Hayman Island

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Hayman Island
Hayman Island, Australia, December 1973.jpg
Hayman Island, 1973
Aus - Hayman Island.PNG
LocationCoral Sea
Coordinates20°03′S 148°53′E / 20.050°S 148.883°E / -20.050; 148.883.
ArchipelagoWhitsunday Islands
Total islands74
Area4 km2 (1.5 sq mi)
Length4 km (2.5 mi)
Width3 km (1.9 mi)
LGAWhitsunday Region

Hayman Island is the most northerly of the Whitsunday Islands, part of the Cumberland Islands, which are located off the coast of Central Queensland, Australia at 20°03′S 148°53′E / 20.050°S 148.883°E / -20.050; 148.883. Hayman is a private island open to the public, most famous for its luxury resort which was built in the 1950s by millionaire Reg Ansett, who also founded Ansett Australia. The island is a significant drawing point for tourism in Queensland.

The island is small at just 400 hectares (988 acres) in area.[1]


Whitsunday Islands

Captain James Cook first charted these waters in 1770.

Commander George Nares gave Hayman its name in honour of Thomas Hayman, his navigator. The two carried out many exploits together, becoming the first to pass through the Suez Canal and completing a dangerous navigation around Antarctica.

Hayman Island Resort, 1959
Seaplane at Hayman Island, owned by Barrier Reef Airways, May 1951. Founded after World War II by Captain S. Middlemiss and acquired by Ansett in 1950. A small motor boat is ferrying the passengers to the resort.

Edwin Embury, a schoolteacher, dreamer, and amateur scientist established a biological research laboratory on the island in 1933. The abundant wildlife and proximity to the Great Barrier Reef made Hayman an ideal base for scientific discovery.

Map of the Whitsunday Group

Whitsundays’ fishermen Bob and Bert Hallam established the Great Barrier Reef Game Fish Angling Club in 1935, attracting local and international game fishing enthusiasts who arrived by coastal steamer. One of them was Zane Grey, American novelist, filmmaker and big game fisherman. Grey planted the first coconut palm on the island and, in 1936, Hayman became the idyllic tropical backdrop for his comedy drama, ‘White Death’.[2]

Luxury resort[edit]

In 1947, Australian aviation pioneer, Reginald Ansett acquired the island. Work began on the Royal Hayman Hotel, which opened in 1950 by Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Sir Arthur Fadden in anticipation of a royal visit to Australia, for which Hayman was granted a Royal Charter.

Hayman soon earned the reputation as Australia’s foremost leisure and honeymoon destination[citation needed] and attracted widespread international recognition.[citation needed] Arrival on Hayman was by Catalina and Sandringham flying boat. These days, guests to the island arrive by Hayman's private fleet of luxury motor yachts, and private charter helicopter or Air Whitsunday seaplane.

By July 1985, a two-year, A$300 million project commenced to transform the island into a "true luxury lifestyle destination" and in 1987 Hayman was invited to join The Leading Hotels of the World. The resort undertook another significant renovation in 2001 and received many of its modern five-star luxury amenities.

New developments[edit]

Sulphur-crested cockatoo perching on resort balcony.

In June 2004, Mulpha Australia Limited acquired Hayman, and, in January 2010, after almost six years of planning, design and environmental consultations, the final approvals were granted. The initial phase of this strategic plan has included revitalisation of the Hayman pool and the construction of luxurious new Kerry Hill designed beach villas.

Hayman re-opened on 1 August 2011 after five months of extensive restoration on the island, due to the severe impact of Tropical Cyclone Anthony and cyclone Yasi earlier that year. This period of closure enabled Hayman to complete the repairs required to landscapes, guest and accommodation areas, activity facilities and essential infrastructure as well as undertake other planned projects.

In the surrounds of the resort, a new botanical garden has some 33,000 new plants and 327 new plant species having been introduced by landscape designer, horticulturalist and personality, Jamie Durie, who was engaged to replant Hayman's 16 hectares of gardens.

Popular culture[edit]

Hayman Island contributed to Australian popular culture when the television series Barrier Reef began filming at Hayman in 1969.

In 1972, the first people to row unaided across the Pacific Ocean, Sylvia Cook and John Fairfax arrived at Hayman Island after spending 361 days crossing the ocean.

In 1995, then new British Labour Party leader Tony Blair addressed Rupert Murdoch and the leaders of News Corporation at Hayman Island, laying the groundwork for Murdoch's eventual support of the party in British parliamentary elections.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Guide to Hayman Island in QLD". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Digital. 2008-11-13. Retrieved 2009-06-15.
  2. ^ "Hayman Island's history". Hayman Island. 2011. Retrieved 19 January 2018.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 20°03′S 148°53′E / 20.050°S 148.883°E / -20.050; 148.883