Towns in Australia

Exploring Australia, town by town

Brampton Island QLD

Brampton Island

Postcode: 4741

Particularly beautiful island south of the Whitsundays.

Brampton Island is located 32 km north-east of Mackay and is considered by some to be the southernmost island in the Whitsunday Island group. This is not entirely fair as the services operating in the Whitsundays (ie. ferry services from Hamilton Island and from the mainland port at Shute Harbour) do not include Brampton in their itinerary. It is more accurately part of the 70 islands which constitute the Cumberland Group.

Macair operate daily flights between Mackay and Brampton Island. A regular launch service also operates between Mackay and the island five days a week. Until recently the only regular nautical access to the island was from Mackay. This has now stopped and the only commercial access is via Whitaker Airlines from Mackay Airport.

Like most of the islands off the Queensland coast, Brampton was first sighted by Captain James Cook who passed through the area in early June, 1770. At the time there was no permanent Aboriginal population on the island although groups from the mainland did regularly visit the island in search of food.

It was not until 1879 that the island (until that time simply known as ‘M’ on charts of the area) was named. Staff Commander Bedwell of the Royal Navy, recognising the Cumberland Group of islands, named each island in the group after towns in the Cumberland Lake District.

A few years later the Queensland Agricultural Department, in a program to help shipwrecked sailors, planted coconut palms on a large number of islands including Brampton. The plan was that the coconuts would provide food for the sailors. Some of the coconut palms can still be seen on the beach at the island’s resort.

In 1916 Joseph Busuttin, his wife Sarah and five children became the island’s first European settlers. The family remained on the island establishing the first resort. Joseph Busuttin’s sons did not leave the island until 1959 when they sold the resort.