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About Raine Island

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Park features

The island supports green turtles and seabirds. Photo: John Cornelius, Queensland Government

The island supports green turtles and seabirds. Photo: John Cornelius, Queensland Government

Raine Island beacon. Photo: John Cornelius, Queensland Government

Raine Island beacon. Photo: John Cornelius, Queensland Government

Located 150km offshore from Cape York Peninsula, Raine Island National Park (Scientific) includes Raine Island and the nearby Moulter and MacLennan cays. This remote island national park is not accessible to the public.

Raine Island is a highly significant cultural and story place for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and features a stone beacon constructed in 1844, which is a landmark of national cultural significance.

Raine Island is the site of the world’s largest known rookery for internationally endangered green turtles (Chelonia mydas) which come ashore in the tens of thousands to nest each year. Raine Island is also the most significant seabird rookery in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Raine Island National Park (Scientific), including its adjacent cays, is afforded the highest protection under Queensland’s nature conservation laws and both Commonwealth and State marine parks laws. These laws enable Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) to continue its successful monitoring and conservation of the park's wildlife.

Looking after the park

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, 574K) before your visit.

If you are boating around the Raine Island National Park (Scientific)

  • 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.
  • 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.

If you have a permit to enter the island, 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

The island is managed to protect wildlife. Photo: John Cornelius, Queensland Government

The island is managed to protect wildlife. Photo: John Cornelius, Queensland Government

In February 2007, an historic Indigenous Land Use Agreement was signed between the Queensland Government and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island Traditional Owners. The agreement allows for joint management and ongoing protection of Raine Island National Park (Scientific), and the surrounding waters, by QPWS and the Wuthathi (mainland Aboriginal people), the Erubam Le, Meriam Le and Ugarem Le (Torres Strait Islander people).

Raine Island National Park (Scientific) was created in August 2007 to protect the natural and cultural values of the island and cays. As turtles and seabirds nest on the ground and are easily disturbed, access to the park is restricted to scientific and conservation purposes only. No public access is permitted on Raine Island or its adjacent cays.

Raine Island National Park (Scientific) is within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. The surrounding waters are managed under the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park.

The waters immediately surrounding Raine Island and MacLennan and Moulter cays have been declared as a Restricted Access Special Management Area under both State and Commonwealth legislation. Access to these waters is by permit only. This restriction ensures protection of breeding seabirds and turtles.

The park is within a Marine National Park (Green) Zone where all fishing, harvesting and other marine extractive activities (other than permitted research and traditional native title holder activities) are prohibited.

Research and monitoring programs are undertaken for the management and conservation of turtles, especially as this area supports the largest breeding population of green turtles in Queensland, which are endangered internationally and vulnerable within Australia.

Further information

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Last updated
7 March 2017