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About Ma'alpiku Island National Park (CYPAL)

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Getting there and getting around

Ma’alpiku National Park (CYPAL) is located adjacent to Cape Weymouth on the east coast of Cape York Peninsula about 5km south-east of the Portland Roads settlement. The park consists of part of Restoration Island and the entire area of Restoration Rock, 1km to the east.

Visitors should be aware that on the western side of Restoration Island, the area adjacent to the accessible ‘landing beach’ is a tourist lease, not national park, and therefore not accessible to the public. Restoration Island is separated from the mainland by a narrow channel and is adjacent to Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL). Access is by private boat only. The nearest boat ramp is located at the settlement of Portland Roads, 5km north-west of the island. There are no roads, walking tracks or public facilities on these islands. Weather forecasts are available from the Bureau of Meteorology.

Wheelchair accessibility

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities on Ma’alpiku Island National Park (CYPAL).

Park features

Rocky exposed coastline. Photo: Queensland Government.

Rocky exposed coastline. Photo: Queensland Government.

Ma’alpiku Island National Park (CYPAL) comprises two continental islands—Restoration Island and Restoration Rock—offshore from Cape Weymouth. Restoration Island (41ha) rises 116m above sea level, with large granite boulders strewn along the strand line. The island is clad in closed scrub on the lower slopes, open paperbark scrub on the upper slopes, with wind-sheared heath on the highest points and eastern side of the island. Restoration Rock (0.2ha) features sparsely-vegetated blocks of granite rising 33m above sea level.

Ma’alpiku Island National Park (CYPAL) is a living cultural landscape, rich in traditional and contemporary significance for the Traditional Owners. Significant cultural sites and stories are associated with both the land and sea country of this area. Ma’alpiku is the Kuuku Ya’u language name for Restoration Island. Restoration Island is infamous in maritime history as the first point of landfall of Captain William Bligh and 18 men who survived the mutiny on the Bounty on 28 April 1789. Bligh and his crew navigated an open boat 4000km before reaching (and naming) Restoration Island, where they stayed for two days before continuing their epic journey to Timor.

Camping and accommodation

Camping is not permitted on either island within Ma’alpiku Island National Park (CYPAL). The nearest boat-based camping is available on Wuthara Island National Park (CYPAL), previously Forbes Island National Park. Camping is also possible on the mainland in adjacent Kutini-Payamu (Iron Range) National Park (CYPAL).

Things to do

Exposed coastline. Photo: Queensland Government.

Exposed coastline. Photo: Queensland Government.

Boating and fishing

Restoration Island provides a partly sheltered anchorage in prevailing south-easterly conditions, normally between April and October. There are no public moorings in waters surrounding Ma’alpiku Island National Park (CYPAL).

When boating, help protect the fringing reefs by following these guidelines:

  • Anchor in sand away from coral reefs.
  • Use a reef pick if anchoring in coral is unavoidable. When hauling in, motor toward the anchor to prevent damage.
  • Avoid landing on islands where seabirds are roosting or nesting on the beach—they are easily disturbed.

Ma’alpiku Island National Park (CYPAL) 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.

Be aware that estuarine crocodiles can occur in waters around island national parks. Remember, your safety is our concern but your responsibility—always be croc wise in croc country.

Other things to do

This remote scenic island offers beach walking along the strand line. The interior of the island is not accessible.

Viewing wildlife

More than 21 species of birds have been recorded on the islands. Seabirds include lesser frigatebirds, crested terns, lesser crested terns, roseate terns, sooty terns, black-naped terns and ospreys. Terrestrial birds include leaden flycatchers, rufous fantails and white-breasted woodswallows. Eastern yellow robins have been recorded breeding on the island. Restoration Rock is a rookery for breeding pied imperial-pigeons and bridled terns. Wading birds such as eastern curlews, eastern reef herons and whimbrels can be seen stalking the shallows.

Estuarine crocodiles have been observed in waters around the islands, along with vulnerable green and hawksbill turtles and loggerhead turtles. Small numbers of green turtles nest on the islands while the other turtle species use the area for feeding. Vulnerable dugongs have also been sighted in the area. Two species of bats have been recorded on the islands—the vulnerable coastal sheathtail bat and the rare diadem leaf-nosed bat.

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

  • drinking water
  • rubbish bags
  • protective clothing, sunscreen, hat and sunglasses
  • suitable shoes for walking on rough surfaces
  • a comprehensive first-aid kit
  • insect repellent.

Opening hours

Ma’alpiku Island National Park (CYPAL) is open 24 hours a day.

Permits and fees

Special permits are required for commercial or organised events within the park.

Pets

Domestic animals are not permitted on Ma’alpiku Island National Park (CYPAL) or on tidal lands adjacent to Ma’alpiku Island National Park (CYPAL) within the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park. Tidal areas include beaches, rocky shores and mangroves.

Climate and weather

Ma’alpiku Island National Park (CYPAL) has a tropical climate with a wet season usually between December and April when maximum temperatures can soar above 30°C. The best time to visit the islands is between May and October when rain is unlikely and temperatures are cooler.

Fuel and supplies

There are no facilities on Ma’alpiku Island National Park (CYPAL)—all fuel and supplies need to be brought with you. The nearest food, fuel and mechanical services are available on the mainland at Lockhart River township, approximately 40km drive south-west from Chili Beach or Portlands Road township; and about 22 nautical miles south-west of Ma’alpiku Island National Park (CYPAL).

Staying safe

Ma’alpiku Island National Park (CYPAL) is a remote national park. Visitors must be well prepared.

  • Wear sunscreen and cover up when you are boating.
  • Be aware that estuarine crocodiles can occur in the waters around island national parks. Remember, your safety is our concern but your responsibility—always 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. If you cannot avoid entering the water, a full-body lycra suit or equivalent may provide a good measure of protection against stinging jellyfish and sunburn. Remember to be croc wise in croc country. Visit www.beachsafe.org.au for the latest safety and first aid information.
  • Always carry drinking water and wear a hat.
  • Bring insect repellent.

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

Looking after the park

  • Be careful not to damage coral with anchors.
  • Respect Aboriginal culture. The islands are a cultural landscape—features and sites within the park have special significance to the Traditional Owners. These sites are easily damaged and are irreplaceable.
  • Everything in the park is protected. Please leave everything as you found it.
  • Do not feed the wildlife as it can affect their health and alter the natural population balance.
  • Avoid bird-nesting areas and stay clear of roosting birds.
  • Domestic animals are not permitted.
  • Lighting of fires is not allowed. Bring a fuel or gas stove for cooking.
  • Please take your rubbish with you when you leave.

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

First gazetted as Restoration Island National Park in 1989, the park was renamed Ma’alpiku Island National Park (CYPAL) in July 2011. Ma’alpiku Island National Park (CYPAL) is jointly managed by the Northern Kuuku Ya’u Kanthanampu Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC Land Trust and the Queensland Government in accordance with an Indigenous Management Agreement. Read more about joint management of Cape York Peninsula national parks.

The reef and waters surrounding the islands are protected within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. They also form part of the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park (State) and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park (Commonwealth).

The waters adjacent to these islands are managed in a complementary manner by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS) and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA).

Tourism information links

Nature’s Powerhouse
www.cooktownandcapeyork.com
Cooktown Botanic Gardens
Walker Street, Cooktown Qld 4895
Phone: (07) 4069 5763
email:

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

Further information

Contact us

Last updated
28 November 2016