The community of Change Islands is located primarily on the larger South Island, today hosting approximately 200 residents, though most of the public buildings are on the North Island.
The South Island is larger, containing more marshes/bogs, and wooded area, the North Island is smaller, mostly barren. It is located in Notre Dame Bay, on the northeast coast of the island of Newfoundland.
The community was first established as a series of random settlements around the islands tied to seasonal fishing activity which developed into a cohesive community. The first European settlers arrived sometime in the mid-1700s to fish.
The residents of Change Islands have preserved many of their traditional homes, stages and stores (fishing sheds); many of these landmarks are disappearing in much of coastal Newfoundland and Labrador with the collapse of the ground fishery.
There are a few accommodation facilities on the islands which are accessible by the provincially-operated ferry service from Farewell that also services Fogo Island further to the east.