Wild Cattle Island National Park Gladstone

Wild Cattle Beach at Wild Cattle Island National Park. Photo credit: Larry Brushe

Things to do

    Eastern curlew

    Eastern curlews migrate from Russia and north-eastern China every year from August to November.

    Photo credit: Andrew McDougall, Queensland Government

    Camping and accommodation


    Bush camping is permitted in the area south of the East West Track and north of the navigation lead light clearing only, as shown on the Wild Cattle Island National Park map (PDF, 222.7KB) .

    All campers must be self-sufficient as there are no facilities provided.

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

    Other accommodation

    There is a range of holiday accommodation in the Gladstone area and around the townships of Boyne Island and Tannum Sands.

    For more information see the tourism information links.


    There are no formed walking tracks on the island. Visitors are welcome to explore the vine scrub, woodlands and foreshore but must be self sufficient and well prepared. Please read Staying safe before visiting the park.

    Boating and fishing

    Access to Wild Cattle Island by private boat is allowed.

    Boat users need to be aware of the navigation challenges of this area and are advised to carry the navigation aid book “Noel Patricks Curtis Coast” and the Official Tide Tables for Queensland.

    Please take care when boating.

    • Anchor with care and on sand when possible.
    • Go slow for those below. Turtles and dugong feed in the surrounding marine park waters.
    • Take care not to disturb roosting and feeding coastal birds.

    Visitors can fish the mangrove lined Wild Cattle Creek, the inlets and tributaries at Colosseum Inlet at the southern end of the park or off the expansive stretch of Wild Cattle Beach on the parks eastern side. Barramundi, Australian salmon, whiting and crabs have all been caught in or around the park. Make sure you understand zoning and fishing regulations before you go.

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

    Fisheries regulations apply—information on bag and size limits, restricted species and seasonal closures is available from Fisheries Queensland.


    Swimming is recommended at the main beach at Tannum Sands which is patrolled by Queensland Lifesavers during peak times. Patrol times are available on signs erected along the Millennium Esplanade by the Gladstone Regional Council.

    Swimming is not allowed at the mouth of Wild Cattle Creek. Tidal currents are strong, especially on a falling tide with water flowing seaward. People have drowned here. Heed all warning signs.

    Estuarine crocodiles have been sighted in the area, exercise caution when near the water. Your safety is our concern, but your responsibility. Read more about being croc wise.

    Viewing wildlife

    Wild Cattle Island National Park is an important area for shorebirds. With a good pair of binoculars visitors can watch resident beach stone-curlews and sooty oystercatchers or spot migratory species feeding from October to March each year. Shorebirds are easily disturbed, watch them from a distance and keep clear of their nesting areas on the sand above high-water mark.

    The island’s beach is also a nesting habitat for the endangered loggerhead and vulnerable flatback and green turtles. Turtles usually nest at night, if you see one, remember to give plenty of distance and keep torches and lights turned off. Lights can disorientate adult turtles and entice hatchlings to linger near the shore near major predators.

    See the description of the park’s natural environment for more details about Wild Cattle Island National Park’s wildlife.

    • There are currently no park alerts for this park.