Percy Island

With the ever increasing number of visitors to Middle Percy Island, there are a few crucial changes that have had to be put in place, this has been to preserve the current infrastructure and ecosystems present on the Island. We hope you enjoy your visit.

We ask that you do not leave your rubbish on the island. We ask that if you leave a boat sign in the AFrame it is small so as to allow for the incredible amount of signs added each year. (No beer cans, drink bottles will be permitted. No crude or inappropriate signs will remain up. No large boat parts to be left as signs).

You are welcome to visit the Homestead between 11am and 1pm Monday to Saturday. Unfortunately we are unable to accept visitors outside of these hours as we have an enormous work load. Please supply your own drinking water, (sufficient to get you back to your vessel) as we are on rainwater and preserve our water so as to grow our food.         The Homestead is the residence of the Caretakers, so please be respectful of their privacy and wear appropriate clothing ( no one wearing swimwear will be permitted entry.)  No admittance to the Homestead is permitted without the invitation of the caretakers in residence. There is no public access to cell phone reception and the Homestead (is not an internet cafe). We are happy to supply you with an updated weather forecast. 

Should you wish to volunteer your time please contact us on VHF Ch 73 for information. We really appreciate any help that you can offer us. 

Due to recent theft, vandalism and increase of visitors all other dwellings will be restricted access, limited to those approved by the Grantee or QPWS as stipulated in the Environmental Management Plan provided for the operation, maintenance and use of Middle Percy Island Homestead, Middle Percy Island Conservation Park by QPWS. New signage has been added to this effect, please respect this.

A visitor in September 2018 took these great aerial videos of Middle Percy Island. It is Interesting to see how well wooded the 2,000Ha island has become since the sheep were taken off in 1964 and the ring-barking of the trees for grazing ceased. We have the black and white photos from the Whites days where the grazing land is clearly visible for 1500 to 2000 sheep from 1921 – 1960s
This is a marvelous overview of the Island , Thank you Scott of ‘Blue Peter’

Introduced Animals on Middle Percy Island


The goats were introduced to the Island by the Royal Navy in 1874 by Staff Commander Bedwell of the HM schooner ‘Pearl’. They was given the mission of leaving goats and planting coconuts and other edible fruits from the Brisbane Botanical Gardens, to the islands, in order to provide food stocks for passing vessels plying the Queensland coast.

European settlement was established two years later, in 1876, and the goats utilized by the Island residents to provide themselves and visitors meat, milk and skins for over 130 years.

The first goat herd recorded as being domesticated was by Jimmy Joss, Mason and Smith. These men were rumored to have been searching for gold on the Island but ended up bartering and selling produce to the passing vessels. They requested the first Government Leasehold of the Island in 1875 as they had built their home, gardens and animal paddocks behind the tidal lagoon at West Bay. Interestingly this was the lifestyle envisaged by Captain Mathew Flinders when he named the Island in 1802.

In 1887 the Armitage family took over the Lease, as coffee growers, and had the Homestead built near the top of the Island, close to the water source. In 1921 the White family, from Canada via New Zealand, managed to make a living sheep farming. They cleared the land by ring-barking trees to make paddocks for 2,000 head of sheep, a few cattle and horses.

The next permanent Island resident arrived in 1964, being Andrew Martin, he purchased the remainder of the Pastoral Lease under the Lands Act. The sheep market declined, so he chose to manage the Rangeland goats and to again provide food and skins to the new breed of mariner; the cruising yachties and fishermen. He also started an apiary which has since proved its National importance, being far enough away from the mainland to be protected from contamination of destructive honey bee diseases. He also introduced the Kangaroos, Wallaroos and Wallabies. During his residency their were hundreds of fowl and poultry, of which the Pea cocks still remain. He introduced emu but they didn’t breed. Horses and a few cattle were present when he took over the lease too.

The Island is now under the Nature Conservation Act which has many categories of protection.

Zara with All Black boy and British-Alpine boy born 8th April 2012Middle Percy Island goats; a black & white Doe can have different coloured kids according to Sires’ colouration.

‘Percy Island Tree House’ No 2 in the series by Jenni Kirkwood

Would you like to spend time here? Please make contact and discuss options.

                                           Original Painting by Jenni Kirkwood

‘Percy Island Tree House’ is another original acrylic painting on canvas 600mm x 900mm (stretch framed). This painting is Number 2 of the Percy Island Story.


Prints can be ordered also as a stretched frame canvas (500mm x 750mm) ready to hang for $250 plus postage and packing; or quotes of measurements of your choice. Small A4 laminated prints are also available for $10 (plus postage).


Jenni very generously gifts 10% of these sales to support the management of Middle Percy Island.


Jen – Kirkwood Art.       Mobile: 0413 315 843


‘Percy Hilton’ no 1 of original series by Jenni Kirkwood


‘Percy Hilton’ is an original acrylic painting on canvas 400mm x 600mm stretch framed by Jenni Kirkwood, and is the first in a lovely series in celebration of the unique atmosphere of  Middle Percy Island.

