Australia: The Land Where Time Began

A biography of the Australian continent 

Orpheus Island National Park

What's special?

Sheltered bays and spectacular fringing reefs make Orpheus Island National Park a popular boating destination. Orpheus Island is one of the hilly continental islands in the Palm Group off the Queensland coast, east of Ingham.

Caves and crevices around the headland and shores provide evidence of the island’s geological past. Here, molten rock has intruded into the granite to form ring dykes which have since been eroded.

Dry woodlands of Moreton Bay ash and wattles, grasslands and rainforest grow on the island.

Orpheus Island is surrounded by marine park waters and has beautiful fringing reefs.

Exploring Orpheus Island

Visitors must be self-sufficient. You can bush camp at Yank’s Jetty, South Beach or Little Pioneer Bay. Yank’s Jetty has toilets, picnic tables, and a gas barbecue. South Beach has picnic tables and Pioneer Bay toilets and picnic tables. Take fresh water and a fuel stove for both sites. Campfires are not allowed. Remove all rubbish from the island.

Look for wildlife in the rainforest and along the shore. You might see echidnas, snakes, geckoes, ospreys or brahminy kites.

Go snorkelling or diving. Large coral bommies can be seen at Little Pioneer Bay, Cattle Bay and around Yank’s Jetty. Anchor carefully to avoid coral damage. Fishing and collecting are not permitted in most of the surrounding waters. Beware of marine stingers between October and May.

A resort overlooks Hazard Bay. Only guests are welcome there. Tours of the James Cook University Orpheus Island Research Station can be arranged (07) 4777 7336.


A 100m track leads from Little Pioneer Bay to the Old Shepherds Hut.

Getting there

Orpheus Island lies off the north Queensland coast 23km south-east of Dungeness (Lucinda). Access is by charter or private boat.


Long, John A, 1998, Dinosaurs of Australia and New Zealand, University of New South Wales Press.

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