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Orpheus Island, Qld
Most of the island is controlled by the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service with the exceptions being the small but exclusive Orpheus Island Resort in Hazard Bay with its accommodation of 31 rooms. Orpheus Island Resort is one of the few remaining privately owned island resorts.
James Cook University Marine Research Station is located in Pioneer Bay.
The island, which is volcanic in origin, covers an area of 1300 hectares. In 1960 it was declared a national park. It is surrounded by excellent reefs and the vegetation and wildlife, particularly the birds, are of considerable scientific interest.
Although small the island has natural vegetation ranging from grasslands through to tropical rainforest. The wildlife includes a number of varieties of snake as well as echidnas, orange-footed scrubfowl, yellow-bellied sunbirds, friar birds, ospreys, kites, reef herons and egrets.
The reefs around the island have been zoned 'A' (limited fishing only) and 'B' (look but don't touch) and the Parks service go to some trouble to ensure that visitors do not damage the coral in any way.
Access to the island is by the Orpheus Seaplane - service operating daily from Cairns or Townsville. Special charters by boat can be arranged - closest boat ramp is at Taylor's Beach, 25 km from Ingham.
The Marine Research Station
It is possible to inspect the Marine Research Station but visits must be arranged with the manager in advance on (07) 4777 7336.