Orpheus Island is everything a tropical island escape should be; secluded beaches, breathtaking sunsets, crystal clear waters, and the most magical underwater experience at the iconic Great Barrier Reef.
Located just off the coast of Ingham in North Queensland, Orpheus Island is renowned for its exclusivity, beauty, and spectacular fringing reefs.
Also known as Goolboddi Island by the aboriginal community, the majority of the Island is comprised of pristine National Park set amongst the turquoise waters of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.
With limited accommodation options and access via helicopter or private charter, Orpheus Island provides true escapism for visitors. Stay at Orpheus Island Resort for pure luxury. Arrive by helicopter and be transported to a tropical indulgence, complete with gourmet dining in some of the most spectacular settings imaginable. Relax in comfort, or let the staff arrange a full day of activities for you to explore the Island further.
For a more low-key accommodation option, the National Park has three camping spots. Ideally located on the Great Barrier Reef, Orpheus Island is a magical location for fishing, snorkelling, and diving with the dive sites showcasing 1100 of the 1500 species of fish on the reef.
Where is Orpheus Island
Orpheus Island is located 45 kilometres off the coast of Hinchinbrook, roughly a 30 minute boat ride from Lucinda and Dungeness. Orpheus Island is part of the Palm Island Group.
Getting to Orpheus Island
Orpheus Island can be reached by boat in as little as 30 minutes. Dungeness, Taylors Beach and Forrest Beach are the gateways to Orpheus Island. Hinchinbrook have some great boat charter and tour operators available to provide a private charter.
If you are staying at the Orpheus Island Resort, you will have the luxury of being transferred to the island via helicopter.
You can also access the island by a private boat. Download yourself a copy of the Hinchinbrook Marine Wonders brochure for information on transit lanes and boat speeds to help Dugong and Turtle Protection. Be sure to check local tide times and weather before you set off on your journey.
Check the Queensland National Parks website for park alerts and/or warnings.
Staying at Orpheus Island Resort
With a maximum of 28 guests at any time, it’s the ultimate private tropical island getaway at one of Great Barrier Reef’s most exclusive island resorts.
With an all-inclusive accommodation package, you will receive:
- Three gourmet meals daily
- All-inclusive mini bar and selection of quality Australian wines, spirits, beers, and soft drinks
- Unlimited use of dinghies, kayaks, catamarans, and paddleboards
- Unlimited use of fishing and snorkelling equipment
Camping at Orpheus Island
There are three great camping sites available on the island, which include Yanks Jetty, South Beach, and Pioneer Bay.
As the island has very restrictive resources, campers must be fully self-sufficient as all camping equipment and supplies need to be brought to the island. Permits are required and can be purchased from the Queensland National Park website. Yanks Jetty camping area features remote, island bush camping and is located on the south-west side of Orpheus Island. There is no anchoring area offshore, but anchoring in the sand adjacent to the beach is permitted. Facilities at Yanks Jetty include composting toilet, picnic tables, and a shelter with a free gas barbeque. It is recommended to bring your own gas or fuel stove as the barbeque availability cannot be guaranteed. Fires and generators are prohibited.
Pioneer Bay camping area features remote, island bush camping and is located on the western side of Orpheus Island between Orpheus Island Resort and Cattle Bay. There is no anchoring area offshore, but anchoring in the sand adjacent to the beach is permitted. Facilities included at Pioneer Bay include a composting toilet and a picnic table. Fires are prohibited so it is recommended to bring fuel stoves.
South Beach camping features remote island wilderness camping and is located on the south-east end of the island with views of Fantome Island. Wilderness in nature, this camping area provides no facilities. Fires are prohibited so it is recommended to bring fuel stoves.
Snorkelling at Orpheus Island
Take on one of the best dive or snorkel experiences of a lifetime amongst green turtles and reef sharks! The reefs and waters surrounding Orpheus Island National Park are protected within the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
The fringing reef surrounding Orpheus and the neighbouring islands offers some of the region’s most diverse marine wonderlands. Orpheus’ local dive sites are home to 1,100 of the 1,500 species of fish on the reef, 340 of the 359 varieties of hard corals, and some of the region’s largest collections of soft corals.
The deeper, outer reefs are approximately 75 mins from the lodge by boat and are accessible by private charter. In this natural aquarium, dive and snorkel amongst a myriad of reef habitats and, if you’re lucky, alongside green turtles, bull rays, manta rays, humpback whales, and reef sharks. If you’re lucky enough to time your trip just right, you can witness the spectacular annual coral spawning.
Yanks Jetty at Orpheus Island
Orpheus Island’s Yanks Jetty is a reminder of Australia’s role during the wars; the Jetty was used by American ships and submarines as a degaussing station. Demagnetising protected the allied vessels from the mines.
The iconic Yanks Jetty was hammered by Cyclone Yasi and was closed during 2011. The Jetty was then restored as part of the NDRRA program where Hinchinbrook Shire Council partnered with AECOM to repair and restore the Jetty. Yanks Jetty is a breathtaking, blissful, and popular spot to spend the day snorkelling with family and friends.
Giant Clam Nursey at Orpheus Island
Feast your eyes on the world’s largest bivalve molluscs that can live up to a century old; Tridacna Giga (aka, Giants Clams)!
Located at Pioneer Bay on Orpheus Island, there are now hundreds of these Giant Clams, weighing in at an impressive 150 kgs to 200 kgs, and stretching 90 cm to 130 cm in length.
The best time to visit is when the clams are underwater and showcasing their colourful interior mantles of greens, golds, and blue speckles whilst open.
However, it is just as spectacular at low tide; when the top of the shell is just peeking out of the water and you can see them squirting water like a geyser!
Walking at Orpheus Island
Being a completely road free and car free island, the island offers numerous quiet and unspoilt bush walks through Australian eucalypt forests, with views of this tropical paradise from many scenic lookouts adorning the island.
Fishing at Orpheus Island
Be aware the waters surrounding Orpheus Island National Park are protected within the Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park and Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
Whether you are keen to cast off from the shoreline or head out to deeper waters, there are countless opportunities to bring home a good catch for dinner. Among the favourites, you may snag a giant trevally, coral trout, spanish mackerel, or dog tooth tuna.
Please ensure you are familiar with the areas that are within the Green Zone where fishing is not allowed.