Map - Great Palm Island

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Great Palm Island

Great Palm Island, also known as Palm Island, or by the Aboriginal name Bwgcolman; is a tropical island with a resident community of about 2,000 people. The island has an area of 55 km2. The official area figure of 70.9 km² refers to Aboriginal Shire of Palm Island and includes nine smaller islands. It is in Queensland, Australia, off the east coast of northern Queensland, situated 65 km northwest of Townsville, and 800 km north of the Tropic of Capricorn. The Australia Post lists the local post office as Palm Island, QLD. It 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 m. The ocean surrounding the island is part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park where extraction and fishing are regulated.

Great Palm Island is often termed a classic "tropical paradise" given its natural endowments, but it has had a troubled history since the European settlement of Australia. The local government is the Palm Island Aboriginal Shire Council, which has jurisdiction over ten of the islands in the Greater Palm group. While the Australia Post lists the local post office as Palm Island, QLD, there is no formal name for the settled areas of the island. Other names include or have included the Mission, Palm Island settlement, Palm Island Aborigines settlement, and Palm Island Community.

There are three settled areas. One settled area is at the southeast end of the airport. To the north on the west coast is a settled area with a pier and the government center—some locals call this the Mission. Beyond a mountain to the north is a third settled area by Coolgaree Bay.

The islands in the area were named the "Palm Isles" by explorer James Cook in 1770 as he sailed up the eastern coast of Australia on his first voyage. It is estimated that the population of the island at the time of Cook's visit was about 200 Manbarra people. The name "Great Palm Island" for the island goes back at least as far as 1866. Beginning in 1918 the island was used by the Queensland Government as a settlement for Aborigines. As an end result, the island population is now a mix of Manbarra and other Aboriginal peoples, with few jobs and a shortage of housing.


Map - Great Palm Island

Latitude / Longitude : 18° 43' 0" S / 146° 37' 0" E | Time zone : UTC+10 | Currency : AUD | Telephone : 61  


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Human habitation
Palm Island Jetty
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Palm Islands context map en
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Natural environment and cyclones
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Natural environment and cyclones
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Natural environment and cyclones
Pine plantation on Palm Island
Great Palm Island
Great Palm Island
Great Palm Island
Great Palm Island
Great Palm Island
Great Palm Island
Great Palm Island
Great Palm Island

Country - Australia

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Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands. It is the largest country in Oceania and the world's sixth-largest country by total area. The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the north; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the north-east; and New Zealand to the south-east. The population of million is highly urbanised and heavily concentrated on the eastern seaboard. Australia's capital is Canberra, and its largest city is Sydney. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Adelaide.

Australia was inhabited by indigenous Australians for about 60,000 years before the first British settlement in the late 18th century. It is documented that Aborigines spoke languages that can be classified into about 250 groups. After the European exploration of the continent by Dutch explorers in 1606, who named it New Holland, Australia's eastern half was claimed by Great Britain in 1770 and initially settled through penal transportation to the colony of New South Wales from 26 January 1788, a date which became Australia's national day. The population grew steadily in subsequent decades, and by the 1850s most of the continent had been explored and an additional five self-governing crown colonies established. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated, forming the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia has since maintained a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy, comprising six states and ten territories.
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