Lady Musgrave Island



Lady Musgrave Island


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Lady Musgrave Island is the most remote place on the mainland of Western Australia. It is also the only place in the world where you can find the eastern subspecies of the yellow-footed rock-wallaby. The island is located in the Arafura Sea, some 475 kilometres north-east of Port Hedland and 2,625 km east of Perth. Lady Musgrave Island’s total area is just under 9 square kilometres and it is uninhabited. The island has been designated as a World Heritage Site since 1996 because of its outstanding natural values.

Lady Musgrave Island


Lady Musgrave Island was first sighted by Europeans in 1792, when the British explorer Matthew Flinders sailed past it on his voyage along the Australian coast. The island was named after Lady Musgrave, wife of Sir John Murray, who financed a surveying expedition to map Australia in 1827. The first permanent settlers arrived on the island in 1883 and established a sheep station.


Lady Musgrave Island has a tropical climate with high humidity. The average daily temperature range is 16 degrees Celsius to 33 degrees Celsius and the annual rainfall range is 1,100 millimetres to 2,700 millimetres. The winter dry season spans from December until June when it occurs in the island’s northwest and southwest, while summer lasts from November through February.


The island’s culture is based on sheep farming and fishing. There are no roads or other forms of transport on the island, so inhabitants must rely on air taxi services to get around. In the past, people used to store fermented nardoo for winter by placing it in hollowed stone blocks. There was also a rock-wallaby plantation on Lady Musgrave Island. The islanders would catch rock-wallabies during high tide when they moved from their burrows into open grassland areas scared away by early morning light and birdsong leading them out of hiding places near water holes and other shelters built along subterranean passageways.


Lady Musgrave Island is a self-governing British overseas territory, administered by the British Government through the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Its population of about 220 people consists of two categories: permanent residents, who live on the island year-round; and visitors, who spend only part of their time on the island. There are two local government services: a Head Agreement between the Federal Government of Australia, the state governments of Queensland and Western Australia, and the island’s administration jointly responsible for setting its laws by meeting annually in joint session.

Government services

No government services are available on the island. Prior to the creation of a Permanent Peace Agreement in 2010, there was no legal or recognised government. Starting on 1 January 2015, there is now one level 9 Government consisting of Tricia Hart (Federal Member for Fraser) and Chief Executive Officer Agnes Walter-Koch (Chief Executive).



Tourism is the main industry on Lady Musgrave Island with visitors staying in self-contained accommodation and relying on air taxi services to get around. There are no official shops or restaurants, but visitors can buy food from local traders. There are local craft and artisans.

This community is known to have the longest continuous population of any inhabited site in Australia with permanent residents having lived there since 1848, when William Morison took possession from Governor Sir George Grey on behalf of New South Wales Government for convict settlement purposes; this status was retained by the British crown after Western Australia became self-governing in 1905.



There are no roads or public transport on the island. Transportation is provided by air taxi services. Similarly, the island is a military training area and no landing or logistics base facilities exist.

A couple of boys are friendly to intruders on the island. The bush and their camp fire often greet visitors in various parts of Lady Musgrave Island in Western Australia 4 days ago exploring an untouched nature experience!



The cuisine on Lady Musgrave Island is based around local produce and seafood. There are no restaurants or shops, but visitors can buy food from local traders. Visa are required for entry to the island.

The unemployment rate is high and locals rely on Apex Weekly for employment news and opportunities as well as selling produce from their garden. The school in Lady Musgrave Island was scheduled to close at the end of 2014 however will continue into 2017 due to major financial support by private members’ funds given by Jim’s Tree Farm which sits below the District High School oval, one mile (1 km) north east of the town site.


Lady Musgrave Island is a place where you can find some of the most pristine and untouched nature in British Columbia. Nestled in the waters of Howe Sound, this large and isolated island is just waiting for you to explore it. With a rugged coastline, clear waters, and rolling hills, Lady Musgrave Island is the perfect place to spend a day exploring. With trails that lead to beautiful and secluded beaches, there is something for everyone on Lady Musgrave Island. Whether you are looking to hike, kayak, or simply enjoy the view from a scenic overlook, Lady Musgrave Island has something for you!


What Is The Population Of Lady Musgrave Island?

There is no permanent population on Lady Musgrave Island and it is currently uninhabited. However, there are a few researchers who visit the island occasionally to study the eastern subspecies of yellow-footed rock-wallaby. As of 2010, there were just over 100 eastern subspecies yellow-footed rock-wallabies living on Earth and Lady Musgrave Island was one of their only known habitats in the world.

What Are The Seasons Like On Lady Musgrave Island?

The climate is warm year-round with average temperatures ranging from 14 to 26 degrees Celsius (57 – 78 degrees Fahrenheit). Winter, spring and autumn begin around September or October and end by early May when summer appears to arrive rapidly with mid 20s Celsius weather every day between April and August. Lady Musgrave Island’s dry season can last up to 5 months and ends abruptly in February just before the rainy season.

Where Is Lady Musgrave Island Located?

Situated completely within Howe Sound on the tip of a large plateau, Lady Musgrave Island covers an area of only 84 hectares (208 acres). The main body of island towers over 2,000 feet above sea level with several flat-topped peaks rising to 3,300 feet above sea level through its southern ridge range. The island’s highest point sits at 3,307 feet above sea level.

How Do I Get To Lady Musgrave Island?

Lady Musgrave Island is relatively easy to reach by land for those who are planning a day visit on the West Coast of Canada (Bandera Bay 25 kilometres away and Hope 24kms farther) or access “the Cutoff” which can be an easier trip from Nanaimo Harbour into Howe Sound via the Port Mellon inlet or the Chuckquoha Inlet. There is also a day-trip from West Vancouver Island to Lady Musgrave Bay (an approximately 6 hour drive).

What Tourist Attractions Can I Take Advantage Of On My Visit?

The most popular attraction on and around the island are the 2 good sized beaches at different elevations within 400 metres of each other: The North Beach located nearer East Point, covered with pebbles and rooted with weeds; and The South Beach, located on a granite ridge covered in beach mosses.

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