Island & Surrounds

In EJ Banfield's Last Leaves from Dunk Island there is a chapter entitled "In Reserve" from which the following is quoted by the beachcomber:

“Among the islets of the Family group, sprinkled between Hinchinbrook and Dunk Islands, not one is denied distinction ... There is, of course, one scene which combines more of excellences than the others, however admirable individually. A little bay lies open to the turbulent southeasters, yet lacks not a sheltering cove wherein a small boat may nestle. The cove is formed by a bold and rounded mass of granite, on which pandanus palms and straggling shrubs find foothold. The boat glides round the sturdy rock, revealing a white beach, the sand of which has been ground to such singular fineness that it feels as silk underfoot ... From a low pinnacle of rock, on which an osprey is fond of perching, the virtues of the wider scene are best revealed. Five islets, wildernesses of leafage, trip out to the east. A mass of fantastic rocks, round which confusing currents swill, intercepts the fairway, and beyond the islets are the Brook Group, with Goold Island and Hinchinbrook to the right to complete the picture ... Few visit the spot. All its charms are held in reserve.”

Banfield did not name the place, but there is only one scene in the group which fits his description - Doorila Bay on Bedarra Island.

Pristine coral sandy beaches, with coves formed by giant boulders, and fringed with lush green jungle. Bedarra is one of thirteen islands of varying sizes and Dunk is the largest island within the Family Group of Islands. The continental type islands are made up of granite boulder formation and rise to moderately high rocky peaks, with steep granite escarpments on the northeasterly and southeasterly aspects.

The islands are very similar in character apart from variations in size. Dunk, Bedarra and Wheeler all have a permanent water supply.

They all have northwest sandspits on every isle because each island has a shelving sandspit at its northwestern corner giving them a family "resemblance". These sandspits are one of the most attractive features of this group, offering ideal sheltered boat landings and deep water swimming at the lowest of tides. The sand is drawn out into a narrow spit by the wave action and sea currents from the prevailing sou'easters and nor'easters.

The islands are all National Parks apart from Bedarra, Timana and those areas of Dunk Island which are held as freehold land by the Resort and Artist's Colony.