Green Island History

Discover Green Island  / Green Island History

Green Island has an amazing history including many ‘Firsts’; such as the world’s first underwater observatory and the first island movie theatre!

Timeline

Pre-European Settlement

Green Island is used by local aboriginal tribes as a fishing ground and a sacred ceremonial site for manhood initiations.

1770

Lt James Cook sighted Green Island on June 10, 1770. According to tradition, he named the Island after Charles Green the Chief Observer and Astronomer on his ship, the HMS Endeavor.

1857

European colonization commenced when a sea cucumber smoking station on the Island was founded.

1890

Occasional pleasure cruises started traveling to Green Island

1924

The Hayles Family commenced a regular ferry service from Cairns to Green Island operating every 2nd Sunday.

1936

Green Island was declared a national park.

1940s

The First guest house was opened.

1948

The introduction of the Glass Bottom Boat replaced the old method of a floating glass box to view coral.

1954

Opening of the world’s first Underwater Observatory.

1960s

Establishment of Marineland. Since 1971, it has operated as Marineland Melanesia, crocodile farm, aquarium and museum.

1961

The Barrier Reef Theater opened on Green Island – the first movie theatre on an island. It featured the wonderful film work of Noel and Kitty Monkman, pioneering underwater photographers from the 1930s. It was operational until the early 1990s

1965

The (second) Coral Cay Hotel on Green Island was opened.

1970

Queen Elizabeth II visited Green Island during her Royal Australian Tour.

1974

The surrounding Great Barrier Reef was declared a National Marine Park.

1983

The Hayles family pioneered the use of the semi-submersible boat for coral viewing.

1992

Daikyo Australia commenced redevelopment of Green Island Resort.

1993

Commissioning of tertiary sewage treatment plant.

1994

Official opening of the $43 million eco-friendly Green Island Resort.

2001

Commissioning of desalination plant (producing over 55,000 liters of freshwater daily.)

2004

Opening of Resort Day Spa facilities.

2005

The Quicksilver Group acquires Green Island Resort and Great Adventures island operations after the successful purchase from Daikyo.

2006

Inaugural annual Great Adventures Green Island Ocean Swim

2012

The pioneering Underwater Observatory was decommissioned and closed to public, deemed structurally unsound by engineers.

2012

Visitors from around the world converge on Green Island to witness a total solar eclipse.

2017

Single use plastics begin to be phased out on the island.

2018

The Resort’s first solar arrays installed, and other environmental upgrades commence.