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Eurimbula National Park

Maxime Coquard © Tourism & Events Queensland

Eurimbula National Park

Explore this beautiful stretch of coastline north of Agnes Waters, the site of Captain James Cook’s first landing in Queensland.

Stay overnight at one of five beach camping areas.
Stay overnight at one of five beach camping areas. © Chris Whitelaw
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Park Eurimbula
Traditional Owner Traditional Owners
Park Ranger Park Ranger

Imagine the reaction of Captain Cook, sighting the windswept headlands and unspoilt coastline now protected in this park, during his voyage in 1770.

Discover for yourself the park’s unique blend of landscapes—see mangrove-fringed estuaries, freshwater paperbark swamps, lowland eucalypt woodlands with weeping cabbage palms, and tall rainforest with towering hoop pines.

Stroll along wide, sandy island beaches with rugged boulders and delicate rock pools, or venture on a botanical walk to Ganoonga Noonga lookout track for spectacular views over the coastal lowlands. Wander through colourful wildflowers in spring, looking for red-tailed black-cockatoos and brolgas in the woodlands.

Paddle along tranquil coastal waterways and creeks on the Eurimbula sea trail, where cormorants and white-bellied sea-eagles are often spotted along the shore.

Get away from it all and spend a night on your own island paradise, choosing from one of five serene beach camps. Cast a line from the nearby beaches or creeks to catch your own dinner, then recline beneath the starry sky and enjoy true peace and quiet.

Keep discovering

Top things to see and do

Escape to bush by the sea at Middle Creek camping area.

Eurimbula's camping areas

See Eurimbula's camping areas.

Enjoy stunning panoramic views from Ganoonga Noonga lookout.

Eurimbula's journeys

See Eurimbula's walk and sea trail.

Getting there and getting around

Eurimbula National Park is 14km west of Agnes Water, on the Central Queensland coast. You can access the park by high-clearance 4WD, boat, canoe or kayak.

Road access

  • From the Agnes Water township, follow Round Hill Road south-west for 10.5km.
  • Turn right into Eurimbula Road and travel 3.4km to the park boundary.

Water access

  • From the Agnes Water township, follow Captain Cook Drive for 6.6km to the town of Seventeen Seventy.
  • Park at the public car park outside the 1770 marina and launch your vessel at the boat ramp or from the beach.
  • Follow the Eurimbula sea trail to the park.

Road conditions

  • Roads within the park are narrow sand tracks with no turnaround areas.
  • They require high-clearance 4WDs with low range gears. They are not accessible to all-wheel-drive vehicles, motorhomes and vehicles towing caravans. Small boat and camper trailers with high-clearance are suitable.
  • Roads to the town of Seventeen Seventy are sealed and suitable for all vehicles and trailers.
  • See traffic and travel information for road and travel conditions.
  • Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Fuel and supplies

The closest fuel and supplies are available from Agnes Water, Seventeen Seventy, Miriam Vale and Bundaberg.

  • 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.
  • 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.

Camping

Drive, boat or paddle to one of five coastal camping areas in the park. Enjoy a camp fire, play on the beach or fish offshore. Some of the camping areas have toilets and allow generators. You need to be totally self-sufficient at others.

See camping areas

Walking

You can walk along the beaches in the park, or grab your camera and take a short walk on the Ganoonga Noonga lookout track, for uninterrupted views of swamps, heaths, dunes and the coastline.

Viewing wildlife

Bring your binoculars and a bird field guide to find and identify Eurimbula's diverse bird life. See cormorants and white-bellied sea-eagles along the shore and red-tailed black-cockatoos and brolgas in the woodlands.

Canoeing and kayaking

Grab your canoe or kayak and head out onto the water to explore the coastline, estuaries and creeks of this park.

Fishing

You can fish offshore for reef fish, chase pelagic species in the open water or throw in a line from the beach, rocks and creek banks. Remember to bring your crabpots too!

  • The nearest boat ramp is in the town of Seventeen Seventy.
  • Read about fishing with care in Eurimbula National Park.

Boating

There are excellent boating opportunities along the coastline and in the estuaries and creeks of this park

  • The nearest boat ramp is in the town of Seventeen Seventy.
  • Read about boating with care in Eurimbula National Park.

