Brook Islands National Park Tropical North Queensland

Brook Islands. Photo: Queensland Government.

Things to do

    Reef protection markers show the no-anchoring zone. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Reef protection markers show the no-anchoring zone. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Camping and accommodation

    Camping is not permitted in Brook Islands National Park. The nearest island-based camping is available on Hinchinbrook, Goold and Family islands national parks. In the Family Islands National Park, camping is permitted on Dunk, Coombe and Wheeler islands. Camping is also possible nearby at Garden Island (managed by the Cassowary Coast Regional Council).

    Other accommodation

    A range of accommodation, including motels, campgrounds and caravan parks, is available at Cardwell, Mission Beach, Dungeness, Lucinda and Ingham. For more information see the tourism information links.

    Boating

    Boating is a popular activity around the Brook Islands. The Brook Islands Location is designated as a low use setting under the Hinchinbrook Plan of Management and special rules apply:

    • Motorised watersports are prohibited.
    • Maximum vessel speed is 6kn within 200m of North, Middle and Tween islands.
    • Maximum vessel speed is 6kn within 200m of South Island between 1 October and 31 March.
    • Vessels over 35 are not permitted in the location.
    • Vessels are not permitted to anchor in the no-anchoring area along the west side of North, Tween and Middle islands. Reef protection markers identify the no-anchoring area.

    There are public moorings in the waters around Brook Islands National Park. Moorings reduce coral damage from anchors and provide safe and sustainable access to popular reefs and islands. They suit a variety of vessel sizes and are accessed on a first-come-first-served basis. Time limits may apply during the day, but all mooring are available overnight between 3pm and 9am. Learn more about moorings and responsible anchoring and see maps and mooring locations.

    Anchor with care outside reef protection markers

    Please ensure you follow best environmental practices when anchoring:

    • Carry enough chain, or chain and line, for the water depth.
    • Anchor in sand away from corals and seagrass beds.
    • Motor towards the anchor while retrieving it. If the anchor is stuck, motor the vessel above and slightly ahead of the anchor before retrieval.
    • Anchor far enough outside the line of reef protection markers to ensure that all parts of the anchor chain and rope remain outside the line of markers, should the vessel swing.

    Fishing

    Brook Islands National Park and the surrounding marine waters are internationally significant and are protected in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Zones in the two marine parks—the Great Barrier Reef Coast and Great Barrier Reef—provide a balanced approach to protecting the marine and intertidal environments while allowing recreational and commercial use. Check zoning information and maps before entering or conducting any activities in the marine parks.

    A Marine National Park (Green) Zone encompasses the reef and waters surrounding Brook Islands National Park. These ‘no-take’ areas prohibit extractive activities like fishing or collecting.

    Be aware that crocodiles can turn up anywhere in croc country, including tidal reaches of rivers, along beaches, on offshore islands and cays in the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait and in freshwater lagoons, rivers and swamps. Crocodiles are dangerous and attacks can be fatal.

    Swimming and snorkelling

    Swimming and snorkelling is popular around the Brook Islands, especially on the western side of the islands. Dangerous stinging jellyfish (‘stingers’) may be present in the coastal waters at any time, but occur more frequently in the warmer months. If you do enter the water, a full-body lycra suit, or equivalent, may provide a good measure of protection against stinging jellyfish and sunburn. Remember to be crocwise in croc country. Visit marine stingers for the latest safety and first-aid information.

    Viewing wildlife

    During the summer months, more than 40,000 pied imperial-pigeons breed on the islands, providing a spectacle as they return to their nests each evening after foraging for food on the mainland. There are also significant breeding colonies of bridled terns, black-naped terns, little terns and roseate terns. Beach stone-curlews, listed as vulnerable, are also present and are believed to breed on North Island beaches.

    To prevent disturbance to the colonies, bird viewing should occur only from boats. Access to the national park—North (PDF, 185.4KB) , Tween (PDF, 154.6KB) and Middle (PDF, 153.3KB) islands—is prohibited to protect nesting and roosting seabirds and shorebirds and their habitats. Nesting birds are easily alarmed and will leave their nests if disturbed. Eggs and chicks are then vulnerable to heat, cold and predators and can die quickly.

    Remember, access to South Island is also prohibited from 1 October to 31 March.

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.