Identified as part of the Cumberland Isles Group by Captain James Cook in 1770. Keswick Island and neighbouring St Bees Island were first designated together as ‘L1 Island’ by Lieutenant Matthew Flinders, RN, in HMS Investigator in 1802. Keswick Island was later individually named in 1879 after the town of Keswick in England’s Cumbria Lake District by Staff Commander E. P. Bedwell, RN, in SS Llewellyn.


Keswick Island is approximately 530 hectares (1300 acres) in area, with the majority being national park. It is part of the pristine Cumberland Group of islands that consists of St Bees Island, Keswick Island, Aspatria Island, Scawfell Island, Calder Island, Wigton Island and Cockermouth Island. The island is near to the South Cumberland Islands National Park. Neighbouring islands in the Cumberland Group are accessible by private boat. The nearest developed neighbouring island is Brampton Island some 7 km to the north.

Visitors can undertake activities such as swimming, snorkeling, diving, fishing, beachcombing and bushwalking. Narrow walking tracks in the National Park wind through pockets of tropical rainforest to its beaches.

The island is fringed by colourful coral reefs and abundant marine life which provides favourable conditions for diving or snorkeling at mid-low tide. Three wrecks sites, including the protected historic wreck sites of The Singapore (a two master sail and steam vessel) and The Llewellyn (a former coastal steamer) are accessible from the island within a few minutes by boat.

Whales can be frequently seen around the island during their annual migration through the Whitsundays between July and September.

📸 Photo credit: Eva Browne-Paterson