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Bowling Green Bay National Park

Bowling Green Bay National Park covers 57,900 ha of coastal and mountainous country. The habitats range from mangroves at sea level to rainforests on the mountain tops.

Getting there and getting around

Mount Elliot section: Turn off the Bruce Highway towards Alligator Creek, 25 km south of Townsville or 65 km north of Ayr. The entrance to the Mount Elliot section of the park is 5.5 km from the highway. Access is suitable for conventional vehicles. There is no public transport. The gate to the camping and day-use areas is open from 6.30 am to 6.30 pm daily.

Cape Cleveland section: Turn off the Bruce Highway onto Cape Cleveland Road (Australian Institute of Marine Science road), about 33 km south of Townsville or 57 km north of Ayr. The roads leading to the national park are sealed; however four-wheel-drive vehicles are generally needed to travel within the park. Bush tracks are prone to erosion; always check tracks prior to driving over them, particularly when close to the creek.

Bowling Green Bay section: Turn off the Bruce Highway onto Jerona Road, about 12 km south of the Giru turn-off (64 km south of Townsville, 26 km north of Ayr). The first kilometre of the road is bitumen. The remainder is unsealed road that is susceptible to wash-outs. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are recommended, especially during the wet season (December to April). The park boundary starts 9 km along this road and extends for 6 km until you reach the township of Jerona.

Wheelchair accessibility

The Alligator Creek camping area toilets and camp sites one and two are wheelchair accessible. The day-use area toilets and a 100 m boardwalk along Alligator Creek (Mount Elliot) are also wheelchair accessible.

Bowling Green Bay National Park
Park Features

Bowling Green Bay National Park covers 57,900 ha of coastal and mountainous country. The habitats range from mangroves at sea level to rainforests on the mountain tops.

The national park includes a wetland that has gained international recognition as a significant habitat for waterfowl, and has been listed under the Ramsar Convention. In the summer months at least 30 different species of birds migrate to the park from various parts of the world.

Within the park, Mount Elliot reaches a height of 1210 m, jutting out of the surrounding coastal plain and dominating the landscape.

There are several options for camping in Bowling Green Bay National Park.

There is one camping area with facilities, three camping areas with no facilities and opportunities for remote hiking and camping. All camping activities in the park require a permit and fees apply. Before setting up camp you will need to obtain a camping permit, which should be attached to your tent in a visible place. Rangers conduct regular patrols in all sections of the park. Please camp with minimum impact and take all rubbish with you when you leave.

Find out more about camping in Bowling Green Bay National Park.
Book your camp site online.
If you cannot book online, see camping bookings for other options.

Camping Information

Bowling Green Bay National Park

If you intend to embark on extensive hikes in remote areas remember to tell a responsible person where you are going and when you expect to return. Let them know your route and contact them on your return. Have a contingency plan if you fail to contact them by the agreed time. If you change your plans, inform them.

Alligator Creek boardwalk (Mount Elliot)—200 m return (15 mins) Grade: easy

A wheelchair-accessible boardwalk leads from the day-use area through riparian forest to the bank of Alligator Creek. Interpretive signs highlight some of the plants and animals in the area.

Alligator Creek lookout (Mount Elliot)—1 km return (30 mins) Grade: easy

Take your camera for a canopy-level view of the lower sections of Alligator Creek. Reach the lookout by walking 500 m directly from the car park along a sealed path, or use the steps from the swimming area.

Alligator Falls track (Mount Elliot)—17 km return (5–6 hrs) Grade: difficult

The track to Alligator Falls starts from the southern end of the day-use area. The Alligator Creek lookout is located 500 m along the track (as described above). The track then continues on for another 2 km to Cockatoo Creek, an ideal place for a rest and a swim.

From Cockatoo Creek the track meanders roughly parallel to the creek, following powerlines through open woodland forest to Hidden Valley. Across the creek the valley narrows, with Mount Elliot and Saddle Mountain framing the landscape. An open clearing features towering, old mango trees, one of the only reminders of the homestead that once stood there. After a further 2 km, the track arrives at a series of steps ascending through a rocky vine-thicket where some boulder-scrambling is required. The track then suddenly emerges at the falls. Access to and above the falls is not provided.

On this track visitors must cross the creek on four occasions. These crossings vary in depth from ankle-deep to approximately waist-deep depending on the season and weather conditions.

As the walk is long, visitors are advised to start walking in the morning to ensure a safe return during daylight hours. Carry water and wear sturdy footwear.

Other extended bushwalking opportunities exist on Mount Elliot and Mount Cleveland for experienced walkers. See camping information for more details.

Bowling Green Bay National Park

Picnic and day-use areas
At Alligator Creek, near the camping area, a spacious day-use area has picnic tables, a shelter shed, gas barbecues and toilets. The area caters for large groups. There is a smaller day-use area along the track to the lookout with a covered picnic table and a gas barbecue. Picnic tables are also located along the road leading to the camping area and main day-use area. Please remove your rubbish.

Alligator Creek is a great place to visit but is also hazardous. Water levels can rise rapidly and care must be taken in and near the water because of slippery rocks and submerged objects. Heed all warning signs. Serious injuries and deaths have occurred here.

How to get to Bowling Green Bay National Park

Alligator Creek 25 km south of Townsville; Cape Cleveland 33 km south of Townsville; Bowling Green Bay 64 km south of Townsville and 26 km north of Ayr.

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