Copies are available as a stretch frame canvas (500mm X 750mm) ready to hand for $250 plus postage, or quotes for measurements of your choice.  A4 laminated prints are also available for $10 (*plus postage).

Jenni generously gifts 10% to Friends of Percy Foundation to help support the management of Middle Percy Island    0413 315 843 kirkwood_art


Walking Track from Whites Bay to Homestead


Dolphin and Whites Bay from the dunes above Dolphin Bay.  The promontory with the signed trail is in-between the bays.

Dolphin and Whites Bay from the dunes above Dolphin Bay. The promontory with the signed trail is in-between the bays.

There is a well sign-posted track which starts up on top of the rocky promontory between Whites Bay and Dolphin Beach up to the Homestead. The 2.5Km trail passes through wooded country and steep sections to the ‘main road’; turning left to the Homestead and right past the Hoop Pines of  Mt. Armitage and  towards  the ‘airfield’ (not serviceable yet;- although any help offered to remedy that could be  appreciated!) .

The track is steep at the middle section, so you may need to stop here to enjoy the view on the rocky hillside (maybe communications will work up there, but only on Telstra systems).

Once up the top of that track turn left to the Homestead (1Km) with a lovely view of South Percy at ‘Weather Station Hill’ (formerly known as’ ‘Dead Sheep Hill’  referring to the remnant sheep from the Whites flock, which grazed the Island between 1921-64) .

Alternatively, turn right to explore the cool Hoop Pine forest at Mount Armitage and the grassy area overlooking Whites Bay with a wonderful view of North-East Percy (which looks like a giant floating on its back from this angle; one can then understand how legends arose).

The varied vegetation is very different from the West Bay route and well worth the effort. So get those legs working with different muscles, and have a walk if you have time to spare.

Refreshments and our famous Bush honey will also be available from the Homestead.

For those folks who like to stay on the beach, try exploring between the central sand dunes to find the tranquil cool forest, smelling the Native Frangipani if in season. This is different to the Frangipani dubbed the ‘Percy island Frangipani’ by the Society for Growing Australian in 1989 which is on the West Bay to Homestead track above the Aframe area lining the road for 1km.

The entrance to this beautiful forest is at the back of the sand-dunes near the centre of  Whites Beach and is hidden between the dunes  It  is found by walking between the dunes lined with windblown Casurinas (stunted by the gale force SE’rly winds) and into the more protected area behind the dunes which grows wonderful Paperbark trees.

Continue walking up the sandy seasonal creek to enjoy a refreshing change from the beach. The creek, when flowing, can offer sandy bottom pools to play in, prepared to be nibbled by yabbies!. This area was reputedly settled by the pioneer Capt. Cook Till in 1850s when he had a settlement of indentured Islanders and Tories Strait peoples. These folk went to Mackay and Townsville for work on the Cane Fields

For more History of Captain Cook Till,  please take the time to read the fascinating article by his family in www.thecoatsal

The creek bed ends at a rocky cliff with seasonally flowing waterfall which  leads to the grassy hills above the Whites Bay towards the site of the potential airfield. Upon finding the track follow left to the Mt. Armitage – Whites Bay turn off with possibility of continuing the 1Km over Weather Station Hill to the Homestead for refreshments


Please remember to take drinking water (particularly if creek not running) and any personal applications and clothing to protect you on your adventurous safari.

Check out the ‘mud maps’ for reference of walks and don’t blame me if you get lost or injured please.Mud Map Walking Tracks

REMEMBER THAT you are on national park land until you enter the Regional Park area of the Homestead.

There are no deadly poisonous snakes on Percy Is. but please be advised that:-

1) The daytime ‘skinny snake’ is one of two types of Collared Whip Snake ; sunbathing or scurrying across the path. Not aggressive but could bite if surprised in the leaf litter and it perceived threatened in that situation

2) The night time snakes being approximately one meter long are but both deadly for baby birds and reptiles:-

a) Spotted Python and the

b)  Brown Tree Snake  more aggressive ) and

3) Giant Centipede nippers may all adversely effect you, so anti-histamine in your kit could be essential for some folks.

Royal Flying Doctor advice -…”any travellers on the oceans to have a valid Tetanus injection as a prevention from possible serious infection whilst adventuring in different places from the local tropical climate”

The Royal Flying Doctor Kit is kept here and administration is available here  on advise by the Doctor.

We have a landline telephone or via the Marine Radio (you should reach Stanage Bay Coast Guard on 81 but maybe not the Homestead) .

Please remember you are on the National Park zone at Whites Bay and are not allowed to camp.

Camping is available at West Bay which is part of the Regional Park under section 34 of the Nature Conservation Act. Please make prior arrangements from the Homestead (accessible via Channel 73, email, telephone)