Hope Islands National Park (CYPAL) Tropical North Queensland

Photo credit: © Queensland Government

About Hope Islands

    Park features

    Hope Islands National Park (CYPAL) is made up of four islands, East and West Hope islands, Struck Island and Snapper Island. East and West Hope islands are low-lying cays, formed in two different ways. West Hope Island is a shingle cay formed from piles of loose shingle (coral debris). Only hardy plants, such as mangroves, sea purslane and native Chinese lantern, grow on such cays. Conversely, East Hope is a typical sand cay, developed by currents and waves depositing fine reef sediments. Beach almond and red coondoo grow in the centre of East Hope Island, while sea trumpet, silverbush and nickernut grow around the edges.

    Several species of sea and woodland birds breed on the islands. A colony of pied imperial-pigeons (Ducula bicolor), numbering in the thousands, has been recorded on the Hope Islands, and West Hope Island is a significant seabird-nesting site. These islands are considered among the most important bird-nesting sites in the northern Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

    The islands are part of the traditional sea country of the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people, who continue to hunt, fish and collect in the area. Lieutenant James Cook named the islands in 1770 when he struck a nearby reef. The reefs around the islands have also claimed a number of other ships in the past.

    Read more about the nature, culture and history of the Hope Islands National Park.

    Looking after the park

    • Everything in the park, living or dead, is protected. Please leave everything as you found it.
    • Camp only in the sites provided. Camping permits are required.
    • Never remove vegetation for firewood or clear vegetation for campsites.
    • Avoid bird-nesting areas and stay clear of roosting birds. Take heed of island closures and restrictions during the seabird-nesting season.
    • Never attempt to feed birds, fish or other wildlife—it is prohibited as it can affect the health of wild animals.
    • Avoid touching, kicking or standing on coral.
    • Lighting of fires is prohibited, however, gas stoves are permitted.
    • Firearms are prohibited in the national park.
    • Take out everything that you bring on to the islands, including all of your rubbish. Disposing of garbage in the marine park is prohibited.
    • Minimise your use of soaps and detergents as they can affect water quality.
    • Use toilet facilities provided to avoid the spread of bacteria.
    • Regularly check clothing and shoes for burrs from Mossman River grass (Cenchrus echinatus). This plant is considered a pest and if burrs are found please dispose of them in the composting pit toilet provided at the campground.

    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

    Hope Islands National Park (CYPAL) is managed by Queensland Parks Wildlife Service to preserve the highly significant natural and cultural values of the islands while also providing and managing a range of visitor settings.

    The reef and waters surrounding the islands are protected within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The reef and intertidal area surrounding the islands are managed under the provisions of the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

    Complementary management of waters adjacent to these islands is vital and continued close co-operation between QPWS and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) is essential.

    The national park is managed in accordance with the Hope Islands National Park Management Plan (PDF, 330.0KB) .

    Tourism information links

    For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.