The island is small at just 400 hectares in area.
Commander George Nares gave Hayman its name in honour of Thomas Hayman, his navigator. The two carried out many exploits together, becoming the first to pass through the Suez Canal and completing a dangerous navigation around Antarctica.
Edwin Embury, a schoolteacher, dreamer, and amateur scientist established a biological research laboratory on the island in 1933. The abundant wildlife and proximity to the Great Barrier Reef made Hayman an ideal base for scientific discovery.
Map of the Whitsunday Group
Whitsundays’ fishermen Bob and Bert Hallam established the Great Barrier Reef Game Fish Angling Club in 1935, attracting local and international game fishing enthusiasts who arrived by coastal steamer. One of them was Zane Grey, American novelist, filmmaker and big game fisherman. Grey planted the first coconut palm on the island and, in 1936, Hayman became the idyllic tropical backdrop for his comedy drama, ‘White Death’.