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Lady Musgrave Island track

Collette Bagnato © Queensland Government

Lady Musgrave Island track

Walking No Walking
Wheelchair access (may require assistance) No wheelchair access
Mountain biking No mountain biking
Horseriding No horseriding
Two-wheel driving No two-wheel driving
Four-wheel driving No four-wheel driving
Trail-bike riding No trail-bike riding
Canoeing & kayaking No canoeing & kayaking
Boating No boating
Dogs allowed on leash No dogs
No lookouts
Tent camping No tent camping
World Heritage Area

Legend

Walking No walking
Wheelchair access (may require assistance) No wheelchair access
Mountain biking No mountain biking
Horseriding No horseriding
Two-wheel driving No two-wheel driving
Four-wheel driving No four-wheel driving
Trail-bike riding No trail-bike riding
Canoeing & kayaking No canoeing & kayaking
Boating No boating
Dogs allowed on leash No dogs
No lookouts
Tent camping No tent camping
World Heritage Area

Discover dense pisonia forest growing atop a tiny coral cay, in the southern Great Barrier Reef, and encounter diverse birdlife.

Park alerts
Rich pisonia forests make for a shady stroll across the cay.
Rich pisonia forests make for a shady stroll across the cay. Collette Bagnato © Queensland Government
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Park Capricornia Cays
Traditional Owners Traditional Owners
Park Ranger Park Ranger

Explore shady pisonia forest on this walk through the heart of Lady Musgrave, a small low-lying coral cay, built entirely by coral polyps. Along this track, leading from the camping area to the northern beach, experience the contrast between pristine white beaches and the dense pisonia forest, typically only found on coral cays.

Marvel at the unique beauty of this rich forest and ponder how such large trees manage to survive in sand as you spot noddies and other birds in the canopy. Don't miss the 600m return side track to the southern beach and check out the 'lighthouse'!

Capricornia Cays National Park is part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, famed for its superlative natural beauty, outstanding examples of reef ecosystem development, evolutionary history and amazing diversity.

At a glance

Distance: 1.1km one way (a path where the start point is different to the finish point).
Time suggested: Allow 20mins walking time.
Grade:
Journey type: Walk

Getting there and getting around

The Lady Musgrave Island track is in Capricornia Cays National Park, 96km north-east of Bundaberg and 59km east-north-east of Seventeen Seventy, in the southern Great Barrier Reef.

  • The track connects the northern beach and the Lady Musgrave Island camping area; and you can walk it in either direction.
  • A 300m sidetrack, not far from the northern beach, takes you to the southern beach.

Getting to the island

  • You can reach the island by private boat or commercial vessel. The nearest departure points are Bundaberg and Seventeen Seventy.
  • There is a daily commercial service to the island.
  • The service is weather-dependent so you need to check with operators for timetables.

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.

Fuel and supplies

You can get fuel and supplies on the mainland at Bundaberg and Seventeen Seventy.

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

When to visit

Opening hours

Lady Musgrave Island track is open 24 hours a day.

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

Climate and weather

Capricornia Cays National Park straddles and Tropic of Capricorn and has a tropical climate. Conditions are pleasant throughout the year with hotter, humid days (26–30°C) from October to January. Balmy nights follow afternoons cooled by strong, north-easterly sea breezes. January to April is the wet season, although a shower may fall in any month. Between April and September, daytime temperatures are mild to warm (21–26°C) with cool nights (16–22°C), particularly when prevailing south-easterly winds blow. Water temperatures on the reef flat vary from 20°C in July to 27°C in January. Cyclones are more likely between November and 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

You can have domestic animals on your boat but you can’t take them onto the islands, including the beaches and tidal areas.

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

  • Parks are natural environments and conditions can be unpredictable. You are responsible for your own safety and for looking after the park.
  • Read stay safe and visit with care for important general information about safety, caring for parks and essentials to bring when you visit Queensland’s national parks.

  • Our national parks, including our precious Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area islands, need your help to remain pest‑free.

Drinking water

  • You'll need to bring your own drinking water.

Rubbish

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

Emergencies

  • You will need a marine VHF radio as mobile phone reception is unreliable.
  • There is an emergency VHF marine band radio in the toilet block.
  • The Queensland Police Service (Bundaberg) monitors VHF channel 81, 24hrs a day.
  • You can also contact VMR477 Round Hill (6.30am to 6pm) and VMR488 Bundaberg (6am to 6pm) on VHF channel 81.

Evacuation procedures

Capricornia Cays National Park lies within the Queensland tropical storm (cyclone) zone. We have an emergency contingency plan to provide early warning and possible evacuation of campers if a cyclone or other event threatens your safety.

  • We will attempt to inform you of impending severe weather and the need for evacuation.
  • During an evacuation, all camping permits will be cancelled and you will be required to leave the cays. The decision to evacuate may be made well in advance of a cyclone or other threatening event, while sea conditions are still moderate.
  • If you need a permit refund, see camping and vehicle access permit fee and pre-paid booking refunds.
  • The unpredictable nature of cyclones may mean campers are evacuated, but the cyclone doesn't eventuate.
  • Commercial charter vessels will collect you during the evacuation.
  • Sea conditions may prevent the evacuation of camping equipment and private boats. In these circumstances, you may be able to store you equipment in the toilet blocks. Where this is not possible, you will need to secure and store your equipment as best you can. No responsibility will be accepted for items or boats left on the island. You will need to organise your own transport to the cays to retrieve your property.
  • When delivered to the mainland, you will need to look after your own accommodation.
  • Read safety during extreme weather for important information about what to do during floods, bushfires and cyclones.

Walking

  • When island walking, stay on the track to avoid tramping and collapsing shearwater burrows in the sand.
  • If reef walking, walk in sand channels and avoid stepping on live corals—they are easily damaged and will cause nasty cuts. Don't stir up sand and sediment, and beware of strong currents and changing tides. Wear shoes to protect your feet.
  • Read walk with care for tips on walking safely and walking lightly.

Around water

  • You'll need diving boots or other shoes to protect your feet when crossing the reef flat.
  • When swimming beware of strong currents and changing tides.
  • Stay clear of access channels and keep an eye out for boats.
  • Read water safety for important information about staying safe in and near water and caring for parks.

Boating and fishing

  • The waters adjacent to Capricornia Cays National Park are in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park.
  • Before heading out on the water make sure you have a zoning map, know the zones and what's allowed there.
  • Access to the islands and to many activities depend on tide times and heights. The islands' average tidal range is about 2m.
  • You can anchor in the Lady Musgrave Island lagoon, as long as you are outside the no anchoring area. The distance to shore is more than 500m so you may need a small craft as a tender.
  • Make sure you don't anchor in vessel loading areas.
  • We don't allow you to place temporary moorings, such as star pickets, on the reef flats or over reef edges.
  • Stay below 6kts when travelling over reef flats and shallow water.
  • Dump fish scraps at sea, at least 500m seaward of the reef edge. Vary dump sites to discourage scavenging sharks.
  • Fisheries regulations apply. You can obtain information on bag and size limits, restricted species and seasonal closures from Fisheries Queensland.
  • Read boat and fish with care for tips on boating and fishing safety and caring for parks.
Last updated: 22 March 2018
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