Hinchinbrook Island National Park Tropical North Queensland

Don't miss the sunset from South Zoe Bay camping area. Photo credit: Emma Schmidt © Queensland Government

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

South Zoe Bay camping area

Whether you arrive by boat or on foot from the Thorsborne Trail, this spectacular beach-side camping area will take your breath way.

Accessible by

  • Boat
  • Canoe or kayak

Campground facilities

  • Toilets (non-flush)
  • Picnic tables
  • Anchoring allowed
  • Tent camping
  • Long walk to tent
  • Walking
  • Boating
  • Swimming
  • Fishing

Right at the mouth of South Zoe Creek on spectacular Zoe Bay, this camping area is the epitome of a tropical island paradise. Tuck yourself in under the thick canopy and take in the spell-binding ocean views from your tent, or grab a towel and head up the track to stunning Zoe Falls.

From the rock face high above, water cascades over cliffs and ledges, gathering in pools and eddying around obstacles before the final plunge into the impossibly blue pool below. Slip into the pool and wash away the dust and salt of the day.

This island park is part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, famed for its superlative natural beauty, outstanding examples of reef ecosystem development, evolutionary history and amazing diversity.

Getting there and getting around

South Zoe Bay camping area is in Hinchinbrook Island National Park, 8km off the Queensland coast at Cardwell.

  • The camping area is on the Thorsborne Trail on the eastern coast of Hinchinbrook Island, located south of Thorsborne Bay and north of Mulligan Bay.
  • You can also book it without walking the trail, accessing the site by private vessel launched from Cardwell or Lucinda, or by sea kayak.

Private vessel

  • If you plan to head to the island in your own boat, first obtain a copy of the Hinchinbrook Marine Wonders brochure for information on transit lanes and boat speeds to aid dugong and turtle conservation.
  • Access to some areas of Hinchinbrook Island is weather and tide dependent and a good knowledge of the waters and potential hazards is essential.
  • Check local tide tables and weather conditions at the Bureau of Meteorology before you set out.
  • Read boat and fish with care for tips on boating and fishing safety and caring for parks.

Before you visit

Opening hours

South Zoe Bay camping area is open 24 hours a day. Check-in to your camp after 2pm and check-out by 11am on the day of departure.

Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Camping area features: bush camping with beach access.

Location: eastern side of Hinchinbrook Island, south of Ramsay Bay and north of Mulligan Bay.

Access: the camping area can be reached by boat. Access is weather-dependent and a good knowledge of the waters and hazards is essential.

Number of sites: open area without separately defined sites.

Camp sites are suitable for: tent camping.

Camp site surface: sand, dirt and grass.

Facilities: toilet, food boxes and picnic tables.

Open fires: prohibited.

Generators: not permitted.

Essentials to bring: drinking water, rubbish bags, insect repellent and fuel stove. Read more about before you visit.

Bookings: book online or learn about our camping booking options. Advance bookings are recommended for school holiday periods.

Mobile phone coverage: not available.

Visiting safely

For more safety information see Visiting Hinchinbrook Island safely and camp with care.