Etty Bay Caravan Park Review & Attractions

Etty Bay Caravan Park is a little seaside oasis tucked away just outside of Innisfail. Take the caravan park away from Etty Bay and there is not a whole lot else there which is one of the lovely things about the place.

The caravan park is squeezed in between a lovely beach and a rainforest covered hill which is part of Moresby Range National Park. Besides it’s secluded setting, the other thing Etty Bay is known for is its population of cassowaries. If you want to see a cassowary in the wild, Etty Bay Caravan Park is the place to stay.

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Getting to Etty Bay

It is easy to miss Etty Bay as it is just a name on a sign as you leave Innisfail. Etty Bay is 90 minutes south of Cairns and about 15 minutes south of Innisfail. The turn off to Etty Bay is right in the township of Mourilyan just next to the Australian Sugar Heritage Centre. From Mourilyan Harbour Road you’ll see a left onto Etty Bay Road that takes you to this hidden tropical retreat.

Etty Bay Cassowary

6 Best Things about Etty Bay Caravan Park

We had one goal when we stayed at Etty Bay Caravan Park and that was to spot a famous Etty Bay Cassowary. As it happened, we did that within 20 minutes of our arrival. Despite ticking that box so quickly, we were in no rush to leave. Etty Bay Caravan Park is a fantastic place to spend a few days when you next go to Tropical North Queensland. Here’s what we liked.

Etty Bay Beach

Beach Frontage

The Etty Bay Caravan Park is right on the beach, even if you stay at the back of the park, it is about a 60 second walk to get to the sand – so the park really is squeezed between the rainforest and beach! And at Etty Bay you get exactly what you would expect from a north Queensland Beach; golden sand – tick. Palm trees- tick. Beautiful looking water (with stinger net) – tick.

Etty Bay Caravan Park
Etty Bay Cabins
Etty Bay Facilities

Beach Front, Couples & Family Cabins

If you haven’t stayed at Etty Bay Caravan Park for a few years, it might be time to pop back for another look. The tired cabins have been replaced with some fantastic modern cabins. We stayed in a Beach Front Cabin – they look like a shipping container from the outside but are a cleverly designed tiny home inside and it looks like the other cabins have been just as well put together.

If you tow your own accommodation there are powered and unpowered caravan sites and room for bigger setups. There is also a campground if you want to go for basic camping. That said, Etty Bay Caravan Park is not a huge, sprawling resort so you would want to book if you plan to head there in peak season or during school holidays.

Refurbished Amenities

And it is not just the cabin accommodation that has been updated, the amenities have had a facelift too and are now the sort of facility you might wish you have at home. There is a laundry at Etty Bay Caravan Park too. There is no camp kitchen or dump point and because of the wildlife, dogs are not allowed.

Etty Bay Cassowary
Etty Bay Cassowary

Etty Bay Cassowaries

Etty Bay is in the northern part of an area called the Cassowary Coast and boy does it live up to its name. No sooner had we poured ourselves a cool drink and taken a seat on the veranda of our cabin, a cassowary appeared not two metres away gulping down the seeds that had dropped from a nearby palm tree. Seeing one so close was sensational, the brilliant red and blue of the head and neck, the prehistoric shape of their casque and those menacing feet are amazing to see up close.

We saw a cassowary on each day of our four days stay. Sure, the one that patrols the Etty Bay Caravan Park is a bit of a local, but we also saw three others on the drive down the hill into Etty Bay so keep an eye out. They have a knack of stealthily appearing by your side when you are eating fish and chips on the beach – you get a hell of a shock when you look up and see a cassowary eyeing off your lunch! They are easily scared away, but you should still observe good cassowary etiquette and keep clear of them, especially if they have chicks in tow.

