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About Claremont Isles

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Getting there and getting around

Claremont Isles National Park, consisting of Burkitt, Fife and Pelican islands, is located in the Coral Sea, off the east coast of Cape York Peninsula. The park is offshore from Point Stewart, to the north of Princess Charlotte Bay, approximately 55km east of Coen and 270km north-west of Cooktown. To protect nesting birds, going ashore on these islands is to be avoided.

Park features

Beach stone-curlew. Photo: Andrew McDougall, Queensland Government.

Beach stone-curlew. Photo: Andrew McDougall, Queensland Government.

Claremont Isles National Park consists of Fife, Pelican and Burkitt islands. The park is highly significant as a roosting and breeding site for birds. Going ashore on these islands should be avoided. Nesting birds are easily alarmed and will leave their nests if disturbed. Eggs and chicks are then vulnerable to heat, cold and predators and can die quickly.

All the islands have breeding populations of terns. Large numbers of pied imperial-pigeons roost and breed on Burkitt Island and the island’s extensive sand flats and drying lagoonal areas provide habitat for migratory waders such as beach stone-curlews. Pelican Island is named for its breeding population of Australian pelicans and Fife Island provides important habitat for wedge-tailed shearwaters.

The fringing reefs and extensive seagrass beds which surround the islands provide habitat for a wide variety of sea life including dolphins, dugongs and turtles. Estuarine crocodiles pull out on the islands occasionally and Pelican Island is a minor breeding site for hawksbill turtles. 

The Umpila and Lama Lama people are the Traditional Owners of the Claremont Isles. The islands are a living cultural landscape, rich in traditional and contemporary significance. 

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Camping is not permitted on Claremont Isles National Park. The nearest boat-based camping is on Flinders Island in Flinders Group National Park. Camping is also available on the mainland in nearby Rinyirru (Lakefield) National Park (CYPAL), Cape Melville National Park, Port Stewart and Coen.

Things to do

Dangerous stinging box jellyfish. Photo: Jamie Seymour.

Dangerous stinging box jellyfish. Photo: Jamie Seymour.

Boating and fishing

When boating around Claremont Isles National Park, please follow these guidelines.

  • To protect nesting birds, going ashore on Fife, Pelican and Burkitt islands should be avoided. Nesting birds are easily alarmed and will leave their nests if disturbed. Eggs and chicks are then vulnerable to heat, cold and predators and can die quickly.
  • Anchor on sand if possible—corals are fragile and easily damaged.

Claremont Isles National Park and the surrounding marine waters are internationally significant and are protected in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Zones in the two marine parks—the Great Barrier Reef Coast and Great Barrier Reef—provide a balanced approach to protecting the marine and intertidal environments while allowing recreational and commercial use. Check zoning information and maps before entering or conducting any activities in the marine parks.

Fisheries regulations apply—information on bag and size limits, restricted species and seasonal closures is available from Fisheries Queensland.

Dangerous stinging jellyfish (‘stingers’) may be present in the coastal waters at any time, but occur more frequently in the warmer months. A full-body lycra suit, or equivalent, may provide a good measure of protection against stinging jellyfish and sunburn. Visit marine stingers for the latest safety and first-aid information.

Be aware that crocodiles can turn up anywhere in croc country, including tidal reaches of rivers, along beaches, on offshore islands and cays in the Great Barrier Reef and Torres Strait, and in freshwater lagoons, rivers, and swamps. Crocodiles are dangerous and attacks can be fatal. Remember to be crocwise in croc country.

Things to know before you go

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted on Claremont Isles National Park or on tidal lands adjacent to the park within the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park. Tidal areas include beaches, rocks, mangroves and dunes.

Park management

Claremont Isles National Park was established in 1989 and is managed by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) to protect cultural values, species of conservation significance and regional ecosystems representative of the East Cape York Marine Bioregion. A management framework is provided by the Nature Conservation Act 1992, Cape York Peninsula Heritage Act 2007, and the Aboriginal Land Act 1991. The park has been identified for future joint management negotiations.

The reef and waters surrounding the Claremont Isles National Park are protected within the Great Barrier Reef Marine ParkGreat Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park and the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

Looking after the park

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 boat around the Claremont Isles National Park

  • 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.
  • 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.

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.

Tourism information links

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

Further information

 Contact us

Last updated
28 November 2016