Orpheus Island is one of the Palm Group Islands located on the Great Barrier Reef and is 50 miles north of Townsville and 120 miles south of Cairns, and 20 miles off the coast of Furthermore, Orpheus Island is a true Great Barrier Reef island. The surrounding waters contain what is regarded by experts to be some of the best coral on the entire Barrier Reef.
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In 1960, the entire island of 1,368 hectares (11 kilometres in length, 1 kilometre in the widest area) was declared a National Park and a little later the surrounding waters were declared part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The resort is the only privately owned area. Including the main beach in front of the resort, Orpheus has seven beautiful, sandy beaches.
The island’s fringing reefs are best explored by snorkelling or diving. 1,100 species of fish and 340 of the 350 known species of coral can be found in the underwater gardens of the islands several sheltered bays. Located only a ten minute boat ride from the property, a cluster of approximately 90-100 Giant Clams is a must to explore. These incredible animals are estimated to be around 30 years old and have a fascinating story. The channel at the southern point of Orpheus is believed to host the reef’s largest range of soft corals. The fathomless wonders of the Outer Reef are just a 40 minute boat charter away.
There are three walking tracks within the national park and the resort offers various interpretive walks to allow you to learn about the local area. The island’s native mammals are mostly nocturnal and you can sometimes see these foraging around the restaurant during the early mornings or late evenings. Echidnas, bandicoots, harmless brown and green tree snakes, green tree frogs are common in the rainforest, woodland and around the resort.
There’s more than 50 species of birds and giant turtles can be seen at certain times of the year in the many sheltered bays. The Orange-footed scrub fowl’s distinctive call may be heard at any time, day or night.