Other things to do

Bring your camera so you don't miss the chance to snap the wildflower display in spring.

When to visit

Opening hours

Eurimbula National Park is open 24 hours a day.

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

Climate and weather

Eurimbula National Park has a mild subtropical climate. Summers can be hot and humid even in the evenings with temperatures ranging from 15–33°C. Winters are pleasantly mild with temperatures ranging from 7–26°C.

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. Some mobile reception may be available on the beach at Eurimbula Creek camping area and the headland near Middle Creek camping area. 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 permitted in the fire rings in the camping areas.
  • Bring clean, milled firewood as you cannot collect timber from the park.
  • 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.
  • The nearest transfer station is on Captain Cook Drive in Agnes Water. Operating times and fees vary. See the Gladstone Regional Council for more information.

Drinking water

  • You can get untreated tap water from the Eurimbula Creek camping area. Treat all water before use.
  • Water is not available in the rest of the park. Bring all the water you will need for drinking, cooking and cleaning.

Dump point

  • There are toilets at the Eurimbula Creek and Middle Creek camping areas.
  • At all other locations, use portable toilets, human wastes disposal kits 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 point is outside the local council depot on Captain Cook Drive, Seventeen Seventy.

Driving

  • Never drive on the foredunes or beach.
  • Remember all vehicles must be registered, drivers must be licensed and all Queensland road rules apply.
  • Read 4WD with care for important information on 4WD safety and minimal impact driving.

Camping

  • If you're camping during turtle breeding season, make sure you follow these guidelines.
  • Generators are permitted between 8am and 9pm and must have a noise rating of less than 65DB.
  • Read camp with care for tips on camping safely and camping softly.

Walking

  • Exposed sand dunes are unstable and can collapse without warning. Climbing on, sliding down or digging into them is dangerous and can lead to serious injury or death. Never play on or near exposed sand dunes.
  • Read walk with care for tips on walking safely and walking lightly.

Canoeing and kayaking

  • Make sure it's high tide when you explore the creeks, and look out for reefs and rocks.
  • Paddle along the coastline, away from the breaking waves and enter the camping areas from the creeks or sheltered bays. Keep well clear of rocky headlands.
  • Use the Beacon to Beacon Guide for the Discovery Coast to navigate.
  • The accepted range of estuarine crocodiles in Queensland is from Torres Strait to the Boyne River, just south of Gladstone (approximately 50km to the north). There have been unconfirmed reports of crocodiles in Eurimbula National Park. Be croc-wise in croc country.
  • Read water safety for important information about staying safe in and near water and caring for parks.

Boating and fishing

  • The waters adjacent to Eurimbula 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.
  • There is no mud crabbing permitted in the crab sanctuary in Eurimbula Creek. For details view the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries Eurimbula Creek fisheries regulated waters map (PDF).
  • Make sure it's high tide when you explore the creeks.
  • Use the Beacon to Beacon Guide for the Discovery Coast to navigate.
  • In camping areas, take all your fish cleaning rubbish with you when you leave. On the beach, bury fish cleaning rubbish in a 30cm deep hole just below the high tide mark.
  • The accepted range of estuarine crocodiles in Queensland is from Torres Strait to the Boyne River, just south of Gladstone (approximately 50km to the north). There have been unconfirmed reports of crocodiles in Eurimbula National Park. Be croc-wise in croc country.
  • 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.

Around water

  • There are no patrolled swimming areas along the coastline of Eurimbula National Park and we advise against swimming in the ocean, creeks and estuaries. The nearest patrolled beach is at Agnes Water.
  • Tragedies have occurred in unpatrolled waters and help can be hours away. Enter the water at your own risk.
  • Rips and strong currents occur in ocean waters.
  • Stonefish are common in the creeks and sharks are common in the ocean, river and estuaries.
  • The accepted range of estuarine crocodiles in Queensland is from Torres Strait to the Boyne River, just south of Gladstone (approximately 50km to the north). There have been unconfirmed reports of crocodiles in Eurimbula National Park. 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.

