Turtle Group National Park Tropical North Queensland

Things to do

    The islands are great for birdwatching - near threatened (rare) eastern curlews have been seen. Photo: Queensland Government.

    The islands are great for birdwatching - near threatened (rare) eastern curlews have been seen. Photo: Queensland Government.

    White-bellied sea-eagles soar overhead, searching for their next meal. Photo: Andrew McDougall, Queensland Government

    White-bellied sea-eagles soar overhead, searching for their next meal. Photo: Andrew McDougall, Queensland Government

    Roseate terns bring their fresh catch back to the island for dinner. Photo: Andrew McDougall, Queensland Government

    Roseate terns bring their fresh catch back to the island for dinner. Photo: Andrew McDougall, Queensland Government

    Pied imperial-pigeons observe the islands inhabitants from above. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Pied imperial-pigeons observe the islands inhabitants from above. Photo: Queensland Government.

    Camping and accommodation

    Camping

    Camping is permitted on Nymph Island and Turtle Group islands a, b, and f only. A maximum of 10 people per island is permitted and campers may stay for up to 14 days.

    There are no defined camping areas or facilities on any of the islands—campers need to be self-sufficient. Take water, insect repellent, and a comprehensive first-aid kit. Satellite phones are also recommended. Fires are not allowed—ensure you bring a fuel stove. Remove your rubbish to the mainland.

    Camping permits are required and fees apply. A camping tag with your booking number must be displayed at your camp site.

    Other accommodation

    Lizard Island National Park offers camping and luxury resort accommodation.

    Walking

    There are no walking tracks on the national park. Visitors may enjoy a walk around the beaches of any of the islands. Please take care as vegetation is easily damaged which can lead to erosion. Seabirds also nest in the sand and vegetation.

    Boating and Fishing

    The Turtle Group National Park islands are a regular stop for cruising yachts travelling to and from Lizard Island. They also provide fair weather anchorages for private, tourist and commercial fishing vessels as they are close to the shipping channel.

    Be aware that crocodiles can turn up anywhere in croc country, including tidal reaches of rivers, along beaches, on offshore islands and cays in the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait, and in freshwater lagoons, rivers and swamps. Crocodiles are dangerous and attacks can be fatal. Remember to be crocwise in croc country.

    Boating

    There are no public moorings in the waters around the islands of Turtle Group National Park. Public moorings are provided around Lizard Island. Read more about public moorings and anchoring. If you must anchor around these islands please follow these guidelines:

    • Anchor only on sand and away from coral reefs—corals are fragile and easily destroyed by anchors and chains dragging across the reef.
    • Use a reef pick if anchoring in coral is unavoidable. When hauling in, motor toward the anchor to prevent damage.
    • Do not throw rubbish overboard, especially when you are at anchor.

    Fishing

    Turtle Group National Park and the surrounding marine waters are internationally significant and are protected in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Zones in the two marine parks—the Great Barrier Reef Coast and Great Barrier Reef—provide a balanced approach to protecting the marine and intertidal environments while allowing recreational and commercial use.

    A Marine National Park (Green) Zone encompasses the reef and waters surrounding the Turtle Group islands and Nymph Island. These ‘no-take’ areas prohibit extractive activities like fishing or collecting.

    Check zoning information and maps before entering or conducting any activities in the marine parks.

    Fishing can occur around the Pethebridge Islets, take only enough fish for a meal. Fisheries regulations apply—information on bag and size limits, restricted species and seasonal closures is available from Fisheries Queensland.

    Viewing wildlife

    Turtle Group National Park is an ideal birdwatching location with over 60 bird species recorded. Of these 26 migratory species are recognised in international agreements/conventions. Endangered little terns and vulnerable beach stone-curlews have all been seen within the park. Eastern curlews and sooty oystercatchers, both considered near threatened (rare), have also been recorded.

    Breeding species including bridled terns, Caspian terns, roseate terns, crested terns, ospreys, white-bellied sea-eagles and pied imperial-pigeons are also found in the park. Seabirds nest on the ground, on rocky outcrops and in vegetation. Avoid nesting seabirds at all times. If parent birds are disturbed chicks and eggs can become vulnerable—easily destroyed by heat, cold and predators if left unprotected.

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.