Palm Island, also known as Great Palm Island, or by the Aboriginal name Bwgcolman, is the largest of twelve tropical Islands in the Palm Island Group. The settlement is named variously Palm Island, the Mission, Palm Island Settlement or Palm Community.
The group of Islands is less than 20 kilometres from the nearest point on the mainland (Lucinda) and is 65 kilometres north of Townsville over sea. The Islands are serviced by a 20 min plane ride or one and a half hour ferry ride from Townsville and a one hour barge trip from Lucinda.
Palm Island consists of small bays, sandy beaches, fringing reefs, beautiful freshwater streams and steep forested mountains rising to the highest peak of 548 metres at Bentley Ridge. Other Islands in the chain, such as Orpheus and North Palm have globally renowned resorts and marine research stations. Situated in the great barrier Reef Marine Park, the surrounding reefs are as good as any on the outer reef, presenting wonderful fishing and diving opportunities and are used extensively by locals for hunting and gathering and other cultural purposes.
Palm Island is the largest discreet Indigenous community in Australia with approximately 4000 people residing on Palm Island. There is high mobility between Palm Island and the mainland, and the population can increase to over 5000 people during festivals and events. There are seven suburbs on the Island, running from Butler Bay in the south to Wallaby Point in the north, with the main, central settlement area, The Mission having the mall, shops, service centres, police station, motel, hospital and health service and Council chambers. Our critical services infrastructure, including our works depots, waste and recycling facility, (Ergon) power station, water and sewer treatment plants, and two water supply reservoirs are at The Farm area, Solomon and Wallaby Point.