Tropical Coast of Queensland

Langford Island

Langford Island, near Hayman Island in the northern Whitsundays is a popular spot with sailors, divers and snorkellers. Many of the bareboats and crewed sailing boats will anchor near Langford Island. Langford Island is relatively small, but features a long sand spit that all but disappears at high tide. This is an excellent spot for a picnic, sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling.

The best diving is found on the north-western end of the beach where scattered bommies offer an interesting maze to explore and there are a few shallow walls at the eastern end of the island. The majority of fish life is small, but abundant. Expect reasonable protection from all but the strongest wind conditions and moderate tidal currents at all but slack tides. Snorkellers will enjoy the ability to snorkel straight off the length of the beach, with the best areas to explore being closest to the island.

Langford Island was named in 1866 by Commander G.S. Nares, RN, in HMS Salamander after William Langford, Gunner 2nd Class appointed to Salamander in 1863. In April 1896 the island and its reef were the subject of a study by the American Scientist, Alexander Agassiz, from the Harvard University of Comparative Zoology. This was one of the earliest specific studies of the reef and the story is told in a paper by Agassiz entitled 'A Visit to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia in the Steamer Croydon'. a copy of which is held by the James Cook University in Townsville. The paper contains an early photo of Langford Island.

During the Embury expeditions to Hayman Island, Monty Embury held a special lease for ten years from 1 September 1934 over Langford Island. However following a review of the lease in 1936 it was revoked in 1938 and the island declared a national park.