Cape Palmerston National Park Mackay

Find your own beachside camp site when you bush camp in Cape Palmerston National Park. Photo credit: John Atkinson © Queensland Government

Rocky headlands, mangroves, swamps and sand dunes are iconic features of Cape Palmerston National Park. Photo credit: Paul Curtis © North Queensland Wildscapes

Cape Palmerston camping area

Your perfect camp site awaits! Find the one that is just right for you on the eastern coast of Cape Palmerston.

Accessible by

  • High clearance 4WD
  • Boat

Camping area facilities

  • Anchoring allowed
  • Tent camping
  • Camper trailer camping
  • Tent camping beside car
  • Scenic drive
  • Boating
  • Fishing

Pack you tent or hook up your high-clearance camper trailer and head to Cape Palmerston. Stake out your spot on the beach, overlooking the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Once you're set, relax or play on the beach, fish, birdwatch, beachcomb and more. Get up early to greet the sunrise and keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, turtles, dugongs and whales.

At night, sit around your camp fire (bring your own off-ground fire container and milled timber) and listen to the waves gently rolling into shore.

Getting there and getting around

You can bush camp on the eastern beach of Cape Palmerston, in Cape Palmerston National Park. The park is 115km south-east of Mackay, on the Central Queensland coast. You need a high clearance 4WD to get to the camp sites.

Camp sites are located along the eastern beach of Cape Palmerston on the Cape Palmerston drive.

  • Turn off the Bruce Highway at Ilbilbie (76km south of Mackay and 157km north of Marlborough) and drive east towards Greenhill.
  • Before Greenhill, turn left into Cape Palmerston Road.
  • The park boundary is about 6km along this road.
  • You will need to consult the map because the tracks and intersections aren't signposted.
  • Make sure you check the tide times before you drive on the beach as the tides vary up to 6m.
  • Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Cape Palmerston bush camping is open 24 hours a day. Check-in to your camp after 2pm and check-out by 11am on the day of departure.

Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Eastern beach, Cape Palmerston National Park.

Photo credit: Photo courtesy of John Atkinson.

Camping area features: camp in the fore dunes along the eastern coast of Cape Palmerston National Park.

Location: eastern beach of Cape Palmerston

Access: the camping area can be reached by high clearance 4WD only.

Number of sites: undefined. Maximum of 6 people per site.

Camp sites are suitable for: tent camping beside your car, camper trailers.

Camp site surface: sand.

Facilities: none.

Open fires: on-ground campfires prohibited. Above-ground fire containers permitted—bring your own clean, milled timber. Remove your fire container when you leave. Fuel stoves are recommended.

Generators: not allowed.

Essentials to bring: drinking water, food, rubbish bags, insect repellent, sun protection, first-aid kit and a reliable torch. Read more about before you visit.

Bookings: book online or learn about our camping booking options.

Mobile phone coverage: poor. Satellite phones, marine radios and Personal Locator Beacons (PLB’s) are recommended.

Visiting safely

For more safety information see Visiting Cape Palmerston safely and camp with care.

  • There are currently no park alerts for this park.