Visiting Hope Islands safely
Getting there and getting around
East and West Hope islands are 8–10 kilometres offshore, approximately 37 kilometres south-east of Cooktown and 22 kilometres north-east of the nearest settlements of Ayton and Wujal Wujal. Access is via private vessels or with permitted commercial operators, and is only possible in fair weather. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology. The islands are within a day's sailing from Cairns and are an important stop over and anchorage for boats heading to and from Lizard Island and beyond.
Snapper Island is also within this national park (CYPAL) and is located 80 kilometres south of East and West Hope islands. For information on getting there, see Snapper Island.
There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities or tracks on the Hope Islands National Park (CYPAL).
To enjoy a safe visit to Hope Islands National Park (CYPAL), please:
- always carry drinking water when walking or out in your boat
- be aware of tidal movements and take care on slippery rocks
- know your own health limitations for safe snorkelling—do not put yourself and others at risk, and always snorkel with a buddy
- wear sunscreen and cover up when you are walking, swimming and snorkelling
- dangerous stinging sea jellies (marine stingers) may be present in the water around the Hope Islands. They occur frequently between October and May.
- be aware that estuarine crocodiles can occur in the waters around island national parks. Remember, your safety is our concern but your responsibility—always be croc wise in croc country.
For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.
Before you visit
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 before your visit.
Essentials to bring
Preparation is the key to a safe and enjoyable visit to the Hope Islands. Make sure you bring:
- drinking water
- rubbish bags
- a fuel stove or gas stove for cooking
- protective clothing, sunscreen, hat and sunglasses
- suitable shoes for walking on rough surfaces
- a comprehensive first-aid kit
- insect repellent.
Hope Islands National Park (CYPAL) is open all year round.
Visitors should check weather conditions, as the islands may be inaccessible during strong wind warnings, gales or cyclonic activity. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.
Permits and fees
Camping is permitted on East Hope Island. A camping permit is required and fees apply. A tag with your booking number must be displayed at your campsite.
Camping permits must be obtained prior to travelling to East Hope Island.
- Book your campsite online.
- If you cannot book online, see camping bookings for other options.
Permits are required for all commercial activities or group functions within the park.
Domestic animals are not permitted on any of the islands within Hope Islands National Park.
Climate and weather
The islands within Hope Islands National Park (CYPAL) have a tropical climate. In summer, the temperatures and humidity are high. From April to September, the days are cooler and less humid. Visiting in the cooler winter months is recommended. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology or for more information see the tourism information links.
Fuel and supplies
As you need to be self-sufficient when visiting any of the islands within Hope Islands National Park (CYPAL), you will need to bring fuel and supplies from the mainland.
For more information see the tourism information links.
- There are currently no park alerts for this park.