Lake Placid Tourist Park is a good spot to know about if you're holidaying in Cairns and looking for a quiet, clean van park close to the Skyrail terminal and other tourist attractions.
I ended up spending four nights at Lake Placid recently after one of my travelling companions came down with flu at the start of our north Queensland holiday. While battling sickness is not a great way to start a vacation, Lake Placid Tourist Park had a lot of pluses.
As its name suggests, the park is situated on Lake Placid, a scenic and lovely lake. Unfortunately, the possibility of crocs (yes, even in a lake) means swimming is a no-no here, but it is very pretty to look at.
The park itself is also lush and tropical, not dominated by concrete like some caravan parks. It's surrounded by beautiful mountainsides, and home to many native birds. It's also very clean, quiet and well run. Showers and laundries were immaculate, staff were super-helpful, and sleeping was undisturbed (much appreciated by our sick traveller).
This is grey nomad territory, and the park is dominated by older van-owners seeking the sun. There's a swimming pool but not much else for children, and we saw only a few backpackers. One unexpected bonus was the presence of a fine dining restaurant just outside the park, right on the edge of the lake. Alessandro's is a good Italian restaurant with a bar, wood-fired pizzas and live music on the Sunday afternoon we were there.
Overall, Lake Placid is not the most exciting holiday destination, but it is a calm and pretty place to stop. It's also a very good base it you're looking for an overnighter close to the Skyrail terminal just down the road at Smithfield. It's only a 10-minute drive, which we really appreciated when our patient finally got upright and we caught the Skyrail cable car to Kuranda. The park also books tours for a number of other tourist destinations, and gave helpful advice on places to go after we left.
In short, Lake Placid Tourist Park lives up to its name, and it's a great base to know about in northern Cairns if you're looking for a good night's sleep in a pretty location.