Hook Island is the second largest of the Whitsunday Islands off the Queensland coast, and it’s one of the Whitsunday’s most rugged, wild, and uninhabited islands.
The island is shaped like three downward-pointing fingers, with the island’s only resort on the tip of the third finger. 95% of the island’s landmass, or 58 square kilometers, is a national park – the second largest national park in the Whitsunday group.
The Aboriginal people [ ] lived on the island prior to European settlement. At the Nara inlet one can see Aboriginal cave paintings (accessible only by boat). The island was traditional used for logging purposes, though most of the island has been reforested since. Today there remains a small goat population, which was introduced by colonialist loggers as an alternative source of food in case they ran out of food from hunting.
The island is known for its fjord-like inlets on the southern side of the island – Nara and Macona – which are five-kilometers each and are used to anchor yachts offshore, and the underwater fringing reef coral off the northern shore, which attracts snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. The island is mountainous, rising to 459m at its peak – Hook Peak, and has freshwater streams that sailors use to re-fill their water tanks.
Hook Island is separated from the mainland by a deep-water channel, the Hook Passage, where whales, fish, and turtles are frequently seen.
Activities (Nature and Wildlife Interest)
Hook Island is a low-key island, with several activities but no competition for the activity-frenzied all-inclusive resorts on more developed islands. Visitors to Hook Island are typically trying to escape that level of hustle and bustle, in favour of peace and quiet.
- Snorkeling and scuba diving: Guests can snorkel right in the bay, or can join a boat trip to Crayfish Beach or Pebble Beach, which are further afield but offers better coral reef snorkeling opportunities. Poisonous jellyfish are in the vicinity, so folks are encouraged to rent stinger suits.
- Kayaking: Guests can use the resort’s kayaks but must remain inside the bay for safety reasons.
- Visiting the underwater observatory: An underwater coral viewing station was built and opened in 1969, however it does not provide a great viewing area (portal windows being only 30cm wide) and the technology is out of date.
- Submersible boating: Take an informative tour with the Reef Explorer, a semi-submersible boat which seats 52 passengers, and see coral, tropical fish, and other marine life without having to get wet.
- Boating: The resort is happy to arrange more adventurous boat trips to the best reef areas surrounding the island.
- Bushwalking: Hook Island offers less bushwalking opportunities than other Whitsunday islands, except for the short trail to Pebble Beach, and one hiking trail to Butterfly Bay, so-called because of its shape and the butterflies which flock to its shoreline.
- Beach volleyball
The only accommodation on the island is provided by the Hook Island Wilderness Resort, a low-key resort run by a relaxed management team. The resort caters to families and couples.
The resort offers rooms to suit different budgets, from dorm rooms to standard air-conditioned single and double rooms, and more self-contained suites. Rooms often face directly onto the beach.
Facilities include: beachside bar, restaurant, swimming pool, coffee shop, and barbecue area.
Camping is permitted on several island sites.
Daily flights connect to Proserpine’s Whitsunday Coast Airport from Australia’s major cities.
Airlie Beach’s Abel Point Marina is the launching point for ferries to the island. The Hook Island Wilderness Resort arranges transfers to and from the island daily, aboard the catamaran Voyager. Voyager capacity is 100 travelers, and serves refreshments and snacks during the trip.