Whitsunday Islands National Park Whitsundays

Stop and take a photo of Nara Inlet as you walk along the Ngaro Cultural Site track. Photo credit: Justin Heitman © Queensland Government

The iconic Hill Inlet is not to be missed on a visit to Whitsunday Islands National Park. Photo credit: © Tourism and Events Queensland

Ngaro Cultural Site track

Discover the ancient rock art and middens of the Ngaro People in the caves at Hook Island's stunning Nara Inlet.

Journey type
Walk
Distance
340m return Start and finish points are the same and the traveller must return via the same path
Time suggested
Allow 20mins walking time.
Grade
Moderate (walk)
Where
View map

Accessible by

  • Boat
  • Canoe or kayak

Journey facilities

  • Walking

Embark on a fascinating cultural journey deep inside Nara Inlet. Climb this initially-steep, stepped track to a viewing platform at the cave’s entrance and be captivated by the Ngaro rock art, middens and the stories they reveal.

Feel transported 9000 years back in time to when the original inhabitants of this land—a true maritime people—thrived on the ocean's rich resources. The Ngaro rock art decorating this once-hidden cave marks one of the oldest Indigenous sites on Australia’s east coast.

With its deep blue waters and excellent overnight anchorage you can enjoy a true boater’s paradise at Nara Inlet. Look for hammerhead sharks known to use Nara Inlet as spawning ground.

Whitsunday Islands National Park is part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, famed for its superlative natural beauty, outstanding examples of reef ecosystem development, evolutionary history and amazing diversity.

Getting there and getting around

The Ngaro Cultural Site track is on Hook Island in Whitsunday Islands National Park, located offshore from the Queensland central coast, 25km east of Airlie Beach.

  • The Ngaro Cultural Site track begins from a small in the upper reach of Nara Inlet at the southern end of Hook Island.
  • The upper reach of Nara Inlet is about 41.nm (76km) from Shute Harbour (travelling in an anti-clockwise direction).
  • Anchoring is permitted in Nara Inlet. Access to this site is possible at mid tide.
  • Read boat and fish with care for tips on boating and fishing safety and caring for parks.
  • For tourism information for all regions in Queensland, see Queensland.com, and for friendly advice on how to get there, where to stay and what to do, find your closest accredited visitor information centre.

Getting to the Whitsundays

  • Travel on the Bruce Highway to Proserpine, 125km north of Mackay.
  • From Proserpine, drive 25km east along Shute Harbour Road to Airlie Beach, and continue a further 10km to Shute Harbour. Book your tour or charter boat or launch your vessel from here.
  • All roads to the boat launch sites are suitable for conventional 2WDs.

The islands' national park is easily accessible by commercial tours and transfers, charter boat and private vessel from the coastal towns of Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour. Hamilton Island (20km south-east of Shute Harbour) is also accessible by aircraft.

Commercial tours

  • Commercial operators offer day trips, camping tours and boat, camper and kayak transfers departing from Abell Point Marina at Airlie Beach and from Shute Harbour.

Charter boat

  • Bare boats or private charters are available from Airlie Beach, Shute Harbour and Hamilton Island.

Private vessel

  • There are public boat ramps at Port of Airlie and Abell Point Marina in Airlie Beach, Shute Harbour, Cannonvale (4km east of Airlie Beach), Dingo Beach (50km north-west of Airlie Beach), Conway Beach (38km south of Airlie Beach) and Midge Point (60km south of Airlie Beach).
  • Always take the weather and tidal influences into account when boating in the Whitsundays.

Aircraft

  • Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach have airstrips and commercial operators offer sightseeing tours.

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

Before you visit

Opening hours

Ngaro Cultural Site track is open 24 hours a day.

Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Visiting safely

For more safety information see Visiting Whitsunday Islands safely and Walk with care.