Tucked in behind Cape Melville to the east with Princess Charlotte Bay to the west, the Flinders Group is 340km north of Cairns.
The seven National Park Islands are well off the beaten track and these days most visitors are expedition cruise passengers, long distance cruisers or fishing trawlers seeking refuge from bad weather. Less than 4km offshore, the rugged hilly islands’ cultural landscape is significant to traditional owners, the Yithuwarra, or “saltwater people”.
Reflecting their long occupation, heritage sites include mammoth rock art galleries on Stanley Island that depict contact with European explorers in the late 1800s. Following the stepped boardwalk up to the Yindayin rock shelter, there are hundreds of painted images depicting crocodiles, turtles and dugongs as well as tall ships. The shelter is also the birthplace of an important Elder.
Camping is only permitted on the largest island, Flinders, and because of the remoteness of these far-flung islands, campers should be completely self-sufficient, arranging their own boat transfers. A pit toilet, picnic table and water tank are located at the campsite, although water should be carried in rather than counting on untainted water in the tank. You’ll also need a VHF radio, and a means of charging it, to contact your boat transfer captain as there’s no phone coverage and very little passing traffic.
Getting There: Cruise ship or private vessel.