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National Parks of the Whitsundays
Courtesy of the Department of Environment and Resource Management
Conway National Park and State Forest
Conway State Forest lies in the rugged Conway Range behind Airlie Beach. You can get to the park boundary by car but this largely undeveloped forest is accessible only on foot. Follow the Whitsunday Great Walk to discover this forest's hidden treasures.

The forest is closed during the wet season, from 1 February until 31 March. It may also be closed at other times if drinking water along the track is unavailable.

Getting there from Airlie Beach
follow Shute Harbour Road south-east for 6.5km to the Conway National Park picnic ground. To explore the park on foot, you can leave your car here, at the Swamp Bay/Mount Rooper carpark or at the Coral Beach carpark on The Beak.

Camping and accommodation
All four campgrounds in Conway State Forest lie along the 30km Whitsunday Great Walk and are accessible only on foot. If you are planning to camp, you must obtain a camping permit and fees apply. There are penalties for camping without a permit. The first campground is a day's hike from the Brandy Creek carpark. Book your permit in advance, as camping is limited to ensure a relatively remote experience for all visitors. Water tanks have been installed along the Whitsunday Great Walk but the water must be treated before drinking. Remember to take your own toilet paper as none is provided.

Essentials to bring
  • Sufficient food and water
  • First-aid kit — and know how to use it
  • Fuel stove and fuel — fires are not permitted
  • Sturdy footwear
  • Protective clothing
  • Insect repellent
  • Ground sheet
  • Strong rubbish bags — bins are not provided
  • Trowel, toilet paper and small bags — for use where no toilets are provided.

Whitsunday Islands - Camping and Visiting

How can I access the island camping areas?
  • Private vessel — public boat ramps are at Shute Harbour, Abel Point, Cannonvale, Dingo Beach, Conway Beach and Midge Point.
  • Commercial tours, boat transfers and camper drop offs — depart from either Shute Harbour or Abel Point Marina.
  • Commercial boat hire including kayaks.
Camping - Do I need to book?
Yes. Book online, over-the-counter or by phone. Bookings are taken up to 11 months in advance.

Facilities - Is there fresh water?
No. Visitors must supply their own water for drinking, cooking, washing and bathing. Allow at least five litres per person per day.

Are fires allowed?
No. Campfires and ash-producing barbecues are not permitted. Please bring gas or fuel stoves for cooking.

What do I do with my rubbish?
Ship it in, ship it out! Please pack all rubbish and recycle or dispose of it on the mainland.

Will I get mobile phone service?
This depends to some extent on your carrier. Generally cover is poor. If you cannot reach 000 in an emergency, try 112.

Boating and Fishing
Where can’t I fish?
Fishing is not permitted in Marine National Park (green) zones. These zones include, but are not limited to locations such as Whitehaven Beach, Denman Island, Armit Island, Maureens Cove and Butterfly Bay. Obtain and consult your free marine park zoning map at many bait and tackle outlets, DERM offices or online at www.gbrmpa.gov.au . Be aware of annual fin fish closures visit the Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries website for more information. 

Can I collect souvenirs?
Limited collecting is allowed in Habitat Protection (dark blue), General Use (light blue) and Conservation Park (yellow) zones. Generally, not more than five of any species can be taken at a time and no coral (alive or dead) can be taken without a permit. Refer to your marine park zoning map for further information. 

Can I spearfish in the Whitsundays?
Limited spearfishing is allowed in the General Use (light blue), Habitat Protection (dark blue) zone and Conservation Park (yellow) zones. However, spearfishing is prohibited in those Conservation Park (yellow) zones that are within the Whitsunday Special Management Public Appreciation Area, as well as areas restricted under the Queensland fisheries legislation. Consult marine park zoning information and see the Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries website for more information about fishing in the Whitsundays. 

Can I use public moorings?
One vessel at a time is permitted on public moorings installed at Border, Daydream, Dumbbell, Esk, Hayman, Henning, Hook and Whitsunday islands as well as Langford, Bait and Black island reefs. Check your vessel fits the requirements of the mooring and you are within the time period. 

Can I anchor near the reef protection markers?
You cannot anchor inside a no anchoring area or inshore of the line of reef protection marker buoys. However, vessels may access and anchor in the intertidal area where conditions allow. Where possible, anchor in sand or mud away from corals and other fragile marine communities. 

Can I use my personal watercraft?
Within the Whitsunday Planning Area use is permitted for transport by the most direct reasonable route between two places. Motorised water sports can only be undertaken in Setting 1 areas and outside settings areas. See www.gbrmpa.gov.au  for more details.

What animals am I likely to see?
Goannas, brush turkeys and other animals are always on the lookout for an easy meal. Never feed them directly or accidentally by leaving food or rubbish out, and always secure your food in a strong container.

Are there dangerous marine stingers?
“Stingers” (harmful jellyfish) are prevalent from October to May, although they may be present all year round. Wear suitable protective clothing and carry lots of vinegar. See www.marinestingers.com.au for further information. 

Can I walk my dog on the national park islands or beaches?
No. Domestic animals are not permitted in national parks or within the intertidal beaches of the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park adjoining the Whitsunday Islands National Park. Please check with local councils for details on other beaches.

If you would like to know more please don't hestate to contact us.


The Whitsundays Central Reservations Centre
259 Shute Harbour Road, Airlie Beach, Qld, 4802, Australia
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The Whitsundays Central Reservations Centre