Sensitive Locations in the Hinchinbrook Planning Area

Within the Hinchinbrook Planning Area there are some Locations that are particularly sensitive because they have an exceptional combination of natural, scientific, cultural and World Heritage values. There are special management arrangements in place to protect these values. The Sensitive Locations are:

  • Bowden (Budg-Joo) Island,
  • Brook Islands,
  • Coombe Island,
  • East coast of Hinchinbrook Island,
  • Eva Island,
  • Hudson (Coolah) Island,
  • Macushla,
  • Missionary Bay,
  • Mound (Purtaboi) Island,
  • Mulligan Bay,
  • Picnic Beach Location,
  • Ramsay Bay,
  • Shepherd Bay,
  • Smith Island,
  • Wheeler (Toolgbar) Island, and
  • Zoe Bay.

They can be located on the Sensitive Locations maps (see Download Map).

If your permit allows you to access the Hinchinbrook Planning Area, then it is likely that you will be able to visit the Sensitive Locations. However, so that the number of vessels and aircraft visiting these special places is sustainable, there are controls on the number of times most tourism operations can visit, including a booking arrangement.

Can I visit a Sensitive Location?

For most operations, you may operate to a Sensitive Location provided:

  • you book to access each Sensitive Location
  • you do not access the same Sensitive Location more than 50 days per year
  • you are not a motorised water sports operation
  • your vessel is less than 35 metres.

Can I have greater access?

You can operate without booking and more than 50 days per year if:

How many vessels can book?

For most Sensitive Locations there is a maximum number of commercial tourism vessels that can be booked to access the Sensitive Location in a day (see Table).

Sensitive Location
Vessel Booking Limit
Open Tour Operations and Long Range Roving Operations (combined) Limited Tour Operations (50 days access a year to the area)
Bowden (Budg-Joo) Island 1 per week 1 per week
Brook Islands 1 per week 1 per week
Coombe Island No access No access
East Coast of Hinchinbrook Island 1 per week 2 per week
Eva Island 1 per week 1 per week
Hudson (Coolah) Island 2 per week 2 per week
Macushla 2 per week 1 per day
Missionary Bay 2 per week 1 per day
Mulligan Bay No further access 1 per week
Picnic Beach Location No further access No further access
Mound (Purtaboi) Island No further access No further access
Ramsay Bay 1 per week 1 per week
Shepherd Bay 1 per week 2 per week
Smith Island No access No access
Wheeler (Toolgbar) Island 2 per week 2 per week
Zoe Bay 1 per week

1 per week

Download Maps

Hinchinbrook Sensitive Locations Map - 302.2 kb

  • Free zoning app

    Zoning maps

    If you're heading out on the water, download and use the free zoning app so you know where you can go and what you can do.

  • Important milestone

    40 years anniversary

    We're delighted to celebrate the 40 years of the managing the Great Barrier Reef.

  • Visit the Reef

    fish on reef

    Visit our Great Barrier Reef and discover its amazing animals, plants, and habitats.

  • What you can do

    purple coral

    Everyone has a role to play in protecting our Great Barrier Reef. Find out what you can do to help protect this great Australian icon.

  • Report marine strandings


    If you see sick, dead or stranded marine animals please call RSPCA QLD 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625)

  • Climate Change and the Great Barrier Reef

    Climate Change and the Great Barrier Reef vulnerability assessment cover image

    A Vulnerability Assessment: of the issues that could have far-reaching consequences for the Great Barrier Reef.

  • Current Conditions

    Current Conditions logo promo image

    Current Conditions: Environmental and climatic forecasts for the Great Barrier Reef