Newry Islands National Park Mackay

Things to do

    Camping and accommodation

    Camping

    Newry Islands National Park provides a range of camping opportunities. Camper numbers are limited to ensure a quality experience for all visitors. Some camping areas accommodate multiple group bookings while others allow for a single group booking only.

    If intending to camp, you will need to obtain a permit and fees apply. School holidays are usually busy, so book your permit well in advance of these periods.

    Other accommodation

    There is a range of holiday accommodation in and around Mackay and Seaforth. See the tourism information links for more information.

    Walking

    Newry Islands National Park has three walking tracks, varying in length. Always wear a hat and sunscreen and carry drinking water.

    Island Circuit (Grade: Moderate)
    Time:
    Allow 1.5hrs
    Distance: 2.8km return

    Details: Wander through open eucalypt forest and dry rainforest as this track loops across Newry Island. Lookouts along the way offer spectacular views of nearby islands and the mainland.

    The Resort Trail (Grade: Easy)
    Time:
    Allow 40mins
    Distance: 300m one way

    Details: Wander through the resort remains on a self-guided walk and drift back to a bygone era.

    Outer Newry Island (Grade: Easy)
    Time:
    Allow 10mins
    Distance: 400m one way

    Details: Cross Outer Newry Island from the inshore landing to the rocky eastern shore.

    Picnic and day-use areas

    Picnics are popular on Newry, Outer Newry and Rabbit islands. Picnic tables, shelter and toilets are provided. If you intend to have a picnic on Newry or Outer Newry islands, you will need to provide your own fuel stove as none are provided and open fires are prohibited.

    Boating and fishing

    Boating is a popular activity in the waters surrounding Newry Islands National Park. The islands provide shelter from most winds and there are many safe anchorages. A Marine Conservation Park Zone (Yellow Zone) encompasses the Newry Group, while a Marine National Park Zone (Green Zone) centres on Acacia, Mausoleum and Rocky islands. Fishing restrictions apply in these zones. Ensure you obtain and consult your zoning map before fishing around Newry Islands National Park.

    For detailed zoning maps and information see the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority website.

    For details of fish size and bag limits for popular fish species, see the Fisheries Queensland website.

    Viewing wildlife

    Koalas can be seen dozing in the eucalypts while bandicoots and echidnas make a nightly appearance. Birdwatching can be rewarding on the islands. Brahminy kites, ospreys and white-bellied sea-eagles soar above the coast searching for food. Orange-footed scrubfowl build nesting mounds in the rainforest while above them pied imperial-pigeons, which migrate from Papua New Guinea, nest and forage for food.

    Beach stone-curlews are threatened in Australia and only an estimated 1050 birds remain. They are easily disturbed by people. Be aware of possible dune nesting sites and try to keep your distance from the birds. Where possible, walk below the high tide mark to avoid their inconspicuous ground nests.

    The Newry Islands lies within a Dugong Protection Zone. This area supports isolated patches of seagrass that are an essential food source to dugong. You may glimpse the occasional dugong as they forage through the shallow water.

    Several species of turtle are commonly seen, and nest on some of the islands from October to March. It is important not to disturb nesting turtles.

    • Ensure lights are not visible from nesting areas. Cook early and shield camp and boat lights.
    • Use small torches only (3 volts or less). Use only when necessary.
    • Never shine lights on turtles. Turtles leaving the water, moving up the beach, or digging nests are easily disturbed.
    • Approach and observe turtles quietly from behind. Wait until after egg-laying begins—usually 10 minutes after they stop moving sand.