Heading North for winter - 6
By morning the Curlews had gone and momentarily forgotten for the thrill of our new adventure.
The hour of washing machine motion was the usual fun park ride for LR, however, B and I didn’t fare so well. B launched just before the finish line adamant that he was fine until the end. Yet as our feet touched the jetty somehow the delicate wind chime sounds were enough of a distraction to steady our footing. The gentle motion of the waves jostling the coral beach with its ebb and flow was melodically beautiful.
Stashing our snorkels in the big lockers we started with the secret garden walk. It was a pretty walk but the finale was a little lacking. We had a minor drama when LR had to rescue her camera from strangers after leaving it on the path while doing the mountain goat thing. She returned a little quiet and with eyes unnaturally wide for her experience, but bounced back as her toes touched the slightly chilled water.
Doing the backwards waddle into the water was a little challenging with the coral debris that makes up the beach constantly entering the flippers. Finally, in the water it was a little like a hidden treasure hunt as we scanned the murky waters, always with that crock fear in the back of my head. The couple of choppy days before meant that finding the reef clusters were all that bit more a surprise treat. Heading for the rocks end of the main beach was the overall best spot, however, the opposite end (other side of the wharf) had some enormous clams.
LR couldn’t handle the cold water (funny for a girl that is always complaining about being too hot) and got out while B headed for the huge ocean Trampoline. I was quite happily hovering around the bottom as B readied himself for launch, then came the call came out “shark, shark! Get out of the water!!” Let’s just say, I inelegantly scaled the ladder in full flipper with one leg in a cramp before I drew my next breath. Final consensus….just a reef shark and everyone continued on with what they were doing…..I casually made my way out of the water, and here I was worried about the crocks, completely forgot about the sharks lol. No stingers at least at this time of year.
Some changerooms would be welcome on the island. My still slightly upset stomach had me half naked B lining for the outside of the toilets to finish getting dressed, such was the smell. However, this did not stop me enjoying some divine salted calamari from Foxy’s Bar. Unfortunately, the salad was drenched in oil, but LR said the wedges she had were the best ever!
Fitzroy Island has heaps to do with Kayaks, Paddle Boards, snorkels, and tours all available on shore. LR mastered the paddle board in no time. The whole experience was gorgeous as well as slightly terrifying at the same time. After my first minor shark scare the periodic screams from the kids finding fish sent shivers down my spine on several occasions…..and in the back of my mind, the Curlew screams were not helping haha.
One warning though, by the end of the day it felt like blood was dripping from my feet from walking on the coral pieces that make up the beach, but at least I achieved some seriously natural exfoliating.
A truly magical place, and a brilliant time of year to visit. More than one day is needed to fully explore what is on offer. We only did a day trip as we had left H unwell in the van on the mainland, but the tough nut that he is, we headed up the winding Kennedy Hwy stopping at a basic rest stop for the night(I have an alternate overnighter in the details below).
To view more photography please visit the Visual Images Website
LILY ST CAMP to PORT AUTHORITY (3.4km 15 min)
Cnr Grafton and Hartley (can just do a drive by wharf and if no parks head for here)10min walk(800m) from here
Snorkelling, hiking, paddle board
Fitzroy Island– 8.15 check in at Reef Fleet terminal dep. 9am return 5.15pm
Pier point rd at the end of Spence st
the far end of the beach to Bird Rocks. That’s where we’d be most likely to see a turtle.
(But The waves are a bit stronger here)
Vinegar for stingers
PORT AUTHORITY to YORKEYS KNOB (18km 35min)
Cnr Evans st and Sims Esplanade – park across from beach
*FREE CAMP (not designated)
NEXT: Rainforest on steroids and a resort with wildlife as a feature