Mt Kootaloo, Dunk Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, Australia
This photo was taken from Mt Kootaloo, Dunk Island. Dunk Island lies 4 km off the Australian east coast, opposite the town of Mission Beach. The island forms part of the Family Islands national Park and is in the larger Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.
Dunk Island covers 970ha, of which 730ha is national park (thirteen kilometres of walking tracks spread over five main routes, ranging from a short walk to Edmund James Banfield's grave to a 4 hour island circuit hike). Its topography varies, with sandy beaches and rocky shores, slightly undulating slopes, foothills and steeper semi-rugged terrain. Mt Kootaloo is the island's highest point, at 271 m above sea level.
There are over 100 species of birds on Dunk Island, including rare and vulnerable seabirds. During the summer months, the island becomes a breeding site for terns and noddies. The lack of predators, along with a plentiful supply of food from the surrounding reef waters, make it an ideal nesting site. Dunk Island is also home to reptiles such as pythons, tree snakes, monito lizards, geckos and skinks. The island's fringing reefs and surrounding waters are home to an array of marine life such as sea turtles, dugongs, corals, fish, shellfish and crabs.
The Aboriginal name for Dunk Island is Coonanglebah, or “The Island of Peace and Plenty”. It received its European name from Captain Cook, who sailed past it on June 8, 1770.