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About Edmund Kennedy

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Getting there and getting around

Turn off the Bruce Highway 4km north of Cardwell and drive 1km along Clift Road to the park entrance. From here the unsealed road is often narrow and winding. Caravans should be left outside the park. The road continues another 3km to the beach. Drive carefully—walkers are sometimes on the road. The road can be slippery or flooded in the wet season. Driving on the beach is prohibited.

Contact the Rainforest and Reef Information Centre in Cardwell to enquire about local road conditions.

Wheelchair accessibility

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities in this section of the park.

Park features

Edmund Kennedy, Girramay National Park boasts natural beauty combined with a diverse range of landscapes. The low-lying area has a wonderful variety of vegetation including lowland rainforest, open eucalypt forest, paperbark woodland, sedge swamps and extensive mangrove forests that include most of the mangrove species found in Australia.

During the wet season a deluge of rain flows from adjacent ranges to flood the creeks and swamps. As the floodwaters subside, the swamps become a tranquil setting, the water stained with tannin from the tea-trees. During cooler, drier months the swamps dry out.

This diverse wetland park is in the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and provides valuable habitat for the vulnerable estuarine crocodile as well as the endangered mahogany glider and southern cassowary.

Read more about the nature and history of Edmund Kennedy, Girramay National Park.

Camping and accommodation

Camping

Camping is not permitted at Edmund Kennedy, Girramay National Park or on the adjacent beach.

Other accommodation

There is a range of holiday accommodation in and around Cardwell. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Things to do

Walking

Wreck Creek walk—2.5km one way (1.5 hours) Grade: easy

This walk can be done as a separate walk or as part of the mangrove boardwalk mentioned above. From the day-use area a walking track leads through coastal vegetation, emerging on to the beach about 300m south of the mouth of Wreck Creek. It is possible to return to the picnic area via the beach, but only at low tide.

Picnic and day-use areas

A day-use area with picnic tables is located on the beach at Rockingham Bay. Enjoy the picturesque view that overlooks 13 offshore islands. Take drinking water and remove your rubbish. Wear insect repellent and protective clothing, especially in summer.

Boating and fishing

Waters adjacent to Edmund Kennedy, Girramay National Park are protected as part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park. Most activities are allowed but visitors should check zoning restrictions. Fishing is permitted from boats but cast-netting and line-fishing from the beach is not recommended due to the presence of estuarine crocodiles.

For details of bag and size limits for popular fish species, see Fisheries Queensland, Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Information is also available from the Rainforest and Reef Information Centre, Cardwell.

Viewing wildlife

Much of the wildlife is nocturnal but birds and reptiles may be seen during the day. Orioles, sunbirds, black butcherbirds and honeyeaters are common. The nesting mounds of orange-footed scrubfowls can be seen along the edge of the walking tracks. Lace monitor lizards are often spotted basking in the sun or scurrying up tree limbs. Small and colourful mangrove crabs emerge from their holes below the boardwalks. The area is also home to the endangered mahogany glider.

See the description of the park's natural environment for more details about the park's diverse wildlife.

Other things to do

Arthur Thorsborne Aboretum

The arboretum is located not far from the entrance to the park. Discover some of the local rainforest plants along the short, wheelchair-accessible loop track, or enjoy the surrounds from the picnic table nestled among the trees.

Things to know before you go

Essentials to bring

  • drinking water
  • sunscreen, hat and sunglasses
  • insect repellent and suitable clothing to protect against insect bites
  • rubbish bags
  • vinegar in case of box jellyfish stings
  • bird and mangrove identification guides are useful.

Opening hours

Edmund Kennedy, Girramay National Park is open 24 hours a day.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted in Edmund Kennedy, Girramay National Park.

Climate and weather

Cardwell and the surrounding area have a tropical climate. Summer can be very hot and humid with maximum temperatures reaching over 35 degrees Celsius. During the 'wet season' from December to April, there are heavy, frequent downpours. During the cooler, drier months from May to September, the weather is pleasantly warm with reduced humidity. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Fuel and supplies

Fuel and supplies are available at Cardwell. For more information see the tourism information links below.

Staying safe

  • Estuarine crocodiles live in the waterways along the coast and offshore of Edmund Kennedy, Girramay National Park. These crocodiles are potentially dangerous and visitors are asked to avoid and respect crocodiles. You are responsible for your own safety, so please remember to be croc wise in croc country.
  • 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, provides a good measure of protection against stinging jellyfish and sunburn.
  • During summer months, mosquitoes and midges are a problem. Avoid insect bites by using insect repellent, and wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
  • Protect yourself from the sun. Wear sunscreen, a hat and a long-sleeved shirt, even on cloudy days.
  • Drive safely on the access road. Follow normal road rules wherever you are driving. Watch for oncoming traffic and pedestrians and share the road.
  • Take care when walking on the road.

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

Looking after the park

Whenever you explore, minimise your impact. Terrestrial and marine plants and animals depend on us to keep land, ocean and estuarine areas clean.

  • Take your rubbish with you when you leave.
  • Stay on the walking tracks.
  • Everything in the park, living or dead, is protected. Please leave everything as you found it.

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

Park management

Edmund Kennedy, Girramay National Park is part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area and is managed to preserve the area's natural, cultural and scenic values while providing nature-based recreational opportunities for visitors.

Girramay National Park was gazetted on 20 July 2007. Edmund Kennedy National Park became part of Girramay National Park on 5 June 2009. This followed the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the department and the Girramay Aboriginal people.

Girramay National Park is managed by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) in collaboration with the Wet Tropics Management Authority and the Girramay Aboriginal people.

Tourism information links

Townsville Bulletin Square Visitor Information Centre
www.townsvillenorthqueensland.com.au 
334A Flinders Street, Townsville QLD 4810
ph (07) 4726 2700 
email

Rainforest and Reef Information Centre
www.greatgreenwaytourism.com
142 Victoria Street, Cardwell QLD 4849
ph (07) 4066 8601
email
Managed by Great Green Way Tourism Incorporated.

Tully Visitor and Heritage Centre
www.tropicalcoasttourism.com.au
Bruce Highway, Tully QLD 4854
ph (07) 4068 2288
email

Tyto Information and Wetlands Centre
www.tyto.com.au
Bruce Highway, Ingham QLD 4850
ph (07) 4776 4792
email

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland see www.queenslandholidays.com.au.

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
10 May 2017