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Green Island

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.

There 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.

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