Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Brampton Islands National Park

What's special?

Rocky headlands dotted with hoop pines, open grasslands, woodlands, sheltered bays, and coral rubble and long sandy beaches make these islands some of the most scenic off the Queensland coast. This park consists of Brampton and Carlisle Islands.

Brampton Island rises from sea level to 214m at Peak Lookout. The island has a variety of vegetation types; open eucalypt forest on ridges and sheltered slopes, dense vine forest in gullies and valleys, dry rainforest with towering hoop pines on headlands, grasstrees scattered through native grasslands, coastal scrub and mangroves.

Carlisle is densely clothed in eucalypt forest with rainforest in sheltered gullies.

Turtles feed in the surrounding marine park waters and the islands are important turtle rookeries. This is the sea country of the Ngaro people who also visited the Whitsunday islands further north. Cook named the group after the Duke of Cumberland.

The islands and surrounding waters are part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and are protected.

Exploring Brampton Islands

Go birdwatching. See orange-footed scrubfowl in the forests and majestic white-bellied sea-eagles and ospreys soaring above the cliffs. Watch nesting flatback and green turtles in summer.

At low tide, you can cross from Brampton to Carlisle Island. Bush camp on Carlisle Island. Book ahead for holiday periods. Picnic tables, a shelter shed, toilets, and a gas barbecue are provided. Take fresh water, a fuel stove for cooking and insect repellent. Open fires and generators are prohibited. Remove all rubbish to the mainland.

Take the 7km circuit around Brampton Island, passing through many vegetation types. Stop for a picnic at a secluded bay. Walk 2km to the lookouts at the peak for views over nearby islands and the mainland. Get a brochure to find out more about the islandís plants.

Beware of marine stingers and cyclones during the warmer months.


The circuit track starts at the park entrance steps opposite the runway. Wear a hat and sunscreen. Take drinking water.

Getting there

Brampton and Carlisle Islands are 32km north of Mackay. Access is by private boat or commercial operators. Contact QPWS (Mackay) for details.

Sources & Further reading


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                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email:     Sources & Further reading