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About Gloucester Islands

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Getting there and getting around

Gloucester Islands National Park is more remote than some of the other parks in the Whitsundays, lying directly north of Cape Gloucester. Access is by private or commercial boat from Airlie Beach or Dingo Beach. Some commercial transfer companies drop off and collect campers. See tourism information links and arrange your passage before booking your campsite.

If travelling by private vessel getting to the park can present navigational challenges. Always take the weather and tidal influences into account when boating in the Whitsundays. Ensure you read Planning your trip to the Whitsundays and Getting there and getting around the Whitsundays before your departure.

Wheelchair accessibility

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities at Gloucester Islands National Park.

Park features

More remote than other parks in the Whitsundays, these scenic continental islands offer a quiet retreat. Gloucester Island, the largest of the group, is home to a colony of endangered Proserpine rock-wallabies. The islands and surrounding waters are protected by the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Camping and accommodation


Most of the Whitsunday islands are national parks and great places for camping. Choose from a range of camping opportunities, depending on your needs.

Facilities vary, but if present are limited to toilets and/or picnic tables. Campers must be self-sufficient. Visitor numbers are limited to ensure a quality experience. You will need to book your site in advance and fees apply. Display your camping permit tag prominently on your tent—there are fines for camping without it.

Camp at Bona or East Side bays (Gloucester Island), Armit Island or Saddleback Island. Bona Bay (Gloucester Island), the largest campground, has good anchorage, toilets, picnic tables and a shelter shed. East Side Bay (Gloucester) is set between two rocky headlands. Of all the islands in this group, Saddleback is the closest to the mainland.

Things to do

Picnic and day-use areas

Some of the islands in the Whitsundays offer picnic areas, most near a beach. Facilities vary, but may include picnic tables and toilets. For a complete list check the Whitsunday visitor facilities and activities summary (PDF, 1.9M). Open fires and ash-producing stoves are not permitted on national park islands or intertidal lands adjacent to national park islands. Use gas or fuel stoves for cooking.

Boating and fishing

This area has been described as a boating paradise with deep blue waters, tropical weather and secluded islands to explore.

Visit the Whitsunday national park islands web page for vital information on boating and fishing.


Go birdwatching to see many species. Birds are plentiful, particularly from October to April when thousands of waders migrate here to nest. Some restrictions to activity apply during this period. See Take care of nesting birds for further information.

Things to know before you go

Ensure you read things to know before you go to national parks of the Whitsundays.

Staying safe

The islands are isolated. To enjoy a safe visit, read more about staying safe in national parks of the Whitsundays.

Looking after the park

Please read Looking after national parks of the Whitsundays.

Be pest-free!

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, 574K) before your visit.

Before you visit, please check that your boat, clothing, footwear and gear are free of soil, seeds, parts of plants, eggs, ants and insects (and their eggs), spiders, lizards, toads, rats and mice.

Be sure to:

  • Unpack your camping gear and equipment and check it carefully as pests love to hide in stored camping gear.
  • Clean soil from footwear and gear as invisible killers such as viruses, bacteria and fungi are carried in soil.
  • Check for seeds in pockets, cuffs and hook and loop fastening strips, such as Velcro.

While you are on the islands, remove soil, weeds, seeds and pests from your boat, gear and clothes before moving to a new site. Wrap seeds and plant material, and place them in your rubbish.

Everyone in Queensland has a General Biosecurity Obligation to minimise the biosecurity risk posed by their activities. This includes the risk of introducing and spreading weeds and pests to island national parks.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

Read about managing national parks of the Whitsundays.

Tourism information links

See tourism information links for national parks of the Whitsundays.

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
5 December 2017