Iron Range National Park, is a coastal park surrounding the Lockhart River township.
With spectacular views from the beaches and headlands to the heath-covered Tozer Range, which rises 543m above sea level. The park is also of international significance as it contains the largest remaining area of lowland rainforest in Australia, and various bird species found only in this area.
Surrounded by drier eucalypt and paperbark forest, the rainforest is a refuge and stronghold for birds also found in New Guinea but with a restricted distribution in Australia. It supports the vibrant eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus macgillivrayi), which lives only in the Iron and McIlwraith ranges between Pascoe and Rocky rivers, the raucous palm cockatoo (Probosciger aterrimus) and the magnificent rifle-bird (Ptiloris magnificus).
The Kuuku Ya’u people are the Traditional Owners of this country, otherwise known as Kawadji, the “people of the east”. They, along with their ancestors, have maintained a strong cultural and spiritual link to this area for thousands of years.
During World War II, a large American bomber base was set up at Lockhart River with 4 airstrips operating. The site of one of the strips is now the Historic Iron Range Aerodrome.
The US bombers would fly to the Coral Sea battles & be met by their fighter escorts based at Bamaga & Horn Island further north. Many thousands of troops both US & Australian passed through as part of their jungle training before being shipped to SE Asia. Portland Road community 40 km north of Lockhart River was the supply port for the war effort with a large jetty. This jetty has since been removed. Many old bunkers and rusting 44 gallon drums can still be found in bush areas.