Hinchinbrook Island

This 97,000-acre national park is the largest island on the Great Barrier Reef. It's a nature lover's paradise, with dense tropical rain forests, mangroves, mountain peaks, and sandy beaches. When Captain Cook discovered it in 1770, he didn't realize it was an island and mistakenly named it Mt. Hinchinbrook—likely imagining that 3,746-foot Mt. Bowen, Australia's third-highest mountain, was part of the mainland. Dolphins, dugongs, tiger sharks, and sea turtles inhabit the surrounding waters, as do fish that you're permitted to catch (a rarity, given the strict protection of the reef's marine life). There are also estuarine crocodiles, adders, numerous birds, goannas, and small mammals. The island is virtually untouched save for the small resort on its northeast corner, now closed, and a few toilets and campsites.


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