Hook Island Honeymoon Guide

Explore the deep fjord-like inlets and sheltered bays of Hook Island – the second largest island in the Cumberland group with an area of 58km² (22mi²).

With multiple moorings and safe anchorages, Hook Island is ideal for sailing and kayaking.

Hire a yacht or join a local tour from Airlie Beach to experience quality snorkelling and diving at Maureen's Cove and Luncheon Bay or anchor overnight at picture-perfect Stonehaven beach.

Hook Island also offers beautiful bushwalks, pristine waterfalls and unspoilt beaches.

Look out for wildlife including sea eagles, kites and ospreys, turtles, reef fish, dolphins, manta rays and humpback whales in the Whitsunday Passage (between June to September).

Don't miss the ancient rock art at Ngaro Cultural Site. Protected from the elements in a once-hidden cave, the Ngaro artwork adorns the rock surface and tells the story of these sea-faring Aboriginal people.

Ngaro Cultural Site – Discover ancient rock art and middens of the Ngaro People just a short walk up a rocky path from the fresh-water rock pool at the bottom end of Nara Inlet.

The Ngaro rock art decorating this once-hidden cave marks one of the oldest Indigenous sites on Australia’s east coast.

The short and initially steep and stepped track leads up the side of Nara Inlet to a viewing platform at the cave’s entrance. A boardwalk and wooden steps lead up to the cave entrance.

The signposted track is only 340m return and takes about 20 minutes walking time. Allow longer to view the rock art.

Anchoring is permitted in Nara Inlet. Access to the site is possible at mid tide.

Where to stay

There are no longer any resorts on Hook Island due to a devastating cyclone in 2017; instead a choice of campgrounds provide the perfect opportunity to stay longer and experience the island at your own pace.

You are required to book and pay for your camping permit before arriving at the camping area. You may book online at Queensland National Parks website, at an over-the-counter booking office or at a self-service kiosk. Advance bookings are recommended for holiday periods. Fees for camping permits are AUD$6.75 per person per night, or AUD$27.00 per family per night.

Note: In general, the camping areas can be reached by boat only. They are open 24 hours a day. Check-in after 2pm and check-out by 11am on the day of departure. Open fires are prohibited, generators are not permitted and you need to bring essentials such as drinking water, food, rubbish bags and insect repellent.

Camping areas include…

Crayfish Campsite – Sheltered by a large rocky headland to the east and towering mountains to the north and west, this secluded and picture-perfect campground is set in dry rainforest just off the beach. A seasonal creek feeds from the back of the camping area to its sandy shore.

The campsite features an open area without separately defined sites for a maximum of 12 people. Facilities consist of a composting toilet.

An expansive fringing reef lies just offshore offering perfect conditions for snorkelling and drift dives.

Spend an afternoon kayaking the deep blue waters of the Coral Sea and the surrounding bays of Hook Island. Or just relax at camp and explore the beach, rocks and bush around the calm waters of Crayfish Bay.

This site is accessible at mid to high tide by shallow draft vessels only. Anchoring is permitted, but may be poor with south-easterly or strong northerly winds. No public moorings are available at Crayfish Beach. The closest public moorings can be found at Pinnacle Bay.

Crayfish Beach is located in Mackerel Bay South on Hook Island, approximately 17.8nm (33km) from Shute Harbour.

Curlew Campsite – Tucked away in Macona Inlet, this secluded, peaceful site nestles behind a sandy beach and backs onto tropical rainforest. This is the closest camping area to the Ngaro Cultural Site.

Learn about the traditional owners — the Ngaro People — on a short walking track to a collection of rock art and middens dating back more than 2500 years.

Grab your snorkel at low tide and head out to explore the reef wall off Curlew Beach, or further to explore the fringing reef in the small bays between Nara and Macona inlets.

Look out for bush stone-curlews standing still as statues or resting peacefully in the undergrowth.

The campsite features an open area without separately defined sites for a maximum of 12 people. Facilities consist of a composting toilet.

There's no public moorings available at Curlew Beach. Anchoring is permitted within Macona Inlet. The anchorage is sheltered from northerlies and light south-easterlies. Access to this site is possible during mid to high tide by shallow craft only.

