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Old 15-04-2017, 19:27   #1
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Northern Queensland to Darwin

we are a family of 4, kids aged 10 and 8. Last year we purchased a yacht in Sydney and sailed up the coast to Townsville where she is now on the hard. We'll soon be heading back to Townsville to set off again to Darwin and looking for suggestions on what to see and where to stop. Weve got about 5 weeks.
Im particularly interested to hear of suggestions for a great spot to stop on the reef for easy snorkelling for the kids. We didnt make it out to the reef when we sailed the whitsundays last year so want to make sure we get there this time.
Any suggestions for the best places/islands to stop would be greatly appreciated.
From Darwin we will make our way through the Kimberley back to Perth which is home. We are really looking forward to this part of the trip, having done it 12 years ago pre kids!
Look forward to hearing any suggestions
Cheers
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Old 15-04-2017, 20:15   #2
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Re: Northern Queensland to Darwin

Hi, lizard and the cod hole are great. You just have to get the right weather for the reef, from cairns onwards its consistently blowy coming into this time of year.From there on l'm not much of a fan.
Im on the way from airlie to magnetic island as we speak and are heading to Thursday island next month.If you see a yacht named Sukha come say hello.

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Old 15-04-2017, 20:27   #3
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Re: Northern Queensland to Darwin

Tons of great places, but pretty much all weather dependent.

We had several great days at Flora reef,off Innisfail, Sudbury cay is nice, Fitzroy island is an option if it's a little windy for the offshore reefs , as are the Low isles. Cairns reef is amazing. The ribbon reefs also.
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Old 15-04-2017, 21:00   #4
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Re: Northern Queensland to Darwin

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Hi, lizard and the cod hole are great. You just have to get the right weather for the reef, from cairns onwards its consistently blowy coming into this time of year.From there on l'm not much of a fan.
Im on the way from airlie to magnetic island as we speak and are heading to Thursday island next month.If you see a yacht named Sukha come say hello.

Sent from my vivo Y35 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
I should say, as 44 already has, from Townsville to lizard is great, just day hop the whole way.

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Old 15-04-2017, 22:35   #5
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Re: Northern Queensland to Darwin

Nevpen, how much has it cost to have your boat on the hard in Townsville?
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Old 15-04-2017, 22:37   #6
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Re: Northern Queensland to Darwin

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Nevpen, how much has it cost to have your boat on the hard in Townsville?
Hi. About 450 a month for a 38ft cat.
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Old 16-04-2017, 02:40   #7
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Re: Northern Queensland to Darwin

Thanks mate. What yard was that?
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Old 16-04-2017, 03:04   #8
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Re: Northern Queensland to Darwin

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Thanks mate. What yard was that?
No worries. Rosshaven Marine
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Old 16-04-2017, 06:41   #9
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Re: Northern Queensland to Darwin

Lizard Island!


This photo shows you the anchorage at Lizard Island. See the coral that's so close to the boats? This is an amazing, close, shallow, fish-filled, giant clam infested, snorkeling spot just terrific for kids.
You can sit on deck and watch the little rug-rats.

The Cod Hole is great when the wind drops, however its very much a supervised snorkel. It's deep, current flowing, no other people there, a long way from an anchorage.
While it's definitely the mist excellent dive and snorkel it's not one the kids can do anytime any day.

Lizard Island us a kids haven. Plan to spend as long as you can there.
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Old 16-04-2017, 06:59   #10
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Re: Northern Queensland to Darwin

What time of the year was that photo taken the place is empty?
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Old 16-04-2017, 07:04   #11
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Re: Northern Queensland to Darwin

Just a little more on Lizard Island.

I took that photo from the top of Cooks Look.
An 8 and 10 year old could quite easily and safely walk up there by themselves after you have taken them the first time.

I'm thinking back to the adventures I had at that 8 to 10 age group. Mum fed us breakfast and kicked us out till dinnertime with a packed adventure lunch. Really Lizard is like that. Give them a handheld VHF and dump them on the beach.
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Old 16-04-2017, 07:07   #12
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Re: Northern Queensland to Darwin

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What time of the year was that photo taken the place is empty?
That was very early in the season. We left Cairns the day the cyclone season finished and sailed there direct.
Stayed about 2 months. Yes it got busier but never packed. We headed to the Cod Hole every time the Trades dropped.
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Old 16-04-2017, 07:24   #13
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Re: Northern Queensland to Darwin

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That was very early in the season. We left Cairns the day the cyclone season finished and sailed there direct.
Stayed about 2 months. Yes it got busier but never packed. We headed to the Cod Hole every time the Trades dropped.
Sensational pic. Thanks for all the great info. Will make Lizard a priority. Only wish we had longer...
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Old 16-04-2017, 15:48   #14
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Re: Northern Queensland to Darwin

horseshoe bay , magnetic island off Townsville / behind Hinchinbrook island / your reef snorkelling chances started back at lady Musgrave island / as you get further north the reef closes in to the land / most of the one day apart anchorages are reefs / you can go to Seisha on the north eastern side of the cape / it has an iga supermarket close to the beach / then choices of whether you want to go to Weipa or continue straight across the gulf to Gove / carry plenty of water or have a well maintained desalinator if you are travelling in the dry season / most of the islands and anchorages have no water / there is a spring on Lizard island but the water is brackish yellow / you can be resupplied by barge you must organise that from Townsville before you leave ( so you can stay longer in offshore anchorages without heading in for provisions ) you will have thousands of opportunities to explore reef / it would be easy to spend a year around the anchorages off Townsville alone / you have already skipped past a lifetime of cruising destinations / enjoy your cruising / to educate your kids about saltwater crocodiles a trip to the croc farm usually has a lasting awareness of their presence / enjoy
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Old 16-04-2017, 16:02   #15
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Re: Northern Queensland to Darwin

I will be in the Cairns area in a couple of weeks, my intention has been to spend time in Princess Charlotte but stories of Coral bleaching suggest that areas further South may be better.

Much of the area has National Parks & blue buoys to tie up to, not sure about bookings, but they are a great comfort and usually good location as the intention is to save the coral from anchor chain drag. Haven't got the link now but I saved the GPS co-ordinates to my HH GPS. Other buoys could be used o/night as they are probably commercial.

And you have the Alan Lucas book right.

Edit. Despite the reef closing in, to the mainland further North, the quality is better further out.
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