Brampton Island, Queensland

If a visit to the Great Barrier Reef is on your agenda and you want to spend some time on one of the islands Brampton is a great choice. It offers a variety of fun activities and spectacular scenery for those more focused on relaxing. Situated in the Whitsunday Island Passage, Brampton Island is near the infamous Whitsundays but is not actually part of them. It is 50 kilometres south of Hamilton Island and 30 kilometres offshore from Mackay. Originally occupied by Aboriginals, the first European settlers arrived on the island in 1916. It has since had a colourful history with the opening of the resort in 1933, the establishment of the Brampton Island National Park, the murder of a resort worker in 1983 and a light airplane crash in 2008.

Brampton Island Beach

No visit to the Great Barrier Reef is complete without some beach time and Brampton boasts 12 different soft sand beaches. The warm waters provide the perfect spot for refreshing dips in sheltered spots and none of the notorious nasties (like stingers) so you should survive a swim.

Brampton Island beach, Queensland, Australia

Sailing the reef

Equipment for various watersports is available at the hut on the main resort beach. If you don’t have your own snorkelling gear they can provide it but they also have kayaks, small sailboats and catamarans available for hire if you want to show off your sailing prowess (or lack of in my case). Being out on the water offers a whole new perspective of the island and is a great way to get some nice photos while also having an on-water adventure.


Unlike many of the Queensland islands, the fringing reef at Brampton hugs the shore making snorkelling from the beach possible. Coral gardens and tropical marine life await those who venture out to take a look. We found there were an especially high number of turtles about and they were very friendly and tolerant of the nutjob snorkellers flailing around the reef with them.

Hiking the island

Brampton Island covers an area of about 460 hectares and offers several walking trails. The most popular is the hike to the top of Brampton Peak, which at 214m high offers stunning views across the beaches and bays of Brampton Island and beyond. Along the way there are also plenty of wildlife encounters to be had with sneaky skinks and birdlife. You can also drive yourself quite crazy trying to work out what ‘that’ noise was…

Walking to Brampton Peak, Queensland, Australia


If this is all sounding far too energetic, don’t worry there are also plenty of opportunities to be extremely lazy. As if the beautiful quiet of Brampton wasn’t relaxing enough a few hammocks are set up around the resort grounds, providing a perfect spot to curl up with a good read, people watch or just take a nap.

Wildlife encounters on Brampton Island

Part of the joy of Brampton is the amount of wildlife that calls the island home. Breakfasting with a plethora of brightly coloured, and very cheeky, Lorikeets was a much-anticipated daily occurrence during our stay on the island. The little birds are mightier than they look though so remember to guard your croissants. There are also kangaroos that graze on the resort golf course and provide an audience to those energetic enough to play a game of tennis. Large goannas laze in the sun poolside and birdlife is everywhere. Occasionally the kangaroos will turn up at the beach bar in time for happy hour too.

Kangaroos, Brampton Island, Queensland, Australia

Have you spent time on a Great Barrier island? Where have you been?

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