Fringing reef and approximately 1,100 of the Great Barrier Reef’s 1,625 species of fish surround Orpheus Island, a 3,212 acre, hilly national park island 42 nautical miles north of Townsville. Its most famous underwater feature is the garden of giant clams on its western side, in sheltered Hazard Bay, near the exclusive Orpheus Island Resort. Here, over a hundred massive bivalve molluscs laze on a sandy seabed, many grouped close enough together for their shells to touch. Aim your dive torch towards their golden brown, yellow and green mantles, which, thanks to a trick of the light, often appear iridescent turquoise or purple. Venture too close, though, and shells will partially close.
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