Map showing location of Orpheus Island: Queensland Coast Map.
Off the east coast of Queensland, Orpheus Island National Park on the Australia Great Barrier Reef is located some 110 kilometres north east of Townsville with beautiful bays, sand beaches, colourful reefs and even more colourful fish.
There is limited camping available in the park at Yanks Jetty, South Beach and Pioneer Bay, but you will need to get a permit from the Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing.
The only access to the island is via charter boat or your own. If your staying at the exclusive luxury resort there are flights available via helicopter from Townsville.
Amongst the native animals, there are colourful birds living on the island, including the blue-winged kookaburra, cockatoos, egrets and the white bellied sea-eagle. There are some small mammals as well. Marine life abounds in the waters surrounding the island.
The geology of the island shows that it was formed from volcanic lava that had pushed its way through the basalt base in the surrounding area, making ring dykes of rock. On the headlands and rocky shore line, one can see the web like patterns of these dykes.
The island had formed some 280 million years ago and is 12 kilometres long in length with a maximum width of 2.5 kms. Unlike many of the other islands of the Great Barrier Reef, it is not an coral cay, but became isolated from the mainland of Australia at the end of the last Ice Age, when the seas rose.
The Manbarra Aboriginal people are the traditional owners of the land, having used this island for fishing, hunting and recreation. There are indigenous guided tours available.
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Main Photo: Orpheus Island, Great Barrier Reef, Near Townsville. Photo: Maxime Coquard Tourism Australia
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