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About Brampton Islands

Getting there and getting around

Brampton Islands National Park is 32km north of Mackay. You can access both Brampton and Carlisle islands by private boat.

Park features

Rocky headlands dotted with hoop pines, open grasslands, woodlands, sheltered bays and long sandy beaches make these islands some of the most scenic off the Queensland coast. The islands and surrounding waters are part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and are protected.

Brampton Peak is the island's highest point and rises to 214m above sea level. Skiddaw Peak is Carlisle Island's highest point. A walking tracks traverses Brampton Island's many ecosystems, from open eucalypt forest on ridges and sheltered slopes to the dense vine forest in gullies and valleys. An amazing display of marine life and coral surround the islands. Dense eucalypt forest clothes Carlisle Island, and rainforest thrives in its sheltered gullies.

The park is part of the sea country of the Ngaro people, which stretches north to the Whitsunday islands.

Camping and accommodation


Camping is not available in the park.

Other accommodation

A range of accommodation is available in and around Mackay. For more information see the tourism information links.

Things to do


Explore Brampton Island with an invigorating hike up Brampton Peak.

Brampton Peak (Grade: Moderate to challenging
Time: Allow 3hrs
Distance: 6.6km return from the jetty

Details: The walk from the resort site to Brampton Peak is steep in places, but the reward is splendid views of the mainland and Carlisle Island's steep forested slopes. Enjoy the surroundings and catch your breath at one of the bench seats along the way.

Picnic and day-use areas

There are secluded picnic areas at Brampton's Western Bay and Dinghy Bay West, all have picnic tables and a toilet.

Boating and fishing

Brampton Islands National Park is part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and is surrounded by amazing marine life. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park protects this natural wonder and zones provide a balanced approach to protecting the reef while allowing some recreation and commercial use. Some activities, such as fishing or collecting, are not permitted in some zones and you should always consult a zoning map before fishing or collecting.

When boating:

  • Anchor with care, on sand when possible. If you cannot avoid coral, use reef picks and motor towards anchor when hauling in.
  • Go slow for those below. Turtles feed in the surrounding marine park waters and the islands are important turtle rookeries.

If fishing or collecting:

  • Know your marine park zones. Obtain and consult your Great Barrier Reef Marine Park zoning map. Maps are available from many outlets including QPWS Mackay and bait and tackle shops. Alternatively, visit the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority website for further information.
  • Know your fishing regulations. Queensland fisheries legislation applies in zones where fishing is permitted. Fishing is not permitted in Marine National Park Zones (Green Zones).
  • Collecting any coral, living or dead, is not permitted anywhere. Limited collecting of shells (five of any unprotected species) is permitted in General Use Zones (Blue Zones) and Marine Conservation Park Zones (Yellow Zones) only.

Viewing wildlife

From the verdant Brampton Peak lookout to the coral-covered sea floor, Brampton Islands National Park abounds in the beauty of nature. Blue tiger butterflies add bursts of colour to the island and rainbow skinks are abundant in the undergrowth, should you take the time to look. Turtles feed in the surrounding marine park waters and both islands are important turtle rookeries.

Other things to do

Swimming and snorkelling are popular in this area. Stop for lunch on one of the isolated beaches, take a dip and enjoy the spectacular marine life.

When snorkelling or swimming please remember:

  • Be careful with your fins. Careless kicking can damage coral.
  • Don't stir up sediment. Murky waters stress plants and animals.
  • Beware of dangerous marine stingers. Stingers are prevalent between October and May but may be present all year round. It is advisable to wear protective clothing if swimming or snorkelling.

Things to know before you go

Our precious Great Barrier Reef World Heritage islands are among the most pest-free islands in the world. They need your help to stay this way. Please Be pest-free! (PDF, 574K) before your visit.

Essentials to bring

Preparation is the key to a safe and enjoyable visit. Make sure you bring:

  • drinking water, rubbish bags and fuel stoves for cooking
  • a comprehensive first-aid kit
  • protective clothing, sunscreen, hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun
  • suitable shoes for walking on rough surfaces; and
  • insect repellent.

Opening hours

Brampton Islands National Park is open 24 hours a day, all year round.

Permits and fees

Commercial photography permits may be required if you intend to sell any photographs taken within the national park. Organised event permits may also required for organised group activities that may interfere with general public use. Contact us for further information.


Leave dogs, cats and other animals at home. Domestic animals are not permitted in national parks.

Dogs are not permitted on beaches and intertidal areas within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and adjacent to an island national park, or areas prohbited under a regulatory notice.

Climate and weather

Brampton Island National Park has a tropical climate with daytime temperatures between 28°C and 35°C in summer and 20°C to 27°C in winter. Beware of cyclones during warmer months.

Fuel and supplies

There are no supplies available in Brampton Islands National Park. The nearest supplies and fuel are in Mackay.

Staying safe

Although Brampton Islands National Park provides the opportunity to encounter diverse wildlife, it can also present some hidden dangers. Follow the tips below for a safe and enjoyable visit.

  • Supervise children carefully on all walks.
  • Carry plenty of drinking water.
  • Wear sturdy footwear, protective clothing and a hat.
  • Apply sunscreen and insect repellent.

For more information, please read the guidelines on safety in parks and forests.

Looking after the park

National parks protect Queensland's wonderful natural diversity and scenery. Help keep these places special by following these guidelines.

  • Protect wildlife. Remember, all natural features, plants and animals (dead or alive) are protected.
  • Do not feed or interfere with native animals. Human food harms wildlife.
  • Stay on designated walking tracks. Short cutting causes erosion and damages vegetation.
  • Take rubbish with you. Bins are not provided. Please help by collecting rubbish left by others.

Be pest-free!

Our precious Great Barrier Reef World Heritage islands are among the most pest-free islands in the world. They need your help to stay this way. Please Be pest-free! (PDF, 574K) before your visit.

Before you visit, please check that your boat, clothing, footwear and gear are free of soil, seeds, parts of plants, eggs, ants and insects (and their eggs), spiders, lizards, toads, rats and mice.

Be sure to:

  • Unpack and clean out your backpack and hand, beach or camera bags and check them carefully before your visit, as pests love to hide in stored gear.
  • Clean soil from footwear and gear as invisible killers such as viruses, bacteria and fungi are carried in soil.
  • Check for seeds in pockets, cuffs and hook and loop fastening strips, such as Velcro.

While you are on the islands, remove soil, weeds, seeds and pests from your boat, gear and clothes before moving to a new site. Wrap seeds and plant material, and place them in your rubbish.

Everyone in Queensland has a General Biosecurity Obligation to minimise the biosecurity risk posed by their activities. This includes the risk of introducing and spreading weeds and pests to island national parks.

See the guidelines on caring for parks for more information about protecting our environment and heritage in parks.

Park management

Each park has unique attributes and all are managed to conserve their natural condition and protect their cultural resources and values. Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) is responsible for the island national parks in the region, and jointly manages the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Tourism information links

Mackay Visitor Information Centre
The Mill, 320 Nebo Road,
Mackay QLD 4740
Phone: 1300 130 001
Fax: (07) 4952 2034

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see Queensland Holidays.

Further information

Contact us

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority
(for marine zoning and fishing information)
Phone: 1800 990 177

Last updated
6 December 2017