Things to do
Camping and accommodation
Goold Island National Park has designated camping areas at the Spit (Western Beach) with facilities, and camping without facilities at Wilderness Cove and Southern Beach. Camping is not allowed elsewhere. You will need to bring water, rubbish bags and a fuel stove (open fires are prohibited).
Camping permits are required and must be obtained before you arrive on the island, and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your campsite. The island is extremely popular during the winter months and may book out well in advance.
- Find out more about camping on Goold Island
- Book your camp site online
- If you cannot book online, see camping bookings for other options.
There is no alternative accommodation on Goold Island. A range of holiday accommodation is available in and around Cardwell, including motels, backpackers' hostels and caravan parks. For more information see the tourism information links below.
Goold Island National Park has two walking tracks. Always wear a hat and sunscreen and carry drinking water with you, as there is little shade.
Western Beach walk—4km return (1hr) Grade: moderate
This walk through open woodland starts at the campground at Western Beach and finishes at the southern end of the beach.
Island coast walk—13km loop (5hrs) Grade: moderate
Rock-hop and beach walk around the coastline of Goold Island. This walk is only possible at low tide.
Picnic and day-use areas
Picnic tables, a shelter shed, a gas barbecue and toilets are provided at the campground at Western Beach.
Boating is a popular activity in the marine park waters surrounding the island. Yachts, motorised boats, jet skis, canoes and kayaks are all regularly seen. Due to the presence of estuarine crocodiles, please read the guidelines on Crocodiles—Be croc wise.
The Hinchinbrook Plan of Management sets guidelines for access to the park by large vessels and for motorised water sports. People using the marine park should consult the plan to find out where various activities and vessels are allowed.
Zoning rules apply for the waters that surround the island. For detailed zoning maps and information for the area, see the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority website.
The Southern Beach camping area is accessible only to sea kayakers.
Fishing is not permitted in the freshwater creeks on the island.
Zoning rules apply for the marine park waters that surround the island. For detailed zoning maps and information see the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority website.
For details of fish size and bag limits for popular fish species, see Queensland Fisheries.
There are many species of birds on the island. Sulphur-crested cockatoos, with their loud raucous screeching, are a common sight on the island. Pied-imperial pigeons migrate from New Guinea yearly, to breed and raise their young. They can be seen flying in flocks from the mainland to the nearby Brook Islands from September to April. Noisy pittas and orange-footed scrubfowls are commonly seen around the camping area.
At low tide, among the mangrove forest, a cacophony of slurps, pops and clicks emanates from the glistening blue-grey mud. Snapping shrimps, crabs and mudskippers warn intruders or signal amorous intentions. Mangroves use sunlight, water and nutrients from the mud. Fallen leaves, both live and decaying provide many of inhabitants with important nutrients—the first step in the perpetual cycling of nutrients between marine and coastal ecosystems.
Goold Island is surrounded by diverse marine habitats such as mangroves, fringing reef and seagrass beds. These habitats provide food and shelter to animals including dolphins, dugongs, turtles and estuarine crocodiles.
- There are currently no park alerts for this park.