Etty Bay Lace Monitor
Etty Bay Lace Monitor

Etty Bay Wildlife

There is more wildlife at Etty Bay Caravan Park than the cassowaries. No sooner had the cassowary moved on from our cabin, a huge lace monitor appeared and waddled its way down the road towards the beach. We spotted them a couple of times during our stay. And there was also a family of kookaburras that appeared at dusk each night for a good laugh. For bird lovers there is plenty to see. At dusk you can spot everything from black cockatoos to brilliant rainbow bee eaters perched on the powerlines especially at the start of Etty Bay Road.

Etty Bay Store
Etty Bay Kitchen

Fish & Chip Shop

Like we said there isn’t much at Etty Bay besides the caravan park, but the one thing they do have is a small but fantastic fish and chip shop. Located just next door to the caravan park reception and general store, this unassuming little place does amazing fish and chips and a small range of other meals. If you want to grab something to have on the beach or don’t feel like making dinner one night it is a great option and, considering they are the only food place in town, well priced.

Etty Bay Surf Life Saving Club
Etty Bay Beach

Etty Bay Surf Life Saving Club

As is the case in far north Queensland, there is so much water, but between crocodiles and stingers, so much of it is unsafe to swim in. But despite its size, Etty Bay has a Surf Life Saving Club and they patrol a stinger net protected part of the beach. So not only is the water wonderfully inviting you can get in and cool off and enjoy the great views looking back towards the caravan park in the shadow of the rainforest.

Etty Bay Beach

Come to Etty Bay for the Day

You don’t have to stay at the Etty Bay Caravan Park to enjoy this beautiful part of the world. Etty Bay is also a fun spot for day use – and you can enjoy many of the benefits from staying in the caravan park. You are still a good chance of seeing a cassowary and you can make use of the caravan park general store and fast food shop. There are also BBQ facilities and a small play ground.

We must admit though, when the day users have headed home, between the ocean views, never knowing what is going to emerge from the rainforest right behind you and watching the sunrise and moonrise over the Coral Sea, staying in the caravan park is the way to go!

Babinda Kayaking
Babinda Kayaking
Frankland Islands Cruise
Frankland Islands Cruise

More Things to do near Etty Bay

We stayed at Etty Bay Caravan Park for four or five days. Not only is it a beautiful spot to relax, but it is also close to a few attractions. From Etty Bay it only takes 10 minutes to get back to the Bruce Highway from the caravan park and from there, you can do a lot of sightseeing. Here are a few suggestions of things to do and how far they are from Etty Bay Caravan Park.

  • Mourilyan Harbour – 5 minutes – Duck down Mourilyan Harbour Road to the wharf where you might see sugar cane ships being loaded, or it is a great spot to go fishing.
  • Australian Sugar Heritage Centre – 10 minutes – Right up the road from the Etty Bay Caravan Park, learn all about the history of the region’s sugarcane industry.
  • Josephine Falls – 35 minutes – This popular swimming spot is spectacular with rock pools and a short walk to a couple of viewing areas of the falls.
  • Babinda – 35 minutes – you could spend a day exploring Babinda. Check out the beautiful Babinda Boulders and go for a swim, kayak on Babinda Creek and grab lunch at the Babinda Bakery.
  • Deeral Frankland Islands Cruise – 45 minutes – From Deeral you can cruise down the Mulgrave River then head to Normanby Island to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef
  • Canecutter Way – half to full day – Join this lovely drive through the cane fields at Silkwood, 20 minutes south of Etty Bay. You could include stops at Paronella Park or Mamu Tropical Skywalk on your way through along this circuit that finishes back in Innisfail before your short drive back to Etty Bay.

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Etty Bay Caravan Park
Etty Bay Caravan Park
Etty Bay Caravan Park
Etty Bay Caravan Park
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2 thoughts on “Etty Bay Caravan Park Review & Attractions”

  1. Hi,
    Lots of nice words about Etty Bay. Could be a wonderful spot for me to chill out and relax with a book and a glass of something. I’ll check it out very soon in my travels. Sounds like you guys are very experienced travellers.
    Great website too.


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