Twitching in island paradise
The 123 picturesque islands off the Geraldton coast are familiar to fishermen and lobster-catchers but few others: the Abrolhos Islands have only been opened up to tourism since 2016 after being made a national park. They are known for their pristine waters teeming in marine life and beautiful yet treacherous coral reefs that have claimed many a ship over the centuries, most notably the Batavia, the subsequent mutiny of which in 1629 did not, shall we say, end well. The islands are one of the world’s most important breeding grounds for more than 90 species of seabird, including the vulnerable lesser noddy and the Pacific reef heron, and the white-sand beaches are the sunning-spot of choice for Australian sea lions. Migrating humpback whales also make the waters of the Abrolhos their home during the July-October migration season. Tourism plans include a campsite and possible floating barge-style accommodation.