Visiting Goold Island safely
Getting there and getting around
The island is about 17 kilometres offshore from the township of Cardwell, approximately 160 kilometres north of Townsville and 180 kilometres south of Cairns.
A ferry service is available from Cardwell and times and services may vary. Advance bookings are required. For further information and bookings contact Rainforest and Reef Information Centre or Absolute North Charters.
For people with private boats there are three boat ramps in Cardwell, two of which are accessible only at high tide. The other is three kilometres south of Cardwell and is accessible on most tides.
Goold Island is rugged and there are no wheelchair-accessible facilities or tracks on the island.
- For your safety, leave your itinerary with a friend or relative and advise them when you return.
- Always carry water, wear a hat and sturdy footwear, and try to walk in the cooler part of the day.
- There is a water tank present, but it is recommended that you bring your own drinking water. Treat all water before drinking.
- Creek beds and rock surfaces can be slippery. Care is required when traversing these surfaces.
- During the warmer months, dangerous stinging jellyfish may be present in the waters around Goold Island. During this time it is not advisable to swim. Wear protective clothing if you must enter the water.
- Avoid bites from sandflies and mosquitoes by using insect repellent and wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
- Be aware that estuarine crocodiles can occur in the waters around island national parks. Remember, your safety is our concern but your responsibility—always be croc wise in croc country.
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! before your visit.
Essentials to bring
Pack the right equipment including:
- drinking water
- warm and waterproof clothing
- sturdy, reliable footwear
- hat, sunscreen and sunglasses
- basic first-aid kit including space blanket
- Lucinda tide times
- gas or liquid fuel stove with spare fuel
- cooking utensils and equipment
- torch or headlamp
- quality lightweight and waterproof tent
- insect repellent and clothing to avoid insect bites
- biodegradable toilet paper
- hand trowel for digging a hole where toilets are not provided
- waterproof clothes bag
- strong rubbish bag
There is a water tank on the island, but it is recommended that you bring your own drinking water.
Goold Island National Park is open 24 hours a day. Camping areas may be closed in extreme weather conditions or when prescribed burns are in progress.
Permits and fees
Camping permits are required and fees apply.
- Book your campsite online.
- If you cannot book online, see camping bookings for other options.
Permits are required for all commercial and group activities within the park.
Domestic animals are not permitted in Goold Island National Park.
Climate and weather
Goold Island National Park has a tropical climate. In summer, daytime temperatures can exceed 35 degrees Celsius. The cooler months of the year, from April to September, are the best times to visit.
Daytime temperatures and humidity can be high at any time of the year and nights can be cool. Please carry suitable clothing to accommodate all temperature extremes.
Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology. For more information see the tourism information links.
Fuel and supplies
Goold Island is remote and isolated. Visitors should be well prepared and self-sufficient before setting off from the mainland. Fuel and supplies are available at Cardwell, Tully and Lucinda. For more information see the tourism information links.
- There are currently no park alerts for this park.