South Molle Island

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South Molle Island
Native name: Whyrriba
On South Molle Island looking at North Molle and Daydream Islands.JPG
Looking northwest from west of Mount Jeffreys. Daydream (left) and North Molle (right) are visible in the distance.
Location Coral Sea
Archipelago Whitsunday Islands
Total islands 1
Major islands 1
Area 4.66 km2 (1.80 sq mi)
Length 3.2 km (1.99 mi)
Width 2.6 km (1.62 mi)
Highest elevation 194 m (636 ft)
Highest point Mount Jeffreys
State Queensland
Local government area Whitsunday Regional Council
Capital city Bauer Bay
Largest settlement Bauer Bay (pop. 30)
Population 40 (2014)
Additional information
AEST (UTC + 10)

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 most protected in the Molle Islands National Park.[1]

The islands were named by Lieutenant Charles Jefferys in 1815 after Colonel George James Molle, the then Lieutenant Governor of New South Wales.[2] 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.[citation needed]


South Molle Island jetty

First established in 1937, the island's resort lies on Bauer Bay on the northern end of the island[3] and so is well protected from the prevailing south easterly winds. The resort area, now known as South Molle Island Resort,[4] is owned by Koala Adventures and has a nine-hole golf course in addition to 200 rooms that can accommodate 600 guests.[2] 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 catamarans 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. Bauer Bay holds a seaplane base.


There is some evidence that Aboriginals visited the island to extract hard stone for their weapons.[2] The islands's first pastoral lease was granted in 1883.[2] It was owned by the Bauer family since around 1920 and primarily used for sheep and cattle grazing until a resort was built in the 1950s. In 1970, Cyclone Ada destroyed the island's resort.[2] The Coca-Cola soft drink company recently filmed a TV commercial on the island.[5]


Housing for the resort staff and the personnel from the seaplane base is located at the jetty on Bauer Bay.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About Molle Islands". Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing. 27 August 2013. Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "South Molle Island". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 1 January 2009. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "Bauer Bay, South Molle Island Site Management Arrangements". Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Retrieved 22 May 2010. 
  4. ^ Koala Adventures
  5. ^ Coca Cola ad 'Uplift' on YouTube

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 20°14′58.45″S 148°49′48.91″E / 20.2495694°S 148.8302528°E / -20.2495694; 148.8302528