Channel Island was the site of the first quarantine facility in the Northern Territory, with construction of the hospital and facilities completed in 1914.
In 1931, it was converted to a leprosarium. The settlement was finally abandoned in 1955. Although many buildings were dismantled and removed following the closure, many historical artefacts remain on the island. The jetty, foundations of the original quarantine hospital, burial sites and associated artifacts provide evidence of a unique period in Australia’s history.
The Channel Island Conservation Reserve also includes the reef between the mainland and the island containing many small colonies of coral. The Channel Island Reefs are significant due to its relatively diverse coral community which is not consistent with its location well inside a large ria (drowned river valley) system characterised by substantial depression of salinity during the wet season, high turbidity and deep, fine muds over much of its area.
Both the leprosarium and the reefs are Heritage Listed sites. For more information, visit the Australian Heritage Places Inventory.
Territory Generation’s Channel Island Power Station complex borders the Reserve. Development and operations at the power station are carried out with consideration to NT Parks and Wildlife’s Channel Island Reserve Conservation Management Plan.