National Parks


QLD Brisbane - St Helena Island National Park

St Helena Island’s picturesque setting in inner Moreton Bay is a striking contrast to its turbulent past as a high security prison. Queensland’s first historic national park, St Helena Island National Park contains the ruins of the State’s first penal settlement which operated here from 1867 until 1932.

St Helena Island provides a fascinating insight into life in the 19th Century. The island was virtually self-supporting and the site of Queensland’s first tramway and sugar mill. Today, the vegetation is an interesting mix of the original vine forest, crops such as the grove of olive trees and remnants of beautifully landscaped gardens.

Wetlands around the island are a haven for migratory wading birds. The surrounding waters are protected in Moreton Bay Marine Park.

Have a picnic on the foreshore overlooking the beach and the distant suburbs of Brisbane. Access beyond the picnic area and shore is restricted to protect the ruins.

Explore the historic ruins in the company of a guide. Fees apply. Commercial tours operate daily. Ranger-guided tours of the ruins operate on weekends from the picnic area. Contact the ranger to check times and availability.

Look for turtles, dugong and dolphins in the surrounding Moreton Bay waters. Take your binoculars and go birdwatching.

Camping is not allowed on the island.


St Helena Island is 7km north-east of Manly and 45 minutes by boat. Regular day tours depart from Hamilton, Bretts Wharf. For more info on day /night tours, contact Brisbane Cruises

Further Information

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service
PO Box 15187
City East Q 4002

13 QGOV (13 74 68)