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Townsville - Barnard Islands National Park
Close inshore, the Barnard Island Group National Park includes Jessie, Kent, Lindquist, Bresnaham and Hutchison Islands in the North Barnard Group and Sisters and Stephens Islands in the southern group.
The Barnards have a fascinating geological history dating back 420 million years. The islands were isolated from the mainland 18,000 years ago when the ice caps melted and sea levels rose. Stephens Island has well-preserved volcanic tuff outcrops and steeply dipping basalt dykes exposed along the shoreline.
Dense rainforest cloaks the rocky slopes of the Barnards. Clambering vines form “vine towers” in the rainforest. Mangroves, pandanus and she-oaks fringe the shore.
The South Barnards are an important seabird rookery for six species of terns which breed there each year. This is the sea country of the Mamu people. Fish traps remain around the islands
The Barnards are 10–17km south-east of Mourilyan. Access is by private boat from Mourilyan Harbour or Kurrimine Beach. Sea kayak tours occasionally operate.
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service