Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Gloucester Island National Park

What's special?

Just off the mainland between Airlie Beach and Bowen lies Gloucester Islands National Park, a scenic group of inshore continental islands. Gloucester Island, the largest, is home to a colony of endangered Proserpine rock-wallabies. Sandy and coral rubble beaches, rainforest and seclusion are some of this park’s main attractions.

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

Exploring Gloucester Island

More remote than other parks in the Whitsundays, these islands offer a quiet retreat.

Camp at Bona or East Side Bays (Gloucester Island) or at Armit or Saddleback Islands. Bona Bay (Gloucester Island), the largest campground, has a good anchorage, toilets, picnic tables, and a shelter shed. East Side Bay (Gloucester) is set between two rocky headlands. Armit Island has a toilet and picnic tables. Saddleback is close to the mainland.

Campers must be self-sufficient. Take fresh water, a fuel stove for cooking and insect repellent. Open fires and generators are prohibited. Remove all rubbish to the mainland.

From 1 October to 31 March seasonal bird restrictions apply. You must observe a 6-knot speed limit within 200m of high water mark and no beach access is permitted within seabird nesting areas on south beach (Armit Island), west beach (Double Cone Island), south beach (Grassy Island), Little Armit Island, and Old Rock. These restrictions apply all year round at Eshelby and Little Eshelby Islands.

Beware of marine stingers and cyclones during the warmer months.


There are no walking tracks in this park. Talk to the local rangers before walking off-track.

Getting there

Take a private boat from Dingo Beach, Hydeaway Bay, Bowen or Airlie Beach to reach these islands.

Sources & Further reading


Journey Back Through Time
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                                                                                           Author: M.H.Monroe  Email:     Sources & Further reading