Frequently asked questions
How can I access the island camping areas?
- Private vessel—public boat ramps are at Shute Harbour, Abel Point, Cannonvale, Dingo Beach, Conway Beach and Midge Point.
- Commercial tours, boat transfers and camper drop offs—depart from either Shute Harbour or Abel Point Marina. See tourism information links for more details.
- Commercial boat hire including kayaks. See tourism information links for more details.
Is there fresh water?
No. Visitors must supply their own water for drinking, cooking, washing and bathing. Allow at least five litres per person per day.
Are fires allowed?
No. Campfires and ash-producing barbecues are not permitted. Please bring gas or fuel stoves for cooking.
What do I do with my rubbish?
Ship it in, ship it out! Please pack all rubbish and recycle or dispose of it on the mainland.
Can I use a generator, compressor or similar motor?
No. Generators are not permitted in any national park in the Whitsundays, and are also prohibited on the beaches of Jonah or Nelly bays, near Dingo Beach. Contact us for further information.
Do I need to book?
Learn more about camping in the Whitsundays.
Which camping areas have walking tracks nearby?
- Sandy Bay and Paddle Bay, South Molle Island
- Sandy Bay, Long Island
- Boat Port, Lindeman Island
- Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island
Which camping areas have snorkelling opportunities nearby?
- Maureens Cove, Hook Island
- Crayfish Beach, Hook Island
- Cairn Beach, Whitsunday Island
- Sandy Bay, South Molle Island
- Paddle Bay, South Molle Island
Will I get mobile phone reception?
This depends to some extent on your service provider. Generally cover is poor. Satellite phones are best.
What will the weather be like?
- Pleasant conditions generally throughout the year.
- January to April is the wet season though showers may fall in any month.
- Cyclones are more likely between November and March.
- For more information, see things to know before you go or visit the Bureau of Meteorology's website.
What animals am I likely to see?
Goannas, brush turkeys and other animals are common and can become pests. They are always on the lookout for scraps or may even steal your food.
- Never feed them directly or accidentally by leaving food or rubbish out.
- Always secure your food in a strong sealed container.
- Never hang rubbish in trees or on tents.
Are there dangerous marine stingers?
Stingers (dangerous stinging jellyfish) are prevalent from October to May, although they may be present all year round. Wear suitable protective clothing and carry lots of vinegar. See Beachsafe for further information.
Are there sharks?
Many species of sharks live in the Great Barrier Reef and all along the Queensland coast. Cid harbour on the western side of Whitsunday Island, is a known site for shark attacks. But sharks are present at all times of the year in the open ocean, estuaries, freshwater canals and streams.
For more information:
Keep the waters clean.
- Never clean fish or throw food scraps over the side of your boat while at anchorages.
- Even black waste (sullage) attracts fish, which attract predators.
Are there crocodiles?
Large, salt-water (estuarine) crocodiles live in the waters around the Whitsundays and can attack without warning. Old adults can be nearly 4m in length. These predators are present and hunting at most times of the year, but particularly around summer wet seasons, and are difficult to see in the water. They lie still under water for hours, watching, and can attack from the shallows.
Be croc-wise and stay aleart of your surroundings at all times.
Can I walk my dog on the national park islands or beaches?
No. Domestic animals are not permitted in national parks or on national park island beaches in the Whitsundays. They are also not permitted on the beaches at Jonah or Nelly bays, near Dingo Beach on the mainland.
Where can’t I fish?
Fishing is not permitted in Marine National Park (green) zones. These zones include, but are not limited to locations such as Whitehaven Beach, Denman Island, Armit Island, Maureens Cove and Butterfly Bay. Obtain and consult your free marine park zoning map at many bait and tackle outlets, Queensland Parks offices or online at Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Be aware of annual fin fish closures and visit the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website for more information.
Can I collect souvenirs?
Limited collecting is allowed in Habitat Protection (dark blue), General Use (light blue) and Conservation Park (yellow) zones. Generally, not more than five of any species can be taken at a time and no coral (alive or dead) can be taken without a permit. For more details, zoning maps and information visit the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority website.
Can I spearfish in the Whitsundays?
Limited spearfishing is allowed in the General Use (light blue), Habitat Protection (dark blue) zone and Conservation Park (yellow) zones. However, spearfishing is prohibited in those Conservation Park (yellow) zones that are within the Whitsunday Special Management Public Appreciation Area, as well as areas restricted under the Queensland fisheries legislation. Visit the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority website and see the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries website for more information about fishing in the Whitsundays.
Can I use public moorings?
Yes. Public moorings can be found in many anchorages throughout the Whitsundays. You must observe the terms and conditions displayed on each mooring.
Can I anchor near the reef protection markers?
You cannot anchor inside a No Anchoring Area or inshore of the line of reef protection marker buoys. However, vessels may access and anchor in the intertidal area where conditions allow. Where possible, anchor in sand or mud away from corals and other fragile marine communities.
Can I use my personal watercraft?
Under the Whitsunday Plan of Management, motorised water sports, such as jet skiing are only permitted within Setting 1 areas, the designated area on North Molle Island’s western side, and areas not covered by a Setting. However, you may use a personal watercraft for transport by the most direct reasonable route between two places. See the Guide to visiting the Whitsundays Plan of Management Area for recreational users for more information.
- Visitors to Great Barrier Reef reminded to be SharkSmart 14 October 2020 to 14 October 2021