Cape Pallarenda Conservation Park Townsville

Photo credit: Phil Copp © Queensland Government

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Visiting Cape Pallarenda safely

    Cycle around the headland to the beginning of Under the Radar trail.

    Photo credit: Fiona O'Grady © Queensland Government

    Shelly Cove searchlight station.

    Photo credit: Fiona O'Grady © Queensland Government

    View to Castle Hill.

    Photo credit: Fiona O'Grady © Queensland Government

    Getting there and getting around

    Cape Pallarenda Conservation Park is at the end of Cape Pallarenda Road, 10km north of the Townsville city centre. The park is accessible by conventional vehicle.

    Contact the Department of Transport and Main Roads to find out about road conditions and the Bureau of Meteorology for weather reports and forecasts.

    Wheelchair accessibility

    The information displays at the Cape Pallarenda day use area are wheelchair-accessible (assistance maybe required).

    Staying safe

    • Historic fortifications are scattered around the Cape Pallarenda headland. Watch your step on the uneven ground, be alert for sharp rusting metal and other trip hazards. Do not climb on or walk on the roof of these structures.
    • Be alert for mountain bike riders approaching from either direction and show care and consideration for other trail users.
    • If riding, alert other trail users when approaching and slow down or stop to allow them to pass safely.
    • Avoid riding in large groups—keep groups to fewer than 12.
    • Avoid skidding and sliding around turns—this may result in collision with other trail users and damage to the trail surface.
    • Take adequate water, wear sturdy footwear and protect yourself from the sun.
    • Wear protective clothing and insect repellent for protection against stings, scratches and bites. If riding, wear appropriate safety gear.
    • Take care on loose and uneven surfaces, as trail conditions are subject to change. Washouts may occur after heavy rain and trails may be covered by long grass.
    • Be alert for snakes. Detour around them.
    • Dangerous stinging jellyfish (‘stingers’) may be present in the coastal waters at any time, and  occur more frequently in the warmer months. A full-body lycra suit, or equivalent, may provide a good measure of protection against stinging jellyfish and sunburn. Visit marine stingers for the latest safety and first aid information.
    • Estuarine crocodiles live in the waterways of Cape Pallarenda Conservation Park and in surrounding coastal waters. Crocodiles are potentially dangerous. You are responsible for your own safety, so be crocwise in croc country.
    • Pack a first aid kit and communication equipment. Mobile phone coverage is unreliable in sections of the conservation park. Consider taking a satellite phone or personal locator beacon (PLB).
    • Extreme weather and cyclones are common along Queensland’s tropical coastline. Check weather forecasts before you visit. Never go walking or riding if extreme weather or if a cyclone is imminent.
    • Heed all safety and warning signs.
    • Do not enter the RAAF Radar Station that shares a boundary with the park.

    For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

    In an emergency

    For all emergencies call Triple Zero (000).

    We recommend you visit the Triple Zero website before visiting the national park. You can also download the free emergency+ app before you leave home, the GPS functionality can provide critical location details to emergency services. Important: if there is no mobile coverage on any network, you will not be able to reach the Emergency Call Service via a mobile phone.

    Before you visit

    Essentials to bring

    Preparation is the key to a safe and enjoyable visit. Remember to bring:

    • enough drinking water for your visit
    • rubbish bags, as there are no bins
    • appropriate clothing, sunscreen, hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun
    • insect repellent to repel mosquitoes and sandflies
    • reliable communication equipment.

    Opening hours

    Cape Pallarenda Conservation Park is open 24hr. The park or sections of the park may be closed at times due to extreme weather or management operations. Check park alerts for the latest information on parks and forests access, closures and conditions.

    Permits and fees

    Various activities in Cape Pallarenda Conservation Park require a permit. Activities include commercial tours, social events (for example weddings or birthday parties), organised group visits, school excursions, scientific research, professional photography and the sale of photographs or vision of the conservation park. Visit permits and fees for further information.


    Domestic animals are not permitted in the conservation park.

    Climate and weather

    The Townsville region has a dry tropical climate, with distinct wet and dry seasons. During the wetter months, from December to April, there is significant rainfall and the average daily temperature range is 24 to 32°C, with high humidity. The cooler, drier months of May to September are the best time to visit. The weather is pleasantly warm during this time, with reduced humidity and an average daily temperature range of 13 to 25°C.

    Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

    Fuel and supplies

    Fuel and supplies are available in Townsville.