Natural environment

Plants

Over the past 6000 years, parallel dunes have built up on the coastal edge of Eurimbula National Park. Now covered in heaths, these dunes support myriad of habitats. Botanically, this is a key coastal area that preserves a complex mix of vegetation including some plants common in both southern and northern areas.

There is a marked changes in plant communities across the park. Look for mangrove-fringed estuaries, freshwater paperbark swamps and coastal lowland eucalypt forests with weeping cabbage palms and tall rainforest with towering hoop pines.

Animals

In the mangrove-fringed estuaries look for sacred kingfishers, and listen for honeyeaters in the paperbark swamps. Preferring the coastal lowland swamps, glossy black-cockatoos feed exclusively on she-oaks making them one of the most highly specialised birds in the world. Seek out the gregarious family parties of this vulnerable bird.

At night, keep an eye out for Australia's largest and strongest owl—the powerful owl. They are capable hunters and include greater gliders, ringtail possums and brushtail possums in their diet. On silent wings, these hunters swoop onto their unwary prey, grasping them with their claws and breaking their neck. Like all hunters, powerful owls require large areas to hunt and because of their size, they need large hollows to breed. Clearing and habitat fragmentation have led to this majestic bird being listed as vulnerable.

Look for yellow-bellied gliders during the first half of the night—their most active time of the evening—feeding on nectar, pollen, insects and the sap of specific eucalypts, such as scribbly gum, sugar gum, blue gum and grey gum. The V-shaped scar made by the glider's sharp incisors easily identifies food trees. These gliders prefer productive, tall open sclerophyll forests where mature trees provide shelter and nesting hollows, and year-round food resources are available from a mixture of eucalypt species.

Watch beach stone-curlews foraging for crabs and other marine invertebrates on the intertidal mudflats, sandflats and sandbanks exposed by low tide. Beach stone-curlews are susceptible to human disturbance such as beach-combing, boating, four-wheel-driving, and predation from raptors, cats and dogs. Listed as vulnerable, beach stone-curlews manage to raise their one chick each year from a nest among mangroves or in the sand surrounded by short grass and scattered she-oaks.

Eurimbula Creek and its tributaries are a valuable freshwater and marine habitat. Species such as water mice find shelter in the sedgelands adjacent to the creek. They forage among the mangroves at night, when the tide is low, for small crabs, shellfish and worms, and when the tide rises, they return to the adjacent sedgelands for shelter.

The ocean beaches around Rodds Peninsula and Bustard Beach are important feeding grounds for migratory waders such as sooty oystercatchers and little terns. From mid-November to February, these beaches become crucial nesting sites for adult loggerhead, flatback and green turtles. If you visit in January you might be lucky enough to see both adults and hatchlings. By mid-January until late March, hatchlings begin to leave their nests and start their journey to the sea. Follow these guidelines for watching turtles.

  • Request a species list to see what plants and animals have been recorded here.

Culture and history

The park is rich in cultural history and is part of the Gooreng Gooreng Aboriginal people's traditional country.

Captain James Cook first landed on this picturesque stretch of coast in May 1770. Cook's ship HMB Endeavour anchored in the sheltered inlet that was named Bustard Bay after a bustard or plains turkey was shot nearby. While the crew renewed their water supplies, naturalist Sir Joseph Banks collected 33 plant species from behind the curving beach of Bustard Bay (near the area which is now Eurimbula National Park) and noted the presence of palms, which indicated that the expedition had arrived in the tropics. Daniel Solander, a naturalist, and friend and assistant to Sir Banks, wrote the first technical report of a native land animal in Queensland by describing the Australian bustard.

Originally called Round Hill by Cook, Seventeen Seventy was renamed in honour of his first landing in Queensland. A rock cairn was built on the road leading to the headland to commemorate the first landing of HMB Endeavour in Queensland. The cairn was dedicated in 1926 and stands on the site where one of Cook's crew carved the date on a tree, close to where they came ashore.

Eurimbula National Park was gazetted in 1986, protecting 7830ha of coastal vegetation. Over the following years more land was added to the national park and it currently protects over 23,000ha.

Last updated: 22 March 2018
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