Snapper Island, Hope Islands National Park (CYPAL) Tropical North Queensland

Nature, culture and history

    Natural environment


    Snapper Island supports several vegetation communities. Mixed metamorphic soils sustain lush closed vine forest on the west side of the island, with some closed sclerophyll forest on the northern side. A small mangrove community and a fringe of coastal vegetation are found on the south-western beaches of the island. Prevailing south-easterly winds and poor soils are responsible for the stunted vegetation found on the higher slopes on the eastern side of the island.


    The island supports a variety of woodland birds including the grey fantail, rufous fantail, yellow-bellied sunbird, dusky honeyeater, white-naped honeyeater, figbird, mistletoe bird, orange-footed scrubfowl, brahminy kite and white-breasted woodswallow. Seabirds that can be seen include the whimbrel, grey-tailed tattler, wandering tattler, eastern reef egret and osprey.

    Fringing reef surrounds the island and is home to a variety of marine life.

    Culture and history

    Indigenous culture and history

    The island is part of the traditional sea country of the Eastern Kuku Yalanji Aboriginal people. It is a special place for which they feel strong and enduring responsibilities of custodianship. The Eastern Kuku Yalanji people hunt and fish around the island and traditionally manage the island's culture. Please respect their wishes and heed signs.

    Non-indigenous culture and history

    In the early 1900s, Jerry Doyle operated a lime kiln on the island, fired by wood from the Daintree, ferried over on a vessel called the 'Nellie'. Beche-de-mer (sea cucumbers) processing (boiling) may also have been undertaken here. There is evidence of remains of an early Chinese market garden on the island, the watercourse stonework of which is still visible today.

    Snapper Island was declared a national park in 1939 and included within Hope Islands National Park in 2000. It is managed by QPWS to protect the island's natural, cultural and recreational values.

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