Hinchinbrook Island National Park Tropical North Queensland

The North Shepherd Bay track starts at North Macushla camping area and finishes at North Shepherd Bay. Photo credit: Evan Ivey © Queensland Government

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

North Shepherd Bay track

Walk from the beach, through cool and shady rainforest, to South Shepherd Bay's serene and tranquil beach.

Journey type
5km return Start and finish points are the same and the traveller must return via the same path
Time suggested
Allow 1–2hrs return.
Moderate (walk)

Accessible by

  • Boat

Journey facilities

  • Walking

Head off from North Macushla camping area through cool forest to North Shepard Bay. Listen to the multitude of bird calls that fill the air. How many different kinds can you hear?

If it’s low tide when you arrive at the beautiful paperbark-lined beach, explore the lines of flotsam and jetsam. Watch tiny crabs scurry out of your way, and follow the beach stone-curlews as they patrol the tideline.

Walk northwards along the beach to Cape Richards—the northernmost point on the island. The views from here are breathtaking and you’ll find it hard to tear yourself away. We want you to stay safe so be sure to stay outside the restricted access area (PDF, 122.2KB) .

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

North Shepherd Bay track is in Hinchinbrook Island National Park, 8km off the Queensland coast at Cardwell.

  • The track starts at the North Macushla camping area, in the north of Hinchinbrook Island.
  • After 1.3km, the track divides with the right hand branch heading to South Shepherd Bay and the left hand branch continuing on to North Shepherd Bay.
  • The track can be accessed by private vessel lauched from Cardwell or Lucinda.

Private vessel

  • If you plan to head to the island in your own boat, first obtain a copy of the Hinchinbrook Marine Wonders brochure (PDF, 3.36MB) 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.

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

Before you visit

Opening hours

North Shepherd Bay track is open 24 hours a day.

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

Visiting safely

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

  • There are currently no park alerts for this park.