Do You Need a Permit to Drive on Double Island?


Nestled off the coast of Queensland, Australia, Double Island is a picturesque gem that beckons travelers and adventure enthusiasts. Whether you’re planning a day trip or an extended stay on this island paradise, one crucial question often arises: Do you need a permit to drive on Double Island? In this guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of navigating this stunning destination.

Understanding Double Island

Double Island is a popular destination, known for its natural beauty, pristine beaches, and lush rainforests. Situated a short distance from Cairns, it offers a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The island is accessible via a barge service from Palm Cove, making it a convenient getaway for locals and tourists alike.

Permits and Regulations

Driving on Double Island does require a permit. The island is part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and is governed by specific regulations aimed at preserving its natural beauty. To drive on the island, you will need a beach driving permit, which can be obtained from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

Permit Types

  1. Day Permits: If you plan to visit for a single day, a day permit is sufficient. It allows you to explore the island and its beaches during daylight hours.
  2. Camping Permits: For those intending to camp overnight, a camping permit is necessary. This permit covers your stay and vehicle access for the duration of your camping trip.

Regulations to Note

  • Speed limits: Ensure you adhere to the specified speed limits on the island’s beaches.
  • Tides: Driving is typically allowed within two hours of high tide, so plan your trips accordingly.
  • Wildlife: Be mindful of the island’s diverse wildlife, including birds and marine creatures. Drive carefully to avoid disturbing them.

Navigating the Island

Driving on Double Island offers a unique and adventurous experience. Here are some essential tips:

  1. Vehicle Selection: Choose a 4WD vehicle equipped to handle sandy terrain and tidal conditions. Rental options are available in nearby towns.
  2. Tidal Awareness: Check tide times and drive during low tide to ensure safer and more accessible beach driving.
  3. Safety Gear: Carry essential safety equipment, including a first-aid kit, recovery gear, and plenty of drinking water.
  4. Reduce Tire Pressure: Lower your tire pressure for better traction on sandy surfaces.

Exploring Double Island

Once you’ve obtained your permit and are equipped with the necessary knowledge, you’re ready to explore Double Island. Here are some must-visit spots:

  1. Palm Cove: Begin your journey with a scenic barge ride from Palm Cove to the island.
  2. Eucalyptus Beach: A favorite among campers, this beach offers beautiful camping spots and pristine shores.
  3. Rainforest Trails: Discover the island’s lush rainforests through various hiking trails.
  4. Wildlife Watching: Keep an eye out for native wildlife, including sea turtles and bird species.


Driving on Double Island is a fantastic way to explore this natural wonder. Remember to obtain the necessary permits, follow regulations, and prioritize safety during your visit. With its stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife, Double Island promises an unforgettable adventure for all who venture there.


1. Do I need a permit to drive on Double Island?

Yes, you need a permit to drive on Double Island. There are day permits for day trips and camping permits for overnight stays.

2. Where can I obtain a beach driving permit for Double Island?

You can obtain a beach driving permit from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

3. Are there any regulations for driving on Double Island?

Yes, there are regulations to ensure the preservation of the island’s natural beauty. These include speed limits, tidal restrictions, and guidelines for wildlife protection.

4. What type of vehicle should I use for driving on Double Island?

A 4WD vehicle is recommended, as it can handle sandy terrain and tidal conditions.

5. What are some must-visit spots on Double Island?

Some must-visit spots on Double Island include Palm Cove, Eucalyptus Beach, rainforest trails, and opportunities for wildlife watching, especially sea turtles and bird species.

Read more: