Located at the southern entrance to the Whitsunday Passage, the Brampton Islands consist of Brampton and Carlisle islands. Rocky headlands dotted with hoop pines, open grasslands, woodlands, sheltered bays and long sandy beaches make these islands some of the most scenic off the Queensland coast.
Rocky headlands dotted with hoop pines, open grasslands, woodlands, sheltered bays, and coral rubble and long sandy beaches make these islands some of the most scenic off the Queensland coast. This park consists of Brampton and Carlisle Islands.
Brampton Island rises from sea level to 214m at Peak Lookout. The island has a variety of vegetation types; open eucalypt forest on ridges and sheltered slopes, dense vine forest in gullies and valleys, dry rainforest with towering hoop pines on headlands, grasstrees scattered through native grasslands, coastal scrub and mangroves. Turtles feed in the surrounding marine park waters and the islands are important turtle rookeries. This is the sea country of the Ngaro people who also visited the Whitsunday islands further north. Cook named the group after the Duke of Cumberland. The islands and surrounding waters are part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and are protected.
Park AccessBrampton Island is 32 kilometres north of Mackay. Access is by private vessel, charter vessel, charter aircraft or via a commercial vessel service operated by Brampton Island Resort. Visitors intending to use the commercial vessel or charter aircraft service will need to walk 3.2 kilometres from the resort to the campground.
About Brampton IslandBrampton Island was named in 1879 by Staff Commander E. P. Bedwell, RN, in SS Llewellyn and is one of the many names from the then English county of Cumberland he brought to the Whitsundays following James Cook's 1770 designation of the group as 'The Cumberland Isles'. Brampton is a city in the north-east of Cumbria into which Cumberland was absorbed in 1974. Prior to this naming, the island and its twin, Carlisle Island, were together known as M Island, a designation given by Matthew Flinders in 1802.
In 1902 the first white 'resident' of the island was to be John Williams, the master of the China Navigation Company's Chingtu, which traded in those days between Australia and the Far East. In August 1902, while the vessel was in Sydney, Williams contracted bronchitis but nevertheless stayed with his ship when it departed for China. Once clear of Sydney Heads he retired to his cabin, his condition worsened, and on 15 August he died while the vessel was off Moreton Bay. He had expressed a wish to be buried on an island and not at sea and when the vessel arrived among the Cumberland Islands he was buried at Brampton Island where today his grave still stands as an historic feature. A second grave stands nearby, that of Stanley Montague, a worker on the island in 1935 who developed appendicitis and, despite being taken to the Mackay hospital, did not survive the illness. His body was brought back to the island for burial.
About Carlisle IslandCarlisle Island, together with today's Brampton Island was designated as 'M Island' by Matthew Flinders in 1802. His chart notes the 'Bluff ' at its south-east corner which is almost a separate island attached to the main one by sand dunes. Carlisle Island received its separate name in 1879 from Staff Commander E. P. Bedwell, RN, in SS Llewellyn and is one of the many names from the then English county of Cumberland he brought to the Whitsundays following James Cook's 1770 designation of the group as 'The Cumberland Isles'. A cathedral city, Carlisle is the largest city in Cumbria into which the county of Cumberland was absorbed in 1974. In February 1888 the steamer Geelong was wrecked on the north-west corner of the island, its remains still visible to divers in the 1990s.
During World War 2, from late 1942 to April 1943 the island was used as a training base by an arm of the Allied Intelligence Bureau, Secret Intelligence Australia (SIA). Under the command of Lieutenant Phillip Jacks, RANVR, about a dozen Indonesian nationals were brought to the island to be trained in intelligence work and later to be infiltrated into various islands in Japanese occupied Indonesia to gather information about enemy movements, weather etc.
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