Curtis Island National Park and Conservation Park Gladstone

Photo credit: Sherri Tanner-McAllister © Queensland Government

Things to do

    Image of a man walking on Curtis Island which you need to be well prepared for.

    Be well prepared when walking on Curtis Island.

    Photo credit: D. Sansom © Queensland Government

    Image of a Capricorn yellow chat.

    Capricorn yellow chat.

    Photo credit: D. Shearer © Queensland Government

    Camping and accommodation


    The picturesque camping areas of Curtis Island can be reached by 4WD or boat. Bush camping is available in three designated areas of the national park. All campers must be self-sufficient as there are no facilities provided.

    Camping permits are required and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your campsite.

    Other accommodation

    In the township of Southend, about 1km from the ferry landing, Gladstone Regional Council operates a camping area with shelter shed, gas barbecues and toilets. Camping fees apply. Lodge accommodation is also available in Southend.


    There are limited walking tracks, but you can spend two to three days hiking along the east coast of the island. You must be self-sufficient for this exposed and challenging hike.

    Please read walking safely before you walk on Curtis Island.


    Four-wheel-drive tracks wind their way north to Connors Bluff and the camping areas of Turtle Street and Joey Lees. At the former Oceanview property gate a track to the west takes you to Grahams Creek and Ship hill. All vehicles must be registered and driven by licenced drivers. Restrictions apply for conditionally registered vehicles. Queensland Transport road rules apply while driving on the island.

    Please read driving safely before driving on Curtis Island.

    Boating and fishing

    Amazing marine life surrounds the island. Access to Curtis Island by private boat is allowed. The natural sand blow at Yellow Patch provides a sheltered anchorage for boats.

    Please take care when boating.

    • Anchor with care and on sand when possible. If you cannot avoid coral, use reef picks and motor towards your anchor when hauling in.
    • Take care of wildlife. Turtles feed in the surrounding marine park waters and the islands are important turtle rookeries.

    There is a range of fishing opportunities on the island, including estuarine, reef and rock fishing. Make sure you understand zoning and fishing regulations before you go.

    • Know your marine park zones and always consult a zoning map before fishing or collecting. For detailed zoning maps and information read about the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park or visit the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority website.
    • Know your fishing regulations. Size and maximum bag limits apply to popular fish species. Queensland fisheries legislation applies in zones where fishing is permitted. See the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries for further information.
    • Collecting any coral, living or dead, is not permitted anywhere. Limited collecting of shells (5 of any unprotected species) is permitted in the blue and yellow zones only.

    Viewing wildlife

    During your stay, you will enjoy seeing a variety of animals and plants on the island including the rare black-necked stork. Keep an eye out for the endangered Capricorn yellow chat. Recent surveys indicate that the total adult population is approximately 300 in the three localities it is known to occur, Curtis Island being one.

    Curtis Island is also home to nesting flatback turtles. Visit between October and January to see this threatened species nesting high on the dunes. It is important that you do not disturb nesting turtles by following our turtle viewing guidelines.

    Other things to do

    Swimming and snorkelling are popular on Curtis Island. Take care on the eastern side of the island, it is exposed and subject to rough weather and strong currents. Alternatively, take a break on the bright yellow sands and enjoy wildlife sightings from the beach.

    Please snorkel and swim with care.

    • Be careful with your fins—careless kicking can damage coral.
    • Try not to stir up sediment—murky waters stress plants and animals.
    • Beware of marine stingers between October and May. It is advisable to wear protective clothing if swimming or snorkelling during the marine stinger season.