About Palm Island

Palm Island, also known as Great Palm Island or by the Aboriginal name Bwgcolman, is a tropical island situated approximately 70 kilometres north north-east of Townsville.

Palm Island is the main island of the Greater Palm group, and consists of small bays, sandy beaches and steep forested mountains rising to a peak of 548 metres over a 6,000-hectare area.

There are thirteen islands that make up the Greater Palm Island group, most of which are micro-islands. Major islands within the Palm group are (Great) Palm Island, Fantome Island and Orpheus Island.

Though the population is officially around 2,500, data collected by the Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council (PIASC) and the Department of Communities indicates that this population figure varies significantly and is often as high as 3,000.

In 1918 the Island was established as a penal settlement, and it is now home to one of the largest Aboriginal communities in Queensland.

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