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