71 °F / 22 °C
Garden Island is located approx 5 km (3 ml) off the Kimberley coast (Western Australia). The island is linked to the mainland via a man-made causeway. This slender island has length of approx 10 km (6 ml) and width of just 1,5 km (1 ml),
- Like Rottnest and Carnac Island, Garden Island is a limestone outcrop that is covered by a layer of sand accumulated during lowered sea levels' era. Noongar Indigenous Australians narrate of walking to the isles in their Dreamtime.
- The sea level rose at the end of the last glacial period, cutting Garden Island off from mainland. For the last 7 thousand years it has been in relative isolation.
- The largest fleet base of the Royal Australian Navy, Fleet Base West, also named HMAS Stirling, is located on the southeastern part of Garden Island, on the shores of Careening Bay, facing Cockburn Sound.
- A feasibility study started into establishment of naval support facility on the island in 1966. It was endorsed in 1969 by the Federal Government. Construction of the 4.3 km (2.7 ml) Garden Island causeway started in 1971 and was finished in 1973. In 1978 the facility was completed, and HMAS Stirling was commissioned as a unit of Royal Australian Navy. Stirling, referred to as "Fleet Base West", was further developed under Two-Ocean Policy and became the major naval base on Australia's west coast.
- As of 2008, Stirling is the home to 5 frigates and all Australian Submarine Service's submarines. A Clearance Diving Team is also located at Stirling.
- Since facility's completion, public access to Garden Island has been restricted only to daylight hours. As of June 2010 it is not granted to the public, via the bridge/causeway, unless entry is financed by the military. Access by sea is strongly restricted to private boat using moorings under daylight curfew conditions.
Garden Island is classified as A-class reserve. The Navy has undertaken successful programmes for removal of introduced animals and currently all native animals are protected.
Garden Island cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Garden Island Australia dock (anchor) at Careening Bay - on the south-eastern coast.