the worlds oldest rainforest. A large world heritage rainforest area of great conservation significance. Rainforest giving way to Eucalypt and Schloraphyl Rainforest after Black Mountain the rainforest ends and is only found in small pockets through the rest of Cape York. Black Mountain a 260 million year old ancient rock formations sit in their grandeur overlooking the Lions Den Hotel. The Lions Den Hotel was est. in 1875 by Jack Ross to recruit travelers to work at his Lions Den Mine on the Big Tableland near Mount Amos (846m) just behind Mungumby Lodge. The Helenvale area also hosts the spectacular Annan River gorge where the Mungumby and Wallaby creeks purge the rain from the mountains behind the Lodge. Mungumby Lodge is located here at the foot of the Big Tableland and its world heritage rainforest.
Rossville named after Jack Ross an original Irish miner who established a number of claims with the most famous being the Lions Den on the Big Tableland. In the late 1870’s Rossville was a hive of activity and a hub for tin and timber. Ancient rainforest giants felled by timber getters to support export and national orders as well as wood thirsty Cooktown with its buildings growing at a rapid pace. The fall in price of tin along with new metals arriving on the market the tin miners left their claims and the area slowly rejuvenated its lush world heritage rainforest and the hippies and tree hugger community soon developed. This area hosts world heritage rainforest of great conservation significance. A small community thrives and produces carbon credits to the rest of the world due to its vast areas of rainforest untouched and re-growth, its national parks, mountain peeks and abundant Wallaby Creek. Every September the region hosts the Wallaby Creek Festival a big attraction at Home Rule where around 1000-2000 alternative life style gatherers get together to celebrate music, crafts and the general outdoors. For more details on the Wallaby Creek Festival see www.wallabycreekfestival.org.au
Locals gather at the Rossville markets every second Sunday.
Wujal Wujal & Bloomfield/Ayton
Named after the falls the Aboriginal Community of Wujal Wujal is set in one of the eastern seaboards prettiest settings on the Bloomfield River. A short distance inland from the coast a small community with the store, library, hospital, police station, nice houses and cultural centre. One of the tidiest and well maintained Aboriginal communities on Cape York. Ayton has a IGA Express store and takeaway, Blooms Cafe with quality camping at Bloomfield Beach Camp. Bloomfield has a school and wharf. Wujal Wujal hosts the Bana Yirriji Art and Cultural Centre located on the banks of the Bloomfield River just below the Wujal Wujal waterfall with a cafe over looking the Bloomfield River Open Mon-Fri. Whilst down there don’t miss Weary Bay!
The region was developed by volcanic activity and is a large volcanic basin containing very rich volcanic soil. Formerly called “Butchers Hill” in late 1800’s supplying meat to the goldfields. In the mid 1950’s farms changed hands, irrigation lakes were built and the site renamed Lakeland Downs. Located on the Mulligan Highway Lakeland hosts a small school, pub, camp ground, two road houses one with a Coffee roasting house and really nice café. A gateway to Laura and Cooktown. A number of the farms are large scale employers especially Swiss Farms.
Laura & the Quinkan Country
Quinkan Country extends some 6,000sq Km of the South East Cape York Peninsula. Incorporated in this area is Lakeland National Park and Quinkan reserve, which extends from Laura to the coastline of Princess Charlotte Bay. This rugged terrain contains sandstone escarpments, open eucalyptus woodlands and a network of river systems all easily accessible from Mungumby Lodge.
Sandstone was layered down in cretaceous era as the bed of a shallow coastal lake, weathering and erosion over 100 million years created today’s Sandstone Plateau and escarpments. These provided rock shelters suitable for Aboriginal people to occupy during the wet season. Aboriginal people were living a traditional hunter-gathering way of life up until the Palmer River gold rush of the 1870s. The oldest known human occupation of rock shelters in the Quinkan area is dated to be 32,000 years ago. The importance of this was recognised in 1959 by Captain Percy Trezise, at the time an airline pilot. author\artist (formerly an acknowledged rock art authority, now deceased) when he read a report of a road gang discovering Aboriginal paintings on a large slab near Laura.
After visiting the site he realised that this must be one of many located in the area and began a program of exploration and recording of the Quinkan art. Following the discovery of the Split Rock gallery in 1959, some 34 sites with 1500 images were recorded by Percy Trezise over the last 30 years on canvas. Theses Canvases are now held in the archives of the Institute of Aboriginal Studies in Canberra and some at the Quinkan Region Cultural Centre. In order to protect the extensive body of rock art in the Laura district Percy Trezise strives to have the area declared a Reserve, this he achieved in 1975, ensuring the preservation of these ancient drawings for the Traditional Owners and future generations.
