Beyond the Whitsunday Passage lies the Lindeman group of islands.
Like other islands in the Whitsundays, this group formed when a
mountain range was drowned by rising sea levels.
Lindeman Island, the largest in the group, is situated in 690 hectares
of National Park. Promoted as the warmest island in the Whitsundays,
Lindeman Island is covered by nearly 20 kilometres of bushwalking
tracks. Natural features include Butterfly Valley; Mount Oldfield (212
metres above sea level) offers 360 degree views of Pentecost, Hamilton
and Whitsunday Islands. The Island has seven beaches with Gap Beach a
popular location for snorkelling and oystering. Golden orchids grow on
the mangroves at the end of the beach and over 90 species of birds dart
through the trees.
The island's resort, which has its own airstrip, is the oldest of all
of the island resorts in the Whitsundays. As early as 1923 Angus
Nicolson established a primitive camp for visitors. Tourism to the
island grew after World War II and in 1954, during Queen Elizabeth II's
visit to Australia, the Britannia anchored off Lindeman and the Queen
swam in the waters near Piccaninny Point. In 1974 P&O took over the
island and rebuilt the resort which was eventually sold to Club Med in
1992. The resort was again closed to enable a major re-construction by
the Club Med Group and the expansion of accommodation to 225 rooms. In
the re-construction most of the older resort buildings were demolished.
The Club Med Resort was closed on 31 January 2012 and was subsequently
bought for $12 million by a Chinese-born Australian mining investor
whose family company runs one of China's largest advertising
The resort and surrounding National Park is 35 km south-east of
Shute Harbour. Access is by private or commercial boat from Airlie
Beach or Shute Harbour. Some commercial transfer companies drop off and
collect campers. If camping, arrange your passage before you book your
Camping is permitted within the lindeman Islands National Park at
Boat Port on the north-west side of Lindeman Island. Once a bay used to
clean sailing vessels, this quiet campsite with sandy beaches is backed
by rainforest. A good area for campers who like bushwalking, with more
than 20 km of tracks linking grasslands and rainforest. Access to the
camping area is by boat (only) at mid to high tides. Visitor numbers
are limited to ensure a quality experience. Camping permits are
required and fees apply.
More than 16 km of bushwalks are available on Lindeman and Seaforth
islands. Take advantage of these to enjoy views and discover the varied
vegetation types on these islands.
Departing form the airport hut near the resort
Mount Oldfield (Grade: moderate)
Distance: 7.2 km return. Time: Allow 3.5 hours. Details: This walk
involves a steady climb and features some of the most diverse
vegetation on the island. You will be rewarded with spectacular views
on reaching the peak. Remember water and your camera.
Coconut Beach (Grade: moderate)
Distance: 5.4 km return. Time: Allow 2 hours. Details: This track takes
you through eucalypt forest to the resort dam, a great place for bird
spotting. It then descends to the sandy beach through fringing scrub,
giving the beach a secluded feel.
Coconut Beach–Boat Port Circuit (Grade: moderate)
Distance: 6.5 km return. Time: Allow 3 hours. Details: Walk this track
as a circuit or as separate sections to either Coconut Beach or Boat
Boat Port (Grade: moderate)
Distance: 5.4 km return. Time: Allow 3 hours. Details: This walk passes
through rainforest, grassland and open forest and offers spectacular
views. Steeper sections are involved.
Gap Beach (Grade: moderate)
Distance: 5.4 km return. Time: Allow 2–3 hours. Details: Winding
through eucalypt forest and dry rainforest this track emerges at a
pebbly beach. Enjoy spectacular views of nearby Pentecost Island.
Departing from the resort end of the airstrip
Plantation Beach (Grade: easy)
Distance: 4.2 km return. Time: Allow 2.5 hours. Details: Mainly
grassland, this track also winds through rainforest, emerging at a
rocky foreshore. Check tide times before setting out. At high tide you
will have to cross a small creek.
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About Lindeman Island
Lindeman Island first received historic mention in June 1770 when
the artist on board HMS Endeavour, Sydney Parkinson, included its
outline in a panoramic pencil sketch of the complex of islands running
from the adjacent Maher Island in the north to Burning Point at the
southern end of Shaw Island. At that stage, of course, none of the
islands were named.
The island was named in 1868 by Commander H. M. Bingham, RN, in HMS
Virago after Sub Lieutenant George Sidney Lindeman on board Virago. The
Sub Lieutenant was a nephew of Dr. Henry John Lindeman, the founder of
the Lindeman Wine Company, who came to Australia from England in 1840
and in 1842 settled in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales at Cawarra
Estate on the banks of the Paterson River several kilometres from
today's town of Gresford. There he established a vineyard from which
sprang the Lindeman Wine Company.
Cawarra still existed in 1989, occupied by descendants of Dr.
Lindeman but is no longer a vineyard. Nearby the Wyndham family were
establishing their vineyard and winery at Dalwood, north of today's
Hunter Valley town of Branxton and they and the Lindemans became
friends and business associates, this association reflected in various
namings on the island.
In October 1867 while Virago was undergoing a re-fit in Sydney,
George Lindeman visited his uncle at Cawarra staying for almost three
weeks and in all probability met the Wyndhams. It is a reasonable
assumption that when he returned to Virago he would have carried with
him a fair sampling of the product of Cawarra and probably of Dalwood
also to enhance the ship's wine stocks and there can be no doubt his
visit accounts for the naming of Cawarra Head on Little Lindeman Island
and Dalwood Point on the main island.