Orpheus Island National Park Townsville

Photo credit: Maxime Coquard © Tourism and Events Queensland

Things to do

    Camping and accommodation


    Camping is permitted at Yanks Jetty, South Beach and Pioneer Bay. Campers must be self-sufficient.

    Camping permits are required and fees apply.

    Other accommodation

    Luxury accommodation is available at Orpheus Island Resort, overlooking Hazard Bay. Resort facilities are not available for non-guests.

    Picnic and day-use areas

    Picnic tables and toilets are provided at the bush camping sites at Yanks Jetty and Pioneer Bay. A shelter with a gas barbecue is also provided at Yanks Jetty, although gas or fuel stoves are recommended as the availability of the barbecue cannot be guaranteed. Fires are not allowed.

    Boating and fishing

    The reefs and waters surrounding Orpheus Island National Park are protected within the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

    There are public moorings in the waters around Orpheus Island National Park. Moorings reduce coral damage from anchors and provide safe and sustainable access to popular reefs and islands. They suit a variety of vessel sizes and are accessed on a first-come-first-served basis. Time limits may apply during the day, but all mooring are available overnight between 3pm and 9am. Learn more about moorings and responsible anchoring and see maps and mooring locations.

    Dangerous stinging jellyfish (‘stingers’) may be present in the coastal waters at any time, but occur more frequently in the warmer months. A full-body Lycra suit, or equivalent, provides a good measure of protection against stinging jellyfish and sunburn. See marine stingers for the latest safety advice.

    Fishing is not allowed in the Marine National Park (Green) Zone that extends from Pioneer Bay north to Iris Point and the entire eastern side of the island. Limited line fishing using one line or rod per person and one hook per line is allowed in the Conservation Park (Yellow) Zone on the western side of the island from Pioneer Bay to Harrier Point, including Yanks Jetty. Please note that fishing is not allowed within a 100 metre exclusion zone around the jetty—see Queensland Fisheries. Spearfishing is not allowed in the Conservation Park (Yellow) Zone as it is declared a ‘public appreciation area’.

    The pontoon at Yanks Jetty is available for public and commercial vessel use and is managed by the Hinchinbrook Shire Council. The jetty at the Orpheus Island Resort in Hazard Bay is available for emergency use only.

    For detailed zoning maps and information see Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

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

    Viewing wildlife

    Look for wildlife in the rainforest and along the shore. Many native mammals are nocturnal but you might see an echidna foraging in the forest. Reptiles including brown tree snakes, spotted and carpet pythons, and various skinks and geckoes, can often be seen in the rainforest and woodland areas.

    A range of birds can be seen or heard throughout the forests. Orange-footed scrubfowl can sometimes be heard scratching among the rainforest litter. These birds build mounds of vegetation in which they incubate their eggs. Ospreys and brahminy kites can often be seen soaring above, while eastern reef egrets wade in the mangroves and inter tidal areas.

    Other things to do

    Tours of the James Cook University Orpheus Island Research Station at Pioneer Bay can be arranged—telephone (07) 4777 7336.

    Visit the ruins of the historic Shepherd’s Hut at Little Pioneer Bay. The building is a reminder from the days of early European settlement. A short walk leads to the building, which can be viewed from outside the walls.