Turtle Group National Park Tropical North Queensland

Visiting Turtle Group safely

    Getting there and getting around

    Turtle Group National Park consists of nine islands comprised of the Turtle Group of islands, Nymph Island and the Pethebridge Islets. The Turtle Group of islands is located 10km offshore from Lookout Point, 84km north of Cooktown and 28km north of the nearest settlement at Cape Flattery. From Lookout Point, Nymph Island is about 20km north and the Pethebridge Islets are about 20km north-west (6.5km offshore of the mainland).

    Lizard Island, with its resort and research station, is approximately 40km east of the Pethebridge Islets, 30km east of the Turtle Group cluster and only 28km east of Nymph Island.

    Access to all the islands is by private boat via the boat ramp in the Starke River, or with a permitted commercial operator. See the tourism information links for details.

    Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

    Wheelchair accessibility

    No wheelchair-accessible facilities are provided on any of the islands within the national park.

    Staying safe

    • Carry drinking water when walking or out in your boat.
    • Be aware of tidal movements and take care on slippery rocks.
    • Know your own health limitations for safe snorkelling—do not put yourself and others at risk, and always snorkel with a buddy.
    • Wear sunscreen and cover up when you are walking and out on the water.
    • 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 may provide a good measure of protection against stinging jellyfish and sunburn. Visit marine stingers for the latest safety and first-aid information.
    • 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.

    For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

    Before you visit

    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, 573.6KB) before your visit.

    Essentials to bring

    Preparation is the key to a safe and enjoyable visit to the Turtle Group National Park. Make sure you bring:

    • drinking water
    • a fuel or gas stove for cooking
    • protective clothing, sunscreen, hat and sunglasses
    • suitable shoes for walking on rough surfaces
    • a comprehensive first-aid kit
    • insect repellent.

    Opening hours

    Turtle Group National Park is open 24 hours a day, all year.

    Permits and fees

    Camping is permitted on Nymph Island and islands a, b and f of the Turtle Group.

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


    Domestic animals are prohibited on all islands within the Turtle Group National Park, this includes the beaches between low and high tide marks.

    Climate and weather

    Turtle Group National Park has a tropical climate. In summer the temperatures and humidity are high. From April to September the days are cooler and less humid. Visiting in the cooler winter months is recommended. For more information see the tourism information links.

    Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

    Fuel and supplies

    Fuel and supplies are available on the mainland at Cooktown. The Turtle Group of islands is 10km offshore from the mainland at Lookout Point, which is 70km north of Cooktown.

    For more information see the tourism information links.

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.