In 1858 Green Island was established as a beche-de-mer (sea cucumber)
fishing station. Beche-de-mer is a delicacy in most Asian countries
making it a highly prize catch that is relatively easy to collect.
A far cry from the glamorous and very popular tourist attraction
that it is today, Green Island was considered remote and far from
appealing to the early residents of Cairns. The island did however
have an abundance of the lucrative beche-de-mer which made men put
up with the harsh conditions.
were many conflicts between beche-de-mer fisherman and local Aborigines
on Green Island. Three particularly bloody incidents saw several
men speared to death and their bodies mutilated. Without being there
it is hard to know the truth behind the disputes but the facts remain
that what is today a luxury island resort was yesterday an isolated
and violent place avoided by all but the most desperate or greedy.