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Kondapingara Station, also known as Piggy’s Lagoon, is an incredible camping spot nestled beside a beautiful, picturesque lagoon filled with trees and wildlife. It’s a cattle station which also seems to double as a wildlife reserve.

NOTE: Piggy’s Lagoon is apparently not open for camping in 2017 but the station is opening several other camp sites

We had read about Piggy’s Lagoon on a few camping sites and it sounded pretty good so we decided to book a spot over a long weekend and try it out for ourselves.

piggy's lagoon

We absolutely love camping and are always on the lookout for somewhere to camp with a creek or river running through it so we can swim or kayak, and Piggy’s Lagoon was even better than we expected.

It ticked all the boxes for us as it had a lagoon, we could have our own campfire and we were allowed to take our dog (although they don’t allow hunting dogs).




camping at piggys lagoon

There are 13 sites in total and they all are marked and easy to find.

We had a really great spot beside the lagoon with plenty of room for us and the other family we travelled with to spread out.

There are no amenities so you need to be self-sufficient and bring your own toilet or a shovel.


Its obviously really important to avoid polluting the lagoon water course too so make sure toilet business is done at a distance from the lagoon.

And, don’t use soaps and detergents in or near the water.

Generators are allowed between 8am-8pm, but you need to be mindful of other campers, and you are allowed to cut wood on the property for your campfire.

Overall, it’s a pretty cruisy place to camp.

the lagoon



After setting up we couldn’t wait to get out on the lagoon so we paddled out in our kayaks and small inflatable boat to explore.

We even had a swim but you need to walk through grassy reeds with a muddy bottom to get out into the deeper water and to be honest, it felt pretty disgusting between your toes.

On the upside, once you reach deeper water its just heavenly to swim in.

I do need to tell you though that there are also freshwater crocodiles in the lagoon (no saltwater crocodiles) but they usually leave you alone and we never saw any during the day at all.

At night we would sometimes see their eyes in the distance but we always felt safe and they didn’t bother us at all. But if you are concerned at all, chat with Mick, the owner of Piggy’s Lagoon.




Kondapingara Station

One of the great things about Piggy’s Lagoon is that it attracts a lot of wildlife, especially birds. In fact, it almost seems like a wildlife reserve.

We saw black cockatoos, galahs, kookaburras, willy wagtails, brolgas, falcons and cormorants.

We also saw frogs, wallabies and even work horses come down to the water to drink.

Sunrise and sunset were definitely the best times of day for wildlife spotting.


things to do


cattle station camping cairns

Not surprisingly this is a popular spot for swimming and kayaking. We also had a lot of fun fishing with the kids but you can only catch and release.

There are also plenty of places to explore. We kayaked across the lagoon and walked up a hill to watch the sunset and take photos of the Mount Mulligan mountains in the distance, which was definitely one of the highlights of the stay for me.

You can also drive a short distance to visit Hodgkinson River, the old Mount Mulligan township, Mount Carbine Pub, Mount Molloy township and Lighthouse Rock.

getting there


piggys lagoon

Piggy’s Lagoon is 3 hours drive from Cairns.

Go 25km past Mount Carbine then turn left at a sign for Hurricane Station, Karma Waters and Kondapingara.

From here its 8km to a fork in the road then drive onto Cooktown Crossing. It’s another 25km along the road through 5 gates.

travel nq fast facts:


  • To book call Mick on (07) 4094 8398 and always ring before you arrive to check the road conditions, especially if its been raining
  • You need to sign in and pay when you arrive before heading to your campsite
  • Cost is $10 per adult per night and children under 12 are free
  • Mick puts on a fantastic barbecue on a Saturday night for $10 per person (optional)
  • Soaps and detergents are not allowed in or near the lagoon
  • No motorbikes or quad bikes allowed. Take your own kayaks, canoes, SUP’s etc
  • Dogs allowed as long as they are well supervised (no hunting dogs). They must be kept on a leash at night or if left unattended.

    Looking for other cattle stations? Try this:

  • List of cattle stations where you can camp in North Queensland