Visiting Halifax Bay Wetlands safely
Halifax Bay Wetlands National Park is closed throughout the wet season from 1 December to 31 March inclusive—roads into and on the park become impassable for extended periods and are closed to public access. These dates may vary depending on weather and road conditions, and roads may also be closed after heavy rain. Observe road closures and restrictions, as penalties can apply. Check park alerts and Queensland Traffic for local road conditions. The Bureau of Meteorology provides updated weather reports.
By road, Halifax Bay Wetland National Park camping is 20km south-east of Ingham. The half hour drive passes through cane fields and the Orient cattle station. From Ingham, travel 4km south on the Bruce Highway and turn left onto Tokalon Road. Travel 2.7km along Tokalon Road, past the small settlement of Blackrock on the left and on to Orient Road. Follow Orient Road from Blackrock for 6km over Trebonne Creek. Keep following Orient Road, which becomes a gravel road, for 6.9km through cane fields and cattle pasture. At the junction of Orient Road and Bronte Road continue to follow Bronte Road to the left, 4.7km through the cattle pasture to the cattle grid that marks the boundary of the national park. From here follow the signs to either of the two camping areas, which are located beside Bronte Creek and what is locally known as 'brackish waterhole', several kilometres from the national park boundary.
If travelling north from Townsville, the turn off to Tokalon Road is 2.6km north of the Toobanna School.
Access should only be attempted in dry conditions and four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended. Access roads are suitable for off-road caravans and camper trailers.
Due to the presence of multiple vehicle tracks throughout the national park, visitors are advised to use GPS mapping to navigate the area with confidence.
There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities at Halifax Bay Wetlands National Park.
Halifax Bay Wetlands is semi-remote and help can be hours away. Remember to tell a responsible person where you are going and when you expect to return. Have a contingency plan in place if you fail to contact them by the agreed time. If you change your plans, inform them. Be aware that mobile phone coverage is limited.
- Carry at least one form of communication equipment. Satellite phones and personal locator beacons (PLBs) are the most effective. Mobile phone coverage is limited and should not be relied upon as the only form of emergency communication. In case of an emergency, if network coverage is available, dial Triple Zero (000).
- Take care around creek banks.
- Supervise children closely.
- Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat and a long-sleeved shirt, even on cloudy days.
- Carry adequate drinking water. Treat all water before drinking.
- Estuarine crocodiles live in the creek system. Please remember to Be crocwise in croc country.
For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
Be crocwise in croc country!
Estuarine crocodiles live in Halifax Bay Wetlands National Park. Crocodiles are dangerous and attacks can be fatal. Never take unnecessary risks in crocodile habitat. Visitors are responsible for their own safety, so please follow these guidelines and always Be crocwise in croc country.
- You need to take responsibility for your own safety in croc country.
- Expect crocodiles in ALL north Queensland waterways, even if there is no warning sign. Warning signs are only placed in areas where crocodiles are known to frequent. Ignoring signs that are there to protect you puts your life at risk. But note that just because there are no signs, does not mean there are no crocodiles.
- Just because you can’t see a crocodile doesn’t mean there is not one close by. Crocodiles can be very patient, and can stay underwater and unseen for up to four hours without even a breath.
- Leave the lure. People have been attacked while recovering a fishing lure, even though they didn’t see a crocodile there all day.
- The smaller the vessel, the greater the risk – crocodiles have taken people from small vessels such as kayaks. Canoes, kayaks and other small craft are not suitable in crocodile habitat areas.
- Camp at least 2 metres above the high water mark and at least 50 metres from the water’s edge. Crocodiles have attacked people in tents pitched too close to the water.
- Bin your food and fish scraps – don’t leave food, fish scraps or bait near the water, around your camp site or at a boat ramp. Crocodiles will be attracted by an easy meal, and this puts subsequent visitors to the area at risk.
- Don’t be the bait. Keep your arms and legs inside your boat at all times when fishing.
- Your boat is your barrier. Keep the boat between yourself and the water when launching or retrieving it.
- Crocodiles can lunge at people and animals at the water’s edge. They are ambush predators, and you may not see them. Stand back from the water when fishing or cast netting and never stand on logs or branches overhanging the water. Wash dishes and prepare food well away from the water’s edge.
- Be extra cautious at night, dusk and dawn. Crocodiles are more likely to attack during these times.
- Breeding female crocodiles will defend their nests aggressively. September to April is breeding season for crocodiles – stay away and keep children away from crocodile nests.
- Crocodiles are more likely to hunt prey during the warmer months of the wet season. Be extra vigilant with your children near waterways at this time.
Crocodiles fill an essential role as key predators in the aquatic and estuarine ecosystem.
For more information, see crocodiles—Be crocwise.
Essentials to bring
Halifax Bay Wetlands is a semi-remote area and visitors must be self-sufficient. Remember to pack:
- a first-aid kit including a space blanket
- adequate clothing including wet-weather gear
- sturdy, reliable footwear
- a hat, sunscreen and sunglasses
- insect repellent
- adequate water-carrying containers
- drinking water
- at least one form of emergency communication equipment—mobile phone coverage is limited
- rubbish bags
- firewood (collecting firewood in Halifax Bay Wetland National Park is prohibited).
Halifax Bay Wetlands National Park is closed throughout the wet season from 1 December to 31 March inclusive—roads into and on the park become impassable for extended periods and are closed to public access. These dates may vary depending on weather and road conditions, and roads may also be closed after heavy rain. Additional closures may occur for management purposes including pest plant and animal control. Observe road closures and restrictions, as penalties can apply. Check park alerts and Queensland Traffic for local road conditions. The Bureau of Meteorology provides updated weather reports.
Permits and fees
Camping permits are required for all camping areas in Halifax Bay Wetlands National Park and fees apply.
All camping must be booked prior to arriving in the area—bookings can be made up to six months in advance. For information on how to obtain an e-permit see camping information.
Various activities conducted in national parks may require a permit. These activities include commercial tours, social events such as weddings, organised group visits, school excursions, scientific research, and sale of photographs or vision of Halifax Bay Wetlands National Park. See park permits and policies for further information.
Domestic animals are prohibited in Halifax Bay Wetlands National Park.
Climate and weather
High rainfall summers and drier winters characterise the north-east Queensland tropical coast. Daytime temperatures and humidity can be high at any time of the year and nights can be very cool. In July the average overnight minimum temperatures are between 9°C and 18°C. July to October are generally the driest months, but heavy rain can fall at any time.
For more information see the tourism information links.
Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.
Fuel and supplies
The closest major towns with fuel and supplies available are Ingham (20km away) and Townsville (100km away).