Exploring Orpheus Island

Our day started with a leisurely kayak ashore as the tide reached its high for the morning. In the shallows a black-tipped reef shark did its best to pretend we weren’t there.

Black tipped reef shark

Black tipped reef shark


The walking track to the ridge line starts from the picnic table. It’s loosely marked with varying colours of tape and string but easy enough to follow.

A couple of hundred metres into the walk are the remains of an old stone hut. At one point goats and cattle grazed on the island and it seems this may have been a shepherd’s hut. Its stout walls have bowed and broken beneath the weight of time, but it still has charm.

Shepherd's Hut Orpheus


The view from the top is spectacular. Orpheus Island is steep and rugged on its eastern side with no place to land and no real protection. A stand of rocks on the top look like a sacred circle. Looking to the west the view is sublime with the fringing coral reef easy to see.

Stones at the top of Orpheus Is

Standing stones



Top of Orpheus 2

The view looking west with Roobinesque moored in the bay.


View looking east and south towards Palm Island

View looking east and south towards Palm Island

Loved the colours of the grass.

Loved the colours of the grass.

On the walk down the butterflies were everywhere, feasting on the lantana flowers. It was a magical way to spend the morning before we headed back to the water to explore the coral again.

Butterfly on lantana

Butterfly drinking its fill.

Purple flower Orpheus Island

This may well be a weed but its flower is very pretty!

Orpheus Island is now the top of my ‘Favourite Island’ list. We’ll be back!


7 thoughts on “Exploring Orpheus Island

  1. Back in the late forties/early fifties I visited Orpheus Island. My family( Veivers) had some distant connection to the Morris family I think and they then had access to the island. There was not much there then and the major activities were fishing ( I think acetylene bombs were often employed to speed things up) and hunting feral goats with ex WW11 .303 rifles. The eastern side of the island at the cliffs was the best haunt for the goats. How times have changed!

  2. Lovely travel guide and photos. The blue flower isn’t a weed. It’s a type of dianella which is a native plant. I have them in my garden and they produce blue berries after flowering.

    • Thanks, Noreen, great to know it’s a native plant. A couple of times when we were in NSW I posted photos only to be told they were weeds! They were growing quite close to the lantana so I figured they were a hardy plant.

    • Lol, that’s very kind of you, but if it was in Cruising Helmsman the anchorage would be busy! Far better we keep it amongst ourselves 🙂 (Not that I’m greedy or anything!)

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