Cairns Green Island

Whale watching in the waters of the Great Barrier Reef is no secret, but surprise visits from scarce species are secrets to be discovered! There are only four reported white humpback whales in the world, and one of them, Migaloo, likes to drop by for surprise visits in the waters off Green Island.  Lucky travellers have spotted  Migaloo while on their way to or from Green Island.

The dazzling visual appeal of the reef and rainforest under the glorious Queensland sun is hard to overlook, but keep in mind that some of the best walks are when the sun goes down. Set out on a moonlit walk to get a look at the nocturnal happenings in nature from birdlife to turtles laying eggs. Guests of the resort can enjoy an informed tour, torches provided. The view of the night sky, out in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef, is a pretty good excuse to stay up late, too.

History

For your next trivia night: Cairns Green Island not named for its green rainforest. The story goes that in 1770, Captain James Cook marked the island on a nautical chart and called it after the ship’s astronomer, Mr Charles Green.

The island, part of the traditional sea country of the Guru-Gulu Gungandji Aboriginal people, Also known by the aboriginal name ‘Wunyami’ meaning ‘a place of spirits’, or Dabuukji, ‘the place of the hole in the nose’.

Fame

Famous today for its blend of reef and rainforest, and of course Guinness World Record holder Cassius the crocodile, Green Island’s fame has a long, impressive history. In 1937, Green Island introduced the world’s first glass-bottom boat. While in 1954 the first stationary underwater observatory opened.

Nature Experiences

Green Island is a convenient back to nature idyll. Once you get off the boat, it is easy to be enveloped in the startling beauty of the green rainforest, clear blue water, colourful flora and fauna and white sandy beaches.

Green Island National Park is the only rainforest destination to be found on a coral cay in the Great Barrier Reef. Walkthrough over 100 species of native plants, including a unique blend of coastal and rainforest plants. Marvel, too, at the juxtaposition of coastal vegetation and dense, shady rainforest, both only a few metres apart. In addition to rainforest wildlife, Green Island is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 50 species of land and seabirds.

The rainforest is accessible with easy boardwalk pathways leading visitors on a guided interpretive tour of the plant and animal life. Resort guests can join an informative, guided Eco Walk tour. Self-guided tours can also be planned to suit the length of your stay.

Note: Great Adventures post their version (PDF) of a simple Eco Walk map with accompanying text explanations that could be replicated.

Explore

Become your explorer and set out to walk around the only rainforest on a coral cay on the Great Barrier Reef.

The island’s 1.6 km circumference can be explored at a light pace in 45 minutes leading you on a journey past the island’s vibrant flora and fauna.

But take note – some of the best walks are to be had when the sun goes down. Set out on a moonlit walk to get a look at the nocturnal happenings in nature from birdlife to turtles laying eggs.

Guests of the resort can be escorted on an informed tour (torches provided). The view of the night sky,  is also a pretty good excuse to stay up late, too.