South Cumberland Islands National Park Mackay

Photo credit: © Danielle Udy

Things to do

    Camping and accommodation

    Camping

    The South Cumberland Islands are a great place for camping. Refuge Bay, Scawfell Island has limited facilities and Cockermouth Island offers self-sufficient camping.

    Camping permits are required for camping in the South Cumberland Islands National Park and fees apply. Visitor numbers are limited to ensure a quality experience. You will need to book your site and purchase your permit in advance. Display your camping permit tag prominently on your tent—there are fines for camping without it.

    Other accommodation

    There is no alternative accommodation on the South Cumberland Islands.

    A range of holiday accommodation, including motels and caravan parks, is available in and around Seaforth.

    Boating and fishing

    Boating around the South Cumberland Islands is a great way to explore the area. The islands boast many secluded beaches and bays that are well worth a visit.

    • To protect vulnerable reefs there are two no-anchoring areas in the South Cumberland Islands National Park: off St Bees’ northern point and Keswick Island’s southern tip. They are marked by white pyramid buoys and anchoring is prohibited on the shore side of a line through these buoys.

    The waters surrounding the islands are part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and are subject to zoning regulations. Ensure you obtain and consult your zoning map before fishing.

    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

    The islands provide habitat for an abundance of wildlife, including many vulnerable species. Beach stone-curlews nest in the dunes and white-bellied sea-eagles and osprey patrol the cliffs, headlands and reefs. A small population of koalas inhabit the eucalypt forests of St Bees Island, and can be seen dozing in the treetops. The warm waters of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, which surround the South Cumberland Islands, support fringing reefs with a diverse array of corals and other sea life. Whales, dolphins and dugong frequent the area, and flatback and green sea turtles nest on the islands.