Stunning beaches, perfectly formed coral cays, prolific birdlife and pristine coral reefs home to abundant corals and marinelife. These are just some of the reasons to visit Capricornia Cays National Park located between 60 and 100km offshore from Gladstone.
Straddling the Tropic of Capricorn, there are 16 coral cays (8 of them vegetated) and 22 separate reefs within the CCNP. Some parts of the park are set aside for scientific research purposes, with no access to the general public. Much of the park is considered significant in terms of biological diversity, endangered plants and animals, plus their extraordinary beauty.
Lady Musgrave Island (daytripping & camping)
Heron Island (eco resort)
Wilson Island (luxury camping/glamping)
Masthead Island (camping)
North West Island (camping)
Fitzroy Reef (diving)
Mostly the islands rise only a few metres above sea level, apart from North West Island, which rises a whole 6m above the sea. It’s possible to walk around North West and Masthead islands in a few hours, and Lady Musgrave in about 45 minutes at low tide.
Visitors should be aware of seasonal closures at various locations in the park, in order to protect breeding seabirds. Weather and tides also play a major part in visitor access due to the very remote location. The CCNP is accessible only by boat from Gladstone, Bundaberg and Agnes Waters Town of 1770. For example Lady Musgrave Island is closed to campers between annually Australia Day (26 Jan) and Easter.
Tides, group size, equipment and cost are all dependent on a suitable vessel to gain access to cays. North West and Masthead islands have restricted tidal access. Generally, the barge from Gladstone drops campers and their gear on these beaches at high tide. Timing is subject to whatever bookings the barge service has in place and unless campers want to charter the whole vessel, days on the island is governed by the barge schedule. Masthead Island, although seemingly remote, has high speed catamarans and helicopters zipping past, ferrying resort guests between Gladstone and Heron Island. A day trip boat runs from 1770 to Lady Musgrave which can be pre-booked for campers for drop off and pick up (see Lady Musgrave Island)
CCNP has five separate GBRMPA Zones within its bundaries. Check with GBRMPA for full details of activities that are and are not permitted in the park.
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