Visiting Curtis Island safely
Curtis Island is accessible only by boat from the mainland. Popular departure points are Gladstone, The Narrows, Port Alma and Rosslyn Bay. There is a regular vehicle and passenger ferry service from Gladstone Marina to the southern end of the island. See tourism information for contact details.
Curtis Island National Park is on the east coast of the island. Access to camping areas and other areas in the national park is by 4WD, boat or by hiking.
- Carry drinking water. On hot days, drink plenty of water and stay in the shade if possible.
- Wear suitable footwear.
- Take precautions to avoid sunburn. Wear sun-safe clothing, sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat.
- This is a remote area and help is a long way away – Always tell others your plans, where you will be and when you are expected back.
- Tides, currents and prevailing weather conditions can be dangerous - Never dive, snorkel or swim alone. Anchor boats securely.
- Be prepared for emergencies. Carry emergency food, water, AM/FM radio, spare batteries and medical supplies. Mobile phone reception is unreliable.
- Carry a hand-held EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon), Personal Locator Beacon (PLB) or satellite phone. Register your EPIRB before departure. For further information on how to obtain and register an EPIRB or PLB contact the Australian Maritime Safety Authority on 1800 406 406 (business hours),or via email: email@example.com. EPIRBS and satellite phones can be hired from various outlets.
The 4WD tracks in Curtis Island National Park and Conservation Park are rough and easily affected by wet weather. You must carry all of your own recovery equipment as there will often be no one around to help if you get into trouble. There are no vehicle repair or recovery services on the island.
- Stay with your children at all times.
- Stay on formed walking tracks and do not shortcut.
- Wear sturdy footwear, not thongs.
- Walk in groups.
- Avoid walking in the hottest part of the day.
- Carry sufficient drinking water.
- Protect yourself from the sun.
- Look for and observe all signs.
Walking over sandblows or up steep sections of tracks can be very tiring. On hot days, some people have suffered fatigue and heat exhaustion.
Long distance walking
Long distance walkers should take a map, compass, personal locator beacon (EPIRB), food, drinking water, appropriate clothing and first-aid kit.
Plan for your own safety. Advise a reliable friend or family member of the itinerary. Be aware that, this person (not rangers) is responsible for alerting police if things go wrong. Work out a contingency plan. Always check conditions just before you start and observe any closures or signs.
For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
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! before your visit.
Essentials to bring
Preparation is the key to a safe and enjoyable visit. Make sure you bring:
- Plenty of water. Allow five litres per person each day, plus extra in case of emergency.
- First aid kit and know how to use it. Ensure it includes tweezers as ticks are common, particularly during summer.
- Fires: Prohibited (open and closed). Gas or liquid fuelled stoves for cooking purposes are permitted.
- Strong, animal-proof containers for food and rubbish. Birds and mice eat through thin plastic bags. Bins are not provided so take your rubbish with you when you leave.
- protective clothing, sunscreen, hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun
- suitable footwear for walking or hiking
- insect repellent.
Avoid exotic introductions
When packing, check your camping equipment and supplies are not contaminated with soil, ants, insets, rats, mice or plant seeds. Non-native introductions will permanently alter island ecology and could impact on future camping or visiting opportunities.
Curtis Island National Park and Conservation Park are open 24 hours a day. For your safety, drive and walk in daylight hours only.
Permits and fees
Camping permits are required for camping in the national park and fees apply. Visitor numbers are limited to ensure a quality experience. You will need to book your site and purchase your permit in advance. Display your camping tag prominently on your tent—there are fines for camping without it.
Commercial photography permits are required if you intend to sell any photographs taken of the national park or conservation park. Organised event permits are required for organised group activities that may interfere with general public use. Commercial activity permits are required for any commercial activities. View permits and fees for further information.
Domestic animals are prohibited in the national and conservation parks.
Climate and weather
The region has a sub-tropical climate with an average daytime temperature of 27°C. Beware of cyclones during warmer months.
Fuel and supplies
Southend township has a general store where supplies can be purchased, it is advised that visitors bring their own fuel to the island.
- Turtle Street Camp site Upgrade 1 April to 30 June 2023