Pandanus Veterans’ Retreat


There is no fee for camping at Pandanus Park nor does one have to become a ‘member’ to camp there. The restrictions on who can camp at Pandanus Park are shown on the Veterans Page of this website.

 First Aid and Medical Urgent medical help is at least 5 hours away and that includes calling upon the Cairns based emergency service chopper or RFDS aircraft. Our Standard Operating Procedure is to drive all medical cases to Laura Health Centre which is staffed by two nurses who have telephone contact with Cooktown hospital. First aid may be available at Pandanus courtesy former medics or nurses camped therein but bring your own first aid kit. It is an essential item. DO NOT RELY ON OTHERS.
Pandanus Park is now equipped with an ambulance grade First Aid kit and a Backboard with head restraints however these are for EMERGENCY use only. Laura Medical Centre (clinic) has two nurses in attendance. Phone number is 07 4043 0279Pandanus Badge Transparent

Pandanus Park was established predominantly for Vietnam Veterans however your Committee recognise that through the goodwill of the Traditional Owners of Kalpowar Station

Australian Defence Force VETERANS from all conflicts are welcome.

Families of eligible veterans may also camp at Pandanus Park but must be accompanied by the Veteran


How Best to Reach Pandanus Park

Southern State Residents – To travel to Pandanus from the southern states use either the inland route via Emerald and Charters Towers or the coastal route via Townsville and Cairns. The inland route is easier and faster but less interesting than the coastal route which is more picturesque and interesting but beset with narrow roads and many towns that slow your progress.

Western Australian and Northern Territory Residents – It is best to travel to Camooweal, Mt Isa then Charters Towers and from there to Mareeba.

HeadquartersNo matter which route you follow these instructions are based on the assumption that you will use Mareeba as the ‘start’ point for the final drive to Pandanus Park.

The main roads leading into Mareeba are bitumen and now to Laura and Cooktown. .
From Laura to Pandanus Park the bitumen is replaced by 103 kilometres of dirt roads. These are a a mix of formed gravel, graded clay flood plain and station tracks all of which can be corrugated and rough so TAKE GREAT CARE when driving this final section.

It is possible to drive from Mareeba to Pandanus Park (382 kilometres) in one day