Capricornia Cays National Park Gladstone

The exceptional beauty of the islands within Capricornia Cays National Park will leave a lasting impression. Photo credit: Collette Bagnato © Queensland Government

Camping in Capricornia Cays

Capricornia Cays National Park offers varied camping experiences on three separate coral cays. Completely self-sufficient camping is available on Mast Head Island. Lady Musgrave Island and North West Island both have visitor facilities. Some commercial operators service the islands. Camping is not permitted on any other island.

If relying on commercial transportation to the islands ensure that you have organised your vessel passage prior to booking your camping holiday. See tourism information links for information on charter vessels servicing the islands.

Camping permits are required and fees apply. Obtain your permit before setting up camp. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your campsite.

Our precious Great Barrier Reef World Heritage islands are among the most pest-free islands in the world. They need your help to stay this way. Please Be pest-free! (PDF, 573.6KB) before your visit.

Guide to seasonal camping and day-use opening periods.

Island Day useCamping
North West Open all year Open Easter*–Australia Day†
Lady Musgrave Open all year Open Easter*–Australia Day†
Mast Head Easter*–14 October Open Easter*–14 October

*First day of Queensland Easter school holidays.

† Day after Australia Day long weekend or day after Australia Day public holiday (if holiday falls mid-week).

Bookings

Camping bookings can be made up to 11 months in advance. Advance bookings are essential for school holiday periods.

Guidelines for education groups booking camping

  • You must obtain a Marine Parks Permit (MPP) prior to camping or ensure your current permit will be in date at the time of camping. Email permits.central@des.qld.gov.au to request an Application Form or for any enquiries regarding your current MPP.
  • Camping bookings can only be made for North West Island and Lady Musgrave Island. Educational groups are not permitted to camp on Mast Head Island.
  • You must book outside of the Queensland and New South Wales school holiday periods.
  • Ensure you have a supervisor to student ratio of 1:8.
  • Maximum educational group size at any one time will be 25 for Lady Musgrave Island and 60 for North West Island.
  • Email QPWSgbrmciGBRMPR.Corro@des.qld.gov.au for approval prior to booking or if you have any questions regarding bookings.

Park-specific conditions

On arrival

Camp in designated areas only. Beach camping is not permitted. When selecting a site and setting up camp, consider others who may follow you. Do not spread your group too far apart. Keep together and let other campers use sites as well.

Warning! Coral cays are remote. Strong winds, rough seas and cyclones can isolate campers. Carry emergency food and water for several days, AM/FM radio, spare batteries and medical supplies.

  • All fuel and dive compressors must be kept in storage areas provided.
  • Dive compressors may only be used between 9am and 6pm.
  • Dive compressors are prohibited on Mast Head Island.
  • Fish cleaning scraps must be dumped more than 500m seaward of the reef edge. Vary dumping locations of fish scraps to stop sharks developing scavenging behaviour. Do not feed scraps to birds such as silver gulls. Dumping fish cleaning scraps other than this advice will be considered littering and offenders subject to compliance action.
  • Seasonal camping and/or visitor closures are enforced on all three islands (see table).
  • This reduces impact on turtle hatchlings, breeding seabirds and sensitive vegetation.

Read more about staying safe and looking after the park.

  • Set up camp surrounded by pisonia forest on the largest of the Capricornia cays, in the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • No camper trailer camping
    • No campfires
    • Toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • No generators allowed
    • No dogs permitted
  • Camp nestled in pisonia forest with endless reef and ocean views in the southern Great Barrier Reef and let lapping waves lull you to sleep.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • No camper trailer camping
    • No campfires
    • Toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • No generators allowed
    • No dogs permitted
  • Discover your own Robinson Crusoe-style wilderness experience on this seemingly remote coral cay, in the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

    • Tent camping
    • No caravan camping
    • No camper trailer camping
    • No campfires
    • No toilets
    • No showers
    • No barbecue
    • No picnic tables
    • No wheelchair access
    • No generators allowed
    • No dogs permitted