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Windmill Bay camping area

Querida Hutchinson © Queensland Government

Windmill Bay camping area

Tent camping No tent camping
Caravan camping No caravan camping
Campervan camping No campervan camping
Motorhome camping No motorhome camping
Camper trailer camping No camper trailer camping
Toilets (non-flush) No toilets
No showers
Camp fires allowed (conditions apply) No camp fires
No barbecues
Generators allowed (conditions apply) No generators
Picnic tables No picnic tables
Dogs allowed on leash No dogs
Wheelchair access (may require assistance) No wheelchair access

Legend

Tent camping No tent camping
Caravan camping No caravan camping
Campervan camping No campervan camping
Motorhome camping No motorhome camping
Camper trailer camping No camper trailer camping
Toilets (non-flush) No toilets
No showers
Camp fires allowed (conditions apply) No camp fires
No barbecues
Generators allowed (conditions apply) No generators
Picnic tables No picnic tables
Dogs allowed on leash No dogs
Wheelchair access (may require assistance) No wheelchair access
World Heritage Area

Base yourself at this centrally-placed camping area and spend your days exploring the surrounding parks.

Camp beside the beach in the shade of the sheoaks at Windmill Bay camping area.
Camp beside the beach in the shade of the sheoaks at Windmill Bay camping area. John Atkinson © Queensland Government
View map
Park Cape Palmerston
Traditional Owners Traditional Owners
Park Ranger Park Ranger

Campers and beach-lovers will score the best of both worlds! Nestled against 200m of sandy beach that fringes the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, this is your base for all beach, land and water activities in the park.

Stake a claim on the perfect, sheoak-shaded spot for you tent or high-clearance camper trailer in the open, grassy camping area. It can be windy so remember to put in extra pegs! Set out from here and enjoy the day four-wheel driving, boating, kayaking, walking, fishing and playing.

At night, sit around your camp fire (bring your own off-ground container and milled timber) and listen to the waves gently rolling ashore.

At a glance

Camping layout: Open area without defined sites
Site surface: Sand
Camp sites are suitable for: Tent camping beside car; camper trailer
Facilities: picnic tables
Permits and fees: camping permits

Getting there and getting around

Windmill Bay camping area is in Cape Palmerston National Park, 115km south-east of Mackay on the Central Queensland coast. You need a 4WD to get to the camping area.

The camping area is 12km from the southern boundary on the Cape Palmerston drive.

  • Turn off the Bruce Highway at Ilbilbie (76km south of Mackay and 157km north of Marlborough) and drive east towards Greenhill.
  • Before Greenhill, turn left into Cape Palmerston Road.
  • The park boundary is about 6km along this road.
  • You will need to consult the map (PDF, 146.0KB) because the tracks and intersections aren't signposted.
  • Make sure you check the tide times before you drive on the beach as the tides vary up to 6m.
  • Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.

Road conditions

  • The roads and beaches in the park are sandy and conditions vary.
  • It may be difficult to drive on the roads during periods of extended wet or dry weather.
  • See traffic and travel information for road and travel conditions.
  • Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Parking

You can park your car at your camp site.

Fuel and supplies

There is a shop just after the Cape Palmerston Road turn-off on the road to Greenhill. Fuel and supplies are also available at Ilbilbie.

  • For tourism information for all regions in Queensland, see Queensland.com, and for friendly advice on how to get there, where to stay and what to do, find your closest accredited visitor information centre.

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

When to visit

Opening hours

Windmill Bay camping area is open 24 hours a day. Check-in to your camp after 2pm and check-out by 11am on the day of departure.

Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Climate and weather

Cape Palmerston National Park has a mild subtropical climate. Winters are mild (10–25°C) while summers are warm to hot (22–32°C). Expect heavy rain from December to March.

Permits and fees

Camping permits

Organised events

  • If you are planning a school excursion or organising a group event such as a wedding, fun run or adventure training, you may need an organised event permit. Maximum group sizes and other conditions apply depending on location and activity type.

Pets

Domestic animals are not allowed here.

Staying in touch

Mobile phone coverage

Unreliable. Check with your service provider for more information.

Tourism information

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland, see Queensland.com, and for friendly advice on how to get there, where to stay and what to do, find your closest accredited visitor information centre.

Be prepared

Open fires

  • Open fires are not allowed. Bring a fuel stove for cooking.
  • You can use an above ground fire container. Bring clean, milled firewood as you cannot collect timber from the park. Remove your fire container when you leave.
  • Read camp with care for tips on camping safely and camping softly.

Rubbish

  • There are no bins. Take your rubbish with you when you leave.

Drinking water

  • Water is not available in the park. Bring all the water you will need for drinking, cooking and cleaning.
  • Treat all water before use.

Dump point

  • There are toilets at the Windmill Bay camping area.
  • At all other locations, use portable toilets, or bury your waste in a 15cm hole, well away from camp sites, walking tracks and waterways. Bag and remove personal hygiene products and nappies.
  • The nearest dump points are at Carmila and Sarina.

Driving

  • You will need to consult the map (PDF, 146.0KB) because the tracks and intersections aren't signposted.
  • Make sure you check the tide times before you drive on the beach as the tides vary up to 6m.
  • Remember all vehicles must be registered, drivers must be licensed and all Queensland road rules apply, even on beaches.
  • Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.

Camping

  • You can stay for up to 22 nights in the park.
  • Camp sites are suitable for tents and high-clearance camper trailers.
  • Don't clear and vegetation or cut trees down to make space for camping.
  • Read camp with care for tips on camping safely and camping softly.

Boating and fishing

Around water

  • There are no patrolled swimming areas along the coastline of Cape Palmerston National Park and we advise against swimming in the ocean, creeks and estuaries. Tragedies have occurred in unpatrolled waters and crocodiles and marine stingers are found here. Enter the water at your own risk. The nearest patrolled beach is at Sarina.
  • Be croc-wise in croc country.
  • Beware marine stingers.
  • Read water safety for important information about staying safe in and near water and caring for parks.
Last updated: 22 March 2018
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