Booby Island (Queensland)

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For other uses, see Booby Island.
An aerial view of Booby Island from the south.

Booby Island is located 45 km (28 mi) northwest of Muttee Heads at the tip of Cape York Peninsula in Queensland, Australia. This island is in the Torres Strait, 32 km (20 mi) west of Thursday Island and 23 km (14 mi) west of Prince of Wales Island.


In the 19th century, such a high number of ships were lost in the area that provisions were stored on the island for shipwrecked sailors.[1]

Wrecks include:[2]

  • Delfshaven'. Barque, 656 tons. Newcastle to Java.
Struck a sunken reef near Booby Island, 24 July 1862. As she was undermanned, the boats were launched with difficulty after big seas had driven her over the rocks into calm water. Natives and adverse currents prevented them reaching safety on the Australian coast before one boat was abandoned and a course set for Timor.
  • Kanahooka Iron steamship, 386 tons. Built 1883.
Foundered in a heavy gale south of Booby Island, 19 January 1894. She was overloaded with guano from Rocky Islet in the Gulf of Carpentaria; struck by heavy seas, she rolled over, giving the crew only a short time to launch boats and escape.
  • Marina Barque.
Lost in Torres Strait, from Sydney to Singapore, 28 May 1866. Crew landed on Booby Island and a ship took them on to Singapore.
  • Pacific. Schooner. Foundered off Booby Island, 6 July 1935.
  • Shamrock. Schooner. Involved in rescue of survivors from two ships, on Booby Island. (Hydrabad and Coringa Packet)


Main article: Booby Island Light

In 1890 a lighthouse eventually took up service on the island, an 18 metres (59 ft) tall timber framed iron clad conical tower with a focal plane at 37 m. The light characteristic is one flash every 7.5 seconds. The tower is painted white with a red lantern room.[1]

Heritage listings[edit]

Booby Island has a number of heritage-listed sites, including:


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 10°36′14″S 141°54′40″E / 10.604°S 141.911°E / -10.604; 141.911