Continental Island

What is a continental island?

As opposed to a coral cay, a continental island is an island that is built of landmass that is part of a continental shelf.



Welcome Bay Beach, Fitzroy Island, Near Cairns, Queensland, Australia, Pacific
Fitzroy Island. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

It is not accumulated coral material like in coral cays, or the coral ring that is left after a volcano sinks down to the ocean like in atolls. 

Seventy Five Mile Beach, Fraser Island, Queensland, Australia
Fraser Island. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

It is simply on the same land as the adjacent continent, a higher part of the continental shelf that is sticking out of the water.

Aerial of Hinchinbrook Channel & Island, Hinchinbrook Island National Park, Australia
Hinchinbrook Island. By AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Those islands are often larger than coral cays and atolls. They also tend to be hillier (if it's in a hilly area of course), and they sometimes have more and thicker vegetation.

Arthur Bay, Magnetic Island, Queensland, Australia, Pacific
Magnetic Island. Poster by AllPosters. Click on thumbnail to buy

Some continental islands in Australia are Kangaroo Island off the coast of South Australia, Fraser Island off the coast of Hervey Bay, Great Keppel Island off the coast of Rockhampton, Magnetic Island outside Townsville, Hinchinbrook Island outside Cardwell, Dunk Island off the coast of Mission Beach, and Fitzroy Island off the coast of Cairns.














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