Hook Island

The second largest island in the Whitsunday group, Hook Island is almost uninhabited and quite rugged. Hook Peak, at 459 metres, is the highest mountain on the Island. One of the few walking tracks leads to Butterfly Bay - named so because of its unique shape and the butterflies which swarm around its shores.

Two prominent geographical features on the southern side of Hook Island are Macona and Nara inlets, two fjord-like indentations that are popular anchorages for the Whitsunday tourist fleet. People refill their water tanks from the cascading waterfalls. The diversity of coral of the fringing reefs on the northern shores provide some of the best diving and snorkelling in the area. There is a low-key resort on the island, and camping is permitted at several sites around the Island.

The observatory on Hook Island (completed in 1969) allows visitors to descend nine metres below the ocean to view coral, reef animals and plants in their own habitat. There are marine biologists on hand to explain the wonders of the reef. Resort facilities built near the observatory were opened in March 1981. The underwater observatory at the south-east tip of Hook Island was designed and constructed by Frank Lucas who in 1994 was a resident of Proserpine.

Hook Island Wilderness Resort is renowned for its tranquility and unspoiled beauty with its peaceful and relaxing environment. A range of accommodation options is available.


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The name 'Hook Island' first appeared on Admiralty charts in 1863 on BA347 at which stage almost the entire portrayal of the area was extremely crude, with individual islands mostly unrecognisable against today's outlines. They had been drawn from the running surveys of Cook, Flinders and King, the only detailed survey to that time being by Blackwood and Yule in Fly and Bramble respectively but confined to the coastal areas from Cape Palmerston north to Port Molle.

The outline of Hook Island which gave rise to the name first appeared in chart BA1075 1824 edition following King's visits of 1819/ 20/ 21 and was little more than a nominal sketch bearing at best some semblance of the real island on the eastern coast but on the west little more than a parody of the real thing. The resultant shape was a very distinct hook and this no doubt is where the name came from, probably given in a cartographic office rather than by any individual surveyor.

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