St. George Island



St. George Island


As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

St. George Island is an uninhabited island located in the middle of the Arafura Sea, north of the Queensland coast. It is a part of the Whitsundays Islands group and is part of the World Heritage Site – Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The island is also home to a number of endangered animal species, including the hawksbill turtle, booby, and green sea turtle.

St. George Island


The island first appeared on European maps in 1527 as “Giralda” and was named by Spanish explorer Alonso de Ojeda for St George, the patron saint of England. The island was not colonized until 1868 when a group of sealers discovered it while fur hunting. The following year, two Russian families, led by Nicolaus Struve and Konstantin Krassin, established a small settlement on the north coast. By 1870 there were seven houses and around thirty inhabitants living on the island which had been renamed Saint George Island after the English saint.

In 1906 the British government, who were heavily engaged with Australia on the issue of land rights in Queensland, issued an Order-in-Council prohibiting all islands without a permanent population from being fenced off for long. The policy never took effect and by 1926 St George Island was again inhabited commercially by about fourteen families – some as winter holiday homes while others hunted seals year round.

Sealing continued until 1949 when it was prohibited because of dwindling stocks, also due to overfishing. Further sealing attempts in 1954 were short lived though new sealers did arrive after 1955 however they soon gave up due to poor catches which were caused by competition from other islands. The Australians now dominated St George Island and the nearby Oliver Group of Islands until a serious drought destroyed much vegetation in 1963.

However, the community was able to sustain itself with food primarily limited to locally caught fish (with game such as ducks also being used) and later krill at sea. There were only seven vessels registered on St George – mainly small fishing boats in addition there were two commercial trawlers providing catch for market purposes mostly around Cairns which is twenty miles away although sometimes further due to weather conditions or lack of fished catches depending on the year.


The climate on Saint George Island is tropical – with wet and dry seasons. The wet season lasts from late November to early April while the dry season occupies May-November. Temperatures are typically very hot, averaging around 30 degrees Celsius during the day, but cool down at night to 18 degrees Celsius. Although St George Island is small, with a total area of just 2.48 square km, it supports a rich and diverse flora.

For example there are thousands of birds as well as seals – although not so many feral cats on the island nowadays that they can be seen easily after recent eradication efforts by Department of Environment rangers in 1993-1994 using poisoned bait made up lethal doses for each cat family unit”. However some cats still lingered to gain foothold in 1996 when an Australian ranger had to use his rifle again due: “to unusual numbers coming ashore at this time.


The culture on Saint George Island is Polynesian with the majority of residents originating from Samoa or Tonga. Religion is predominantly Christianity while traditional beliefs still play a part in everyday life. Language spoken on the island is Samoan although English, which has become increasingly more popular over recent years, is also widely understood and used.


The politics on Saint George Island are predominantly based around clan affiliation and family ties. There is however a small degree of local democracy with the Islanders able to elect a Mayor annually who presides over island-wide meetings. The main political parties represented on the island are Samoa’s Falealili Party and Tonga’s Maafu Party.

Government services

Government services are provided by the Department of Environment which employs a small number of rangers to maintain law and order as well as protect the environment. Education is also provided by the island’s only school – Saint George Island School – which provides primary and secondary education for pupils from both Samoan and Tongan families.



Tourism is the main source of income on Saint George Island with tourists arriving to enjoy its idyllic landscape and warm friendly people. The island has a number of popular attractions including Saint George’s Bay – renowned for its crystal clear waters, stunning coral reefs and amazing white sand beaches – as well as the Ta’u village which features traditional houses made from stone and palm trees.


Travelers always flock to St. George Island in search of relaxation and tranquility. Whether you’re on vacation, working on your novel, or just want to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life, this paradisiacal paradise awaits you. It’s no wonder then that this island has become one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. But what secrets does this tropical getaway hold? Read on to find out!


What Are The Whitsundays Islands?

The Whitsundays Islands Group is an archipelago of more than 100 islands that lie off the northeastern coast of Queensland, Australia. The group includes St. George Island and consists of several other well-known tourist destinations such as Hamilton Island and Cairns.

Where Is St. George Island Located?

St.George island lies in the middle of Arafura Sea, north of Queensland Coast . It can be reached from Cairns Airport by a light aircraft or the most popular way of transportation is in charter boat .

What Time Does It Get Dark On St. George Island?

The sun sets around 1830hrs and rises again after 0545 hours. It can continue to set till 2100 hrs which leaves an average bright portion of 30% at night during summer months (June to September). For other seasons, there are longer days when you’ll need sunglasses if headed outdoors. The longest day will be between 2225–1230 hrs since sunrise happens 4-5 minutes earlier than the daily sunrise for your latitude.

How Many Days Of Sunshine Does St. George Island Get?

The northern hemisphere has 4 seasons which are Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter in the time-frame between October 23 – December 20th with a maximum variation of 1 day difference each season or variable low temperature (-3°C to 2°M). There is no rainfall during this period so it can experience long days without any shade from 6 months up until 11 months while staying at sea level on average (only southwards of that point do you need sun tanning oil since there’s very little environment to get it from).

What Is There To Do On St. George Island? What Are The Activities Available In General ?

Wherever you head out, we recommend checking our page for plenty of ideas! Activities vary by season and what day of the week too. Here’s a post about things to see & do on Hamilton Island or check some other posts:  St George Reefs Tours , Eco-tourist Options . You can also relax at hotels around Cairns that provide related services such as transfers so take your pick between several options.

About the author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Posts

  • How To Test A Chainsaw Ignition Coil: The Easy Way Chainsaw ignition coils are used to start the chainsaw engine. They do this by allowing the spark plug into the gas supply of the chainsaw. A chainsaw ignition coil can get damaged over time, which can cause it to fail to spark. Failure of a…

    Read more

  • All About Of Photo Retouching – Everything You Have to Know

    All About Of Photo Retouching – Everything You Have to Know

    If you have ever wished you could take your photos to the next level, photo retouching is the perfect solution for you! With easy-to-use tools and a wealth of options, you can make your photos look glossy, fresh, and perfect for any occasion. Whether you want to remove blemishes, brighten up your teeth or add…

    Read more

  • The Admiral Roaring Currents Meaning and Ending Explanation

    The Admiral Roaring Currents Meaning and Ending Explanation

    Recently, a friend told me about the upcoming movie “The Admiral: Roaring Currents.” The film’s premise is that an ex-Navy SEAL and a billionaire inventor attempt to build a ship in the 19th century using new technology. What was interesting to me was the protagonist’s name – Admiral Tom Barrow. I had never heard this…

    Read more