Curlew Beach camping area is located in Macona Inlet on Hook Island, around 38.3nm (17km) north-east of Airlie Beach.

Maureen's Cove – Nestled beneath the rugged hills of Hook Island, this campground sits on top of a steep coral rubble beach.

The shady, spacious camping area sits among pandanus palms and beach gardenias. Facilities consist of a composting toilet and picnic tables.

Enjoy uninterrupted views over the fringing reef out to the Coral Sea. A small creek meanders behind the campground to the bay.

In the cooler months, admire the kaleidoscope of butterflies, including blue tiger and common crow, fluttering around the forest.

Grab your snorkel or diving gear and explore fringing reefs along both the eastern and western edges of Maureen's Cove.

Access is possible at mid to high tide. Four public moorings are available. If moorings are unavailable, anchoring is permitted outside of the reef protection buoys. The cove is sheltered from south-easterly winds but exposed to strong northerlies.

Maureen's Cove is located in the north of Hook Island, around 21.5nm (35km) north-east of Airlie Beach.

Steens Beach – Set in a coastal rainforest behind a sandy beach, this small campground allows only one booking at a time, creating a true island escape.

If you’re seeking your own private beach experience, then this is the place for you! Here you can enjoy secluded camping in coastal rainforest, with breathtaking views over Hayman Island.

The site overlooks a small reef flat that provides good snorkelling from the beach.

The camping site is an open area without separately defined sites for a maximum of 12 people. Facilities consist of a composting toilet and picnic tables.

Steen's Beach is accessible at high tide by shallow craft only. When arriving by boat, you need to exercise caution in the waterway between Hayman and Hook islands as there are many navigational hazards and strong currents are often present.

The anchorage is sheltered from south-easterlies but exposed to northerlies. Anchorage at this site is not ideal due to the small size of sandy areas among the reef flat. A good sandy area is available as an anchorage just south of Steen's Beach.

No public moorings are available at Steen's Beach. The closest public moorings can be found at Butterfly Bay to the east, or Stonehaven Anchorage to the south.

Steen's Beach is located in the north of Hook Island around 23.1nm (32km) north-east of Airlie Beach.

Note: Steen's Beach is closed annually for sea turtle nesting season from 1 October to 31 March.

Alternatively, nearby Airlie Beach offers a good range of accommodation options.

Best time to visit Hook Island

For the best weather visit Hook Island anytime between May and November. However, late March through December are considered the best holiday months.

Hook Island (and the Whitsundays in general) enjoy a tropical climate with hot summers, warm winters and a pleasant spring and autumn.

Summer, from December to February, averages between 25°C (77°F) and 31°C (87°F) and winter from 18°C (64°F) to 26°C (78°F).

For more climate info: Whitsundays Weather Guide

How to get to Hook Island, Whitsundays

Hook Island sits in The Whitsunday Islands, which lie off the central coast of Queensland, around 900km north of Brisbane and 600km south of Cairns.

The most convenient route to The Whitsundays is by air to Proserpine Airport (PPP), also known as Whitsunday Coast Airport, followed by bus or taxi to Airlie Beach.

The airport is located about 38km (24mi) south of Airlie Beach, around 40 minutes by shuttle bus and less by taxi. Whitsunday Transit operates a regular bus service from the airport.

There are no direct international flights to Hamilton Island Airport or Proserpine Airport.

From international destinations this may require first flying into Brisbane Airport (BNE) – or to Cairns, Melbourne or Sydney airport – followed by a connecting flight to Proserpine Airport.

Alternatively, you can fly to Hamilton Island Airport (HTI), also known as Great Barrier Reef Airport, then hop on the ferry to the Port of Airlie, which takes 1 hour 10 minutes, hourly.

By train, the nearby town of Proserpine, about 26km (16mi) from Airlie Beach, is on the main railway line between Brisbane and Cairns, with a frequent service provided by the Spirit of Queensland.

By bus, Greyhound and Premier coaches stop at Airlie Beach on their journey between Brisbane and Cairns.

For more about getting to the Whitsundays

More about the Whitsundays…

Latest update: Hook Island, Whitsundays: 22 November, 2023