South Molle Island
|Native name: Whyrriba|
Looking northwest from west of Mount Jeffreys. Daydream (left) and North Molle (right) are visible in the distance.
|Area||4.66 km2 (1.80 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||194 m (636 ft)|
|Highest point||Mount Jeffreys|
|Local government area||Whitsunday Regional Council|
|Population||40 (as of 2014)|
South Molle Island, part of the Whitsunday Islands, is a resort island in the Whitsunday section of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park in Australia. The hilly island has numerous bays and inlets accessible by 16 km of walking tracks, with 420 ha protected in the Whitsunday Islands National Park. The islands were named by Lieutenant Charles Jefferys in 1815 after Colonel George James Molle, the then Lieutenant Governor of New South Wales. Nearby islands include Mid Molle, North Molle, East Molle and West Molle (known as Daydream Island). Just to the east and southeast, respectively, are the small islands Planton and Denman.
Wild goats were introduced to the island in the nineteenth century as a food source for shipwrecked sailors.
First established in 1937, the island's resort lies on Bauer Bay on the northern end of the island and so is well protected from the prevailing south easterly winds. The resort area, now known as South Molle Island Resort, is owned by Koala Adventures and has a nine hole golf course in addition to 200 rooms that can accommodate 600 guests. In 1961 a large jetty was built as the small jetty that existed was only usable at high tide.
Popular hiking trips include the walk to Mount Jeffreys in the southern half of the island, from which one can continue southwest to Sandy Bay.
The South Molle Island resort was operated by Ansett Transport Industries (ATI)in the late 1980s, serviced by inter-island cats operated by ATI to the reef. In those days, Ansett was half owner of the Hamilton Island airport which provided a strong team of tourists to South Molle.
There is some evidence that Aboriginals visited the island to extract hard stone for their weapons.
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