North West Island
Eco-friendly place to stay
The second largest coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef, after Yorke (Masig) Island, this wildlife paradise 75 kilometres off Gladstone has no facilities bar three composting toilets, from which the waste is carted off the island. There is camping for up to 150 people, but you need to bring your own drinking water and everything else. It is home to the largest pisonia forest in Australia and some of the largest nesting populations of wedge-tailed shearwaters (an estimated 800 000), black noddies (some 500 000) and green turtles (the island is closed from Australia Day to Easter to protect the turtle hatchlings). Although some of the coral in the lagoon is dead, it has superb snorkelling off the edge of the reef. Well-prepared campers will love this piece of secluded paradise, safely away from the daytrippers. Curtis Ferry Services operates barges out to the island and supplies 5 litres of water per person, per day.
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