Barnard Islands Group

Camp on a deserted island near Cairns

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The Barnard Islands are a group of seven National Park continental islands well south of Cairns. Closest access from the mainland is from Mourilyan Harbour, a natural harbour popular with fishing trawlers seeking emergency shelter fromm bad weather. There is no infrastructure on any of the islands, nor are there commercial operators visiting the islands which are less than 10km offshore.

Significant as a habitat for seabirds, the steeply rising islands have dramatic rock features, rainforest clad slopes, beaches and sand spits. Six species of tern roost here: there are thousands of them. Other species sighted are egret, sooty oystercatcher, brown booby, heron and osprey. Shallow reefs surrounding the islands mean good snorkelling in a relatviely remote location.

Campers are permitted to pitch their tents on Stephens and Kent Islands. The only facilities provided are picnic tables so campers should be completely self sufficient. Mobile phone coverage is not available.

Kent Island is in a (Yellow) Conservation park Zone, meaning limited line fishing is available. Stephens Island is in a (Green) Marine National Park Zone, meaning no fishing is permitted. Check with GBRMPA for full details.


  • nature
  • snorkel
  • swim
  • camp
  • beachcomb

Getting there:
Access is by private boat

At A Glance

Camping permit required
Open all year round

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