Hinchinbrook Island National Park Tropical North Queensland

The rugged beauty of Hinchinbrook Island National Park must be seen to be believed! Photo credit: Maxime Coquard © Tourism and Events Queensland

About Hinchinbrook Island

    Park features

    Protected since 1932, Hinchinbrook Island is one of Australia's largest island national parks (39,900ha). It is within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and is separated from the mainland by the scenic Hinchinbrook Channel.

    Surrounded by marine park waters, the fringing reefs and seagrass beds are home to some vulnerable species, including dugong and green turtles.

    Hinchinbrook Island is renowned for its range of habitats including misty, heath-covered mountains sandy beaches, paperbark and palm wetlands, and extensive woodlands. Patches of lush rainforest and eucalypt forest descend to a mangrove-fringed channel in the west, with sweeping bays and rocky headlands along the east coast. The island’s mangrove forests are some of the richest and most varied in Australia and are an important breeding ground for many marine animals.

    For thousands of years the Bandjin Aboriginal people lived on Hinchinbrook Island. Middens and fish traps are reminders of their special culture.

    The island’s Thorsborne Trail is recognised world-wide and was named after local naturalists Margaret and Arthur Thorsborne.

    Looking after the park

    • Flights within 1500 vertical feet above ground or sea level are not permitted over Hinchinbrook Island. See the aircraft operators information sheet or the Hinchinbrook Plan of Management for more information.
    • Do not feed the animals, including fish—it can affect their health and alter the natural population balance.
    • Domestic animals are not permitted on Hinchinbrook Island National Park or on tidal lands, including beaches, rocks, mangrove areas and dunes, within the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park.
    • Lighting fires is prohibited. Please bring fuel stoves
    • Take rubbish with you when you leave.
    • When boating, go slowly over seagrass beds—dugongs feed here.
    • In areas where toilets are not provided, bury human waste at least 15cm deep and 100m from watercourses, tracks and camping areas.
    • Take all sanitary items, including disposable nappies with you, as they do not decompose.
    • Everything in the park is protected. Please leave everything as you found it.

    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, 573.6KB) 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

    Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) manages Hinchinbrook Island National Park to preserve the area’s natural, cultural and scenic values. Over most of the island, only self-reliant, nature-based and ecologically sustainable recreation is permitted. The majority of the natural environment remains undisturbed and preserved under various acts, legislation and management policies.

    The Hinchinbrook Island National Park management plan (PDF, 2.6MB) guides the management of the park and, to help with the protection and integrity of the coastal areas, the Cardwell–Hinchinbrook Regional Coastal management plan has been developed.

    To help with the protection and integrity of the coastal areas surrounding the park a Cardwell–Hinchinbrook regional coastal management plan has been developed.

    Hinchinbrook Island National Park lies within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Management of the World Heritage Area is coordinated through a partnership between the Commonwealth and Queensland governments, the Traditional Owners and the wider community.

    GBRMPA has implemented the Hinchinbrook Plan of Management in partnership with local communities through the Hinchinbrook Local Advisory Committee. This plan ensures best practices within the marine park enabling sustainable use and preservation for future generations. This plan covers activities within the marine park, including vessel size limits, area access, use of various water sports, aircrafts, commercial use and tourism activities.

    Tourism information links

    Rainforest and Reef Information Centre
    142 Victoria Street
    Cardwell Qld 4849
    Phone: (07) 4066 8601
    Email: info@greatgreenwaytoursim.com

    Townsville Bulletin Square Visitor Information Centre
    Flinders Street
    Townsville City Qld 4810
    ph (07) 4721 3660 or 1800 801 902
    email flinders@tel.com.au

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.