Michaelmas and Upolu Cays National Park

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Michaelmas and Upolu Cays National Park
IUCN category II (national park)
Michaelmas Cay 01.jpg
Michaelmas Cay
Michaelmas and Upolu Cays National Park is located in Queensland
Michaelmas and Upolu Cays National Park
Michaelmas and Upolu Cays National Park
Nearest town or cityCairns
Coordinates16°36′30″S 145°58′21″E / 16.60833°S 145.97250°E / -16.60833; 145.97250Coordinates: 16°36′30″S 145°58′21″E / 16.60833°S 145.97250°E / -16.60833; 145.97250
Area30 km2
Managing authoritiesQueensland Parks and Wildlife Service
WebsiteMichaelmas and Upolu Cays National Park
See alsoProtected areas of Queensland

Michaelmas and Upolu Cays is a national park in Queensland, Australia, 1,409 km (876 mi) northwest of Brisbane and 33 km (21 mi) east of Cairns. It comprises two small cays on Michaelmas Reef, which forms the north-eastern section of the Arlington reef complex, within the Great Barrier Reef.

Flora and fauna[edit]


The vegetation on Michaelmas Cay is characteristic of cays found on the outer barrier reef. Low-growing, it consists of beach spinifex, stalky grass, goatsfoot, bulls-head vine, sea purslane and tar vine. Nutrients fertilising the vegetation come from seabird droppings and carcasses. The smaller Upolu Cay is un-vegetated.[1]


Michaelmas Cay is important as a breeding site for several species of terns. It has been identified by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA) because it supports over 1% of the world populations of greater and lesser crested terns.[2] Sooty terns and common noddies also breed there. Other terns that have nested on the cay in the past include roseate and black-naped terns.[3]

Green turtles sometimes nest on the cays. The surrounding reefs have a rich marine fauna, including giant clams.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Michaelmas and Upolu Cays National Park". National parks, marine parks and forests. Queensland Government. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  2. ^ "IBA: Michaelmas Cay". Birdata. Birds Australia. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 15 August 2011.
  3. ^ BirdLife International. (2011). Important Bird Areas factsheet: Michaelmas Cay. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 15/08/2011.