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Off the tropical coast of North Queensland between Ingham and Mission Beach lie 15 continental islands, 11 of which are National Parks surrounded by the waters and fringing reefs of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. They range from Hinchinbrook Island, 39,000 ha, the largest National Park Island in Australia to tiny Purtaboi Island situated just of the coast of renowned Dunk Island. These islands present a magnificent landscape of tropical sandy beaches, precipitous headlands, rugged mountains, waterfalls and dense rainforest, all of which offer the most spectacular backdrop for our sea kayaking adventures.
Paddling the coast of Hinchinbrook Island and camping on the white sandy beaches is a true taste of paradise.The uninhabited island offers stunning views and untouched beaches.
This expedition style trip will take you away from all the pressures of today's lifestyle and let you relax and enjoy nature at it’s best. As we paddle the coastline the breathtaking beauty of this island wilderness will be revealed, the lush tropical rainforest gives way to towering granite peaks, and below are countless sheltered sandy bays. 3-4 hours paddling each day allows plenty of time to explore Zoe Falls, swim in the crystal clear fresh water pool, relax and enjoy this protected pristine environment. Evenings are spent camping under the stars, enjoying some local tales from our experienced guides and a glass of wine over a delicious camp dinner.
* All prices are per person and listed in Australian Dollars (AUD). All prices shown are GST inclusive where applicable.
Our pre-trip meeting will be held at 7:00pm on the evening prior to our departure around the pool at Mission Reef Resort. Our guides will introduce themselves and discuss the planned itinerary and answer any questions you may have regarding your trip. They will also issue you with dry-bags for your personal belongings, these should be packed and ready when you are collected the following morning. Any belongings not being taken may be stored at Mission Reef Resort. Please organise your own way to Mission Reef Resort. There will be a group Facebook Chat to connect everyone and most ladies end up drive sharing from the airport. (2.5 hour drive). Accommodation: Mission Reef Resort (twin share) Meals: Welcome pizza around the pool (BYO wine)
An early start is necessary, often 7.30am but will be confirmed by your guides as tidal change can affect departure times. We drive by bus or troopy to our departure point at Lucinda two hours south of Mission Beach. Here we pack our kayaks, practice our paddling skills and all safety procedures. We set off across the channel to lunch at Georges Point our rst landing site on Hinchinbrook Island. We then paddle on taking in the southern reaches of Hinchinbrook Island. Our rst night camp is at Mulligans Bay, Sunken Reef or even Zoe bay depending on wind and weather. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Beach Camping
Following the coast north we pass the most easterly section of the Island, Hillock Point and into stunning Zoe Bay with the verdant backdrop of Mount Bowen (1142 meters) and the Thumb. Here we can explore the rainforest, following Zoe Creek up to the refreshing clear pools of Zoe Falls. A relaxing swim and early lunch is enjoyed before we continue along the coast where our days paddle nishes at sheltered Banksia Bay. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Beach Camping
On these days we paddle past many secluded little coves and beaches hidden along the rocky coastline and on to the eight kilometre length of Ramsey Bay curving north to Cape Sandwich with Channel Rock and Eva Island just off the coast. Rounding Cape Sandwich is one of our crux moves for the trip and can involve some speci c timing regarding wind and swell. The high sand dunes and sparse vegetation of this part of the island contrast greatly with the craggy grandeur of the previous days paddling. We end our days at Blacksand Beach and Sunset Beach with a sunset drink and a hearty supper. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner x2 Accommodation: Beach Camping
Heading towards the northern point of the island we paddle across the eponymous Shepard Bay towards Cape Richards where the pandanus and casuarinas seem to defy the elements by surviving on this exposed rocky headland. After lunching on beautiful Orchid Beach we are back on the water. We paddle around the northern headland of Hinchinbrook Island and make a short crossing to Goold Island's sheltered beaches. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Beach Camping
We set off leaving Hinchinbrook and Goold Islands behind us heading north. This is our longest open water crossing to the verdant rainforest isles of the Family Island Group. These tiny islands are surrounded in fringing reef with white sandy beaches. The sheltered campground offers beautiful views back towards Hinchinbrook's lofty peaks and west to view the sunset over the mainland. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Beach Camping
Our last day on the water has a leisurely start as we leave Wheeler Island to pass Bedarra and Timana Islands, two of the eleven that make up the Family Islands. Dunk Island is the most well known of these islands and the last stop of our expedition, here we have a celebratory lunch before we paddle back to the coast. South Mission Beach is our nal destination and time to pack our gear and say goodbye with a feeling of great achievement at having experienced a very special place, which luckily has changed little with the passage of time. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch + Farewell Dinner Accommodation: Misson Reef Resort (twin share)
End of trip - women make their way to Cairns airport. We suggest booking an afternoon flight. This will give you time to travel from Mission Beach to Cairns. Transport from Mission Beach to Cairns - At groups own arrangement and cost.
HOW FIT DO I NEED TO BE?
This moderate graded trip where at times be be hard due to change in wind contiions or swell. This trip will be most enjoyed by women who are reasonably active, have good mobility and happy to participate in paddling, swimming and walking. Physical activity can be up to six - eight hours a day. Due to weather conditions some days may include some strenuous activity. On average we paddle 10-15km in double kayaks. We also carry kayaks up over the sand and rocks each day. Women must be aware there is lifting of the kayaks and carrying gear up onto beaches to set up camp.
Jenny Leon - NSWTo be honest I didn't really read the itinerary and just thought "I need a holiday". This was not a holiday. It was an expedition adventure!! I can't believe I used to sit by the pool for fun! Kayaking Hinchinbrook exceeded my expectations. I loved camping on the beach and eating the yummy food. The women were all so lovely and the leaders were brilliant. I feel refreshed and so proud of myself to kayak everyday in the open ocean. One of the best things I've ever done in my life and I don't say that lightly!" THANK YOU! x
Debbie Mastello - QLDThe BEST! I had never camped on the beach or sea kayaked before. I was hesitant at first, but the ladies and leaders made me feel so welcome. Everything was professional and the food was incredible. I don't know how they cook up better meals on the beach than in my own kitchen! I feel like This was truly an adventure and I recommend it to everyone!
Lyn Murray - NSWI turned 62 this year and thought "I don't want to loose my adventure side just because I'm getting older". This trip certainly had every element of adventure. I leave feeling stronger, happier and healthier than every before. I can't get over the meals we ate! Besides the health, the kayaking was beyond words. I'm proud I did the stretch of paddle every day. I will be telling everyone about this experience as one of the best things I have ever done for myself. 10/10. Thank you!
Jill Taylor TestimonialWonderful trip kayaking and camping. Relaxed pace. Plenty of time to look around. Lots of breaks. HEAPS to see. HEAPS of food. I took notes to try and make some of the salads back home, thank you Michelle our guide for being incredible! 🎉🎉