Green Island was originally an initiation ground for the males of the Gungandji people. In Aboriginal, Green Island is actually called Wunyami which means 'place of haunted spirits'. Green Island was given it's current name by James Cook in 1770, after Mr Charles Green who was an astronomer onboard the Endeavour.
It is situated on one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, the Great Barrier Reef. This ancient coral cay is home to over 120 species of native plants, colourful bird and marine life and beautiful coral gardens to explore.
Green Island is a tiny coral cay lying about 30km from Cairns, and only 12 hectares in area. The island features spectacular rainforest, as well as beautiful coral beaches. It also lies upon 710 hectares of reef, making it a fantastic diving spot.
Green Island started to develop around 6000 years ago, as the waves swept the loose debris from the reef into a large pile. This eventually emerged from the water, at which time vegetation began to grow as seeds were blown or carried by birds onto the island.
Many ships were wrecked on the Green Island reef and so along with the Aboriginal people, fishermen removed the vegetation and planted coconuts as well as building small huts for survivors to live.
The island was declared a National Park in 1937, with the waters around it declared a Marine Park in 1974. Everything about the island is beautiful, from the land to the waters.
Today, Green Island offers fabulous rainforest scenery which stretches upto 25 metres high. The rainforest is made up of around 130 different plant species, including grasses, palms, scramblers, trees and vines.
The best way to see the island is to follow the circuit track which leads around the island. The walk is 2km and takes about 50 minutes, however, you can also join a guided walk by one of the resorts naturalists. If you don't have time, then a walk along the beach is still rewarding.
Along with the fantastic scenery, Green island is also home to over 60 different species of bird. These include Egrets, Doves, Ospreys, Sea Eagles, Silvereyes and Woodswallows, which can be found all around the island.
The beautiful clear waters surrounding Green Island offer fabulous snorkeling and scuba diving. The reef around Green Island is truly amazing, with various different corals and sea creatures found within the waters.
You should definitely join one of the reef snorkeling or scuba diving tours, as you will be taken to some magnificent spots. Different corals can be found on the Eastern and Western side, so it is well worth exploring. (You should however, check for the safest diving spots at the Dive Centre on the Green Island, before venturing out into the water.)
If you don't want to get wet, but want to see the beauty of the reef another excellent way is to go out on a glass bottom boat. You can also wander to the Underwater Observatory, which is located at the end of the jetty.
There are a number attractions on Green Island as well as several trips out to the island. A nice way to make the journey is by luxury sail boat then enjoy snorkeling, lunch, and a glass bottom boat trip.
Although a day trip is well worth it, there is also accommodation on the island. The exclusive Green Island Reef Resort really makes you feel like you are on a desert island, as it merges so perfectly with the setting.
The resort also offers great facilities, with the attractive and sheltered boardwalk making the resort easy to get around. The resort also features a wide range of shops and a large eating area. The shops sell various beachside souvenirs and gifts, as well as stylish clothing and swimwear.
There is also an area accessible for day trippers to Green Island, which features a pool and showers. You will also find a number of picnic areas around the island, hidden amongst the trees. If you want some action, you can also hire out various equipment for the popular water activities.
There is also a small aquarium and crocodile habitat on the island, where you will get to see a number of different sea creatures as well as the not so friendly crocodiles. It is called Marineland Melanesia and was opened in 1972.
There are a couple of crocodile feeding shows daily, where you will get to see some of the largest Estuarine Crocodiles in captivity.
There are also several other feeding shows, as well as some interesting displays. Marineland also has a wonderful gift and souvenir shop offering a range of exclusive Green Island hand made jewellery. Marineland Melanesia is a must see when on Green Island.
Featured Green Island Activities
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Green Island on the Reef (Morning)(EX549) (Bushwalking, Nature & Wildlife) Enjoy a morning half day tour offering two hours on Green Island, an idyllic coral cay in paradise. Snorkel off the beach within the vivid aqua waters, over stunning coral reefs ablaze with underwater...
Green Island on the Reef (Afternoon)(EX550) (Bushwalking, Nature & Wildlife) Visit Green Island in an afternoon half day tour, the tour offers 2 hours on Green Island - an idyllic coral cay in paradise. There is so much to see at Green Island, snorkel off the beach over stunni...
Green Island on the Reef(EX551) (Bushwalking, Nature & Wildlife) Green Island is an idyllic coral cay in paradise. Snorkel off the beach over stunning coral reefs, ablaze with underwater colours and teeming with myriads of coloured exotic reef fish.