Pay your walk entry fees at the Quinkan Cultural Centre prior to entering the reserve or visiting the sites. The Quinkan Region Cultural Centre offers guided tours to a number of other sites.The Aboriginal Rock art of this region is the best Aboriginal Rock Art in Queensland. Alternatively hop aboard the “Great Northern Safari” or the “Cooktown, Rock Art & Rainforest Expedition” which depart from Cairns to enhance your experience. We thoroughly recommend a visit to the Laura area as it provides a fascinating insight into these prehistoric sites and the Aboriginal way of life in this region.
Hope Vale & the Endeavour Valley
North of Cooktown this region is shaped by time and very scenic. The road to Hopevale is slowly improving and access to the coast is strictly by paid permit. Roads here are extremely rough going for any vehicle. Coloured sands and Elim beach are accessible from Hope Vale. This scenic remote coastline is scenic yet void of any facilities, take your mozzie cream and winch as the going gets unreasonably rugged. A delight fully setting at Elim beach where camping is available with limited facilities. The Battle camp road to Laura is scenic in places but also at times unreasonably rough.
The Cape York Peninsula
Cape York Peninsula is a huge area of largely undeveloped land located in Far Tropical North Queensland, Australia. It is a wilderness area of incredible contrasts, dusty tracks, abundant river systems, crystal clear creeks and spectacular waterfalls. There are breathtaking beaches, rich rainforest areas supporting varied fauna and flora, from the wild untamed bush to the friendliness of the people of the Torres Strait, Cape York will surprise and delight any visitor. At this time Cape York is untouched, providing a valuable insight into this unique land mass that is steeped in beauty and history.
The distance from Cooktown to the tip of Australia is about 700 km where the finger of the Cape York Peninsula points to New Guinea, which lies beyond the islands of the Torres Strait. On the Eastern side of the Peninsula from Cairns to Cooktown steep mountains clad in rainforest slope gently down to the ocean, this is where the rainforest meets the reef and the views over the Great Barrier Reef combined with the rich rainforest colours has to be one of the most spectacular sights you could ever see and is one of the most scenic areas in Australia.
Further north the country becomes much drier with sandstone & granite areas and hundreds of kilometres of wind swept beaches where time and tide have eroded cliffs into fascinating shapes. A belt of Limestone outcrops, which were once coral reefs, extends from Chillago to the North of the Palmer River. To the west rivers flow and emerge amongst the mangroves and join the grey waters of the Gulf of Carpentaria. The many National Parks are wide and varied, each having an unique value of its own.
There are only two seasons on Cape York Peninsula the “wet” and the “dry”. The wet is by far the most spectacular, from the end of November thunderstorms herald the beginning of the monsoonal rain. The parched land is replenished and the once dry rivers and creeks again flow. It is from January until April that the roads north of Cooktown will become impassable and the only way to visit the Cape York region is be by aircraft. At the end of the wet season the South East trade winds return drying the land, The once parched land is now green & lush and the wild flowers flourish. Mungumby Lodge is accessible all year round.
Mungumby Lodge is well represented through travel agents internationally and is one of the few in this region doing so. When booking through a travel agent or distribution systems you can be confident the price will the same or similar as those stated below!
From our secure booking engine we display rates for each night of your stay. Likewise more images and room details are displayed there. Bookings are to be accompanied by a valid credit card to confirm. Your personal information and card is secure and any information entred into our booking engine is inaccessible and cannot be viewed from outsiders or our staff without locked access. Once completed you will receive an email confirming the details of your intended stay. Don’t panic if you make a mistake, we are owner operators and will be happy to change at no extra cost subject to availability. If we are going to take a deposit we will advise you of this prior to doing so, your card information is 100% safe here.
BOOK NOW or contact your local travel agent. If you want to know which travel agent sells Mungumby Lodge near you just email us. Make sure you ask for Mungumby Lodge as there is only one!
Booking.com or Expedia are not able to sell Mungumby Lodge. Our choice not theirs. Other website might list Mungumby Lodge but it comes up as unavailable. Don’t be fooled this is often because they have no stock or contract. Check availability from our booking engine or email us today!
0 up to 3 years are Free of Charge when sharing with parents. 4-12 years as per extra person rate for room, child rates for meals. If a cot is required an additional cost of $15.00 per night applies.
A valid credit card is required for security to confirm all direct accommodation bookings, especially in high season. For special offers, discounted rates (HOT DEALS), locals rates payment in full is required at the time of booking. Change of dates allowed subject to availability on these rates but no refunds. Please see our terms of trade. Cancellations of full rate bookings within 48 hours prior to arrival will result in the loss of 1 nights accommodation. Cancellations or no shows within 48hours accommodation and meals charge applies including travel agent bookings.
Lodge open 7 days, however the restaurant is sadly closed for dinner Sunday nights and public holidays (breakfast is served 7 days). This is due to government awarded Sunday and public holiday rates of pay which result in a business loss! Our staff would love to work, and we would too, but understandably we are unable to open on these nights to make a loss due to our size.