Denham Group National Park Tropical North Queensland

Boydong Island, Denham Group National Park Photo credit: Queensland Government

Visiting Denham Group safely

    Getting there and getting around

    The Denham Group National Park is located off the east coast of Cape York Peninsula, adjacent to Jardine River National Park. The park is approximately 700km north-west of Cairns and about 50km south of the tip of the peninsula. Access to the park is by private boat only.

    Denham Group National Park consists of Aplin, Milman, Cholmondeley, Wallace, Sinclair and Cairncross islets and Boydong Island.

    To protect the important conservation values of this national park, there are restrictions on access to some of the islands.

    • To protect significant seabird and turtle nesting sites, access is not permitted to Milman Islet (PDF, 256.3KB) and Aplin Islet (PDF, 232.8KB) . These two islands are designated restricted access areas under the Nature Conservation Act 1992.
    • The waters surrounding Aplin and Millman islets are Preservation (Pink) Zone—no access without written permission. See Great Barrier Reef Marine Park zoning information and maps for more information.
    • Cholmondeley and Wallace islets are important nesting areas for seabirds. Avoid landing on these islands if seabirds are nesting. Nesting birds are easily alarmed and will leave their nests if disturbed. Eggs and chicks are then vulnerable to heat, cold and predators and can die quickly.
    • Sinclair Islet is an important nesting site for hawksbill turtles and seabirds. Going ashore to these islands during the seabird breeding season from 1 September to 31 March should be avoided. Hawksbill turtles nest year round and can also be easily disturbed.
    • Cairncross Islets and Boydong Island are important nesting sites for pied imperial-pigeons. Going ashore to these islands during the breeding season from 1 September to 31 March should be avoided.
    Image of a dangerous stinging box jellyfish (stinger) which swimmers need to be aware of.

    Be aware of dangerous stinging box jellyfish (stingers)

    Photo credit: Jamie Seymour © James Cook University

    Staying safe

    • Wear sunscreen, a hat, insect repellent, protective clothing and sturdy footwear.
    • Ensure you carry plenty of drinking water.
    • Be aware of wind, current direction and tides.
    • Be aware that crocodiles can turn up anywhere in croc country, including tidal reaches of rivers, along beaches, on offshore islands and cays in the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait, and in freshwater lagoons, rivers, and swamps. Crocodiles are dangerous and attacks can be fatal. Remember to be crocwise in croc country.
    • Dangerous stinging jellyfish (‘stingers’) may be present in the coastal waters at any time, but 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.

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

    Before you visit

    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.

    Essentials to bring

    Denham Group is remote and there are no facilities—visitors need to be well prepared.

    • Be self-sufficient in food, water and first-aid supplies.
    • Bring sunscreen, insect repellent, hat, suitable clothing and sturdy footwear.
    • Carry rubbish bags to take your rubbish away with you—bins are not provided.

    Opening hours

    Denham Group National Park is open 24 hours a day but there are access restrictions to some of the islands. See Getting there and getting around for more information.

    Permits and fees

    Permits are required for commercial or organised group activities. View permits and fees for further information.


    Domestic animals are not permitted in Denham Group National Park or on tidal lands adjacent to the national park within the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park. Tidal areas include beaches, rocks and mangroves.

    Climate and weather

    Denham Group National Park has a tropical climate. Summer can be very hot, humid and wet with maximum temperatures reaching over 32 °C. From December to April, storms and heavy downpours are common. During the cooler, drier months from May to September the weather is pleasantly warm, with reduced humidity.

    Visitors should check weather conditions and obtain updated forecasts before venturing out in recreational vessels. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

    Fuel and supplies

    There are no facilities on any of the islands in Denham Group National Park. Fuel and supplies are available on the mainland at Bamaga, approximately 70 km north-west of the park.

    For more information, see tourism information links.

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.