Portland Roads is a historical site that should feature on any Cape York itinerary. It provides the closest access and accommodation for visitors wanting to explore and experience the beauty of the Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL) and its stunning Chili Beach. Portland Roads is accessed via road. During the main tourist season, visitors can drive in from the Peninsula Development Road. In the ‘wet season’ summer months, they can fly into Iron Range and Lockhart River, then drive to Portland Roads. The road runs parallel to the cove and takes you down to the ‘point’ which is where the jetty once stood. It’s now a boat ramp and offers good shore fishing. This frontier outpost has played a role in many major moments in Australia’s colonial history and you’re welcome to come stay, explore, refresh and revive at Portland House.
Accommodation is available at the Portland House holiday home. Set against the headland at Portland Roads, this two-storey property offers a range of accommodation. There are five bedrooms, 3 with air conditioning and 2 with ceiling fans. The top level and living area of the house is designed as a traditional open-sided Queenslander, capturing the sea breezes. It has a full kitchen and large living area.
Portland House has been styled throughout to be a retro-style, beachfront holiday house. Like all of Portland Roads, the house is off-grid with no mains power, sewage or water supply. That’s not to say you miss the luxuries of air conditioning, fans and lights. Power is provided to the house through a combination of solar, with back-up generators for peak periods. Rainwater provides the water and there are composting toilets.
The house is equipped with everything needed for a self-contained stay, including full-sized fridge, all linen and towels, kitchen appliances and utensils. While there is no television, there are lots of books and boardgames to keep you entertained. Relax in the hammock with views over the tropical gardens, or get comfortable on one of the many lounges. Feel free to make yourself at home here.
The Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL) is considered a world class birdwatching destination. In the summer months between December and March some of the most elusive and exotic birds in Australia – the Red-bellied Pitta – visits here from Papua New Guinea. However, the roads are often impassable and closed at this time, due to the annual monsoonal deluge.
To overcome this, the folks at Portland House developed a Fly/Drive package in conjunction with Skytrans. This package includes flights in and out of Lockhart River on Skytrans, to and from Cairns. The package includes return flights, accommodation at Portland House and the use of a Toyota Landcruiser GXL 4WD during your stay. For best rates and a tailored Iron Range birdwatching travel package, please contact Greg and Sheree at Portland House on (07) 4060 7193 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Portland House is set back from the beach, but provides panoramic views of the bay from its second story living space. The landscaping here is tropical and chosen to suit the seaside location. There is frangapani, pionsettia, hibiscus, crotons and palm trees of varying species. Argaves, spider lillies, yukkas, bottle brush, custard apples, mangoes and umbrella trees add colour and provide fruit.
When staying here you can choose to self-cater or take advantage of the lunch, dinner and takeaway service provided at the Out of the Blue café, which is right next door. You will often see birds and butterflies flitting around the house and can enjoy shore-based fishing, within a 2 minute walk of Portland House.
For more information, visit the Portland House website or call owners and hosts Greg Westcott and Sheree Barker on (07) 4060 7193.
© Portland Roads 2021 / This website was funded in part by the Cook Shire Council’s Economic Resiliency Investment Initiative.