Visiting Bowling Green Bay safely
Mount Elliot section: Turn off the Bruce Highway towards Alligator Creek, 25km south of Townsville or 65km north of Ayr. The entrance to the Mount Elliot section of the park is 5.5km from the highway. Access is suitable for conventional vehicles. There is no public transport.
Cape Cleveland section: Turn off the Bruce Highway onto Cape Cleveland Road (Australian Institute of Marine Science road), about 33km south of Townsville or 57km north of Ayr. The roads leading to the national park are sealed; however four-wheel-drive vehicles are generally needed to travel within the park. Bush tracks are prone to erosion; always check tracks prior to driving over them, particularly when close to the creek.
Bowling Green Bay section: Turn off the Bruce Highway onto Jerona Road, about 12km south of the Giru turn-off (64km south of Townsville, 26km north of Ayr). The first kilometre of the road is bitumen. The remainder is unsealed road that is susceptible to wash-outs. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended, especially during the wet season (December to April). The park boundary starts 9km along this road and extends for 6km until you reach the township of Jerona.
The day-use area toilets and the boardwalk along Alligator Creek (Mount Elliot) are wheelchair accessible.
- Before embarking on remote bushwalking trips tell a responsible person where you are going and when you expect to return. Be prepared for your trip and observe all the walk with care guidelines.
- Estuarine crocodiles inhabit the coastal sections of the park (Cape Cleveland and Bowling Green Bay). Always be croc wise in croc country.
- Water levels can rise rapidly in Alligator Creek (Mount Elliot section) without warning. Do not enter the creek following heavy rain.
- Never dive or jump from rocks into Alligator Creek. Be careful in and near the water as the rocks are slippery and there may be submerged objects. Serious injuries and deaths have occurred here.
- Sandflies and mosquitoes may be a nuisance, especially during the wet season (December–April). Wear protective clothing and insect repellent to protect yourself from insect bites and stings.
In an emergency
For all emergencies call Triple Zero (000). Mobile phone coverage may not be available in sections of the national park. Consider taking a satellite phone, personal locator beacon (PLB) or another form of communication.
You can also download the free Emergency+smartphone app before you leave home, the GPS functionality can provide critical location details to emergency services.
For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
Essentials to bring
Preparation is key to a safe and enjoyable visit. Make sure you bring:
- a first-aid kit
- drinking water
- fuel stoves are recommended
- a sealable container for rubbish. Bins are not provided—please take your rubbish home with you.
All sections of the park are open 24 hours a day. Sections of the park may be closed from time to time for management activities and extreme weather conditions. Check Park Alerts before you visit.
Permits and fees
All camping areas in Bowling Green Bay National Park require a camping permit and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.
Domestic animals are not permitted in Bowling Green Bay National Park.
Climate and weather
The Townsville region has a dry tropical climate with distinct wet and dry seasons. The average daily temperature range is 24–31 ºC in summer (December–February) and 14–25 ºC in winter (June–August).
For more information see the tourism information links.
Fuel and supplies
Fuel and supplies are available 25km north at Townsville and 65km south at Ayr. For more information, see the tourism information links.
- Alligator Creek visitor precinct at Bowling Green Bay National Park temporarily closed 2 March 2021 to 31 May 2022
- Planned burn Cape Cleveland and Mount Elliot sections Bowling Green Bay National Park 29 April to 27 June 2022