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Us, a Swag, a Pontoon and a lot of water – Reefsleep

Our stay at Airlie Beach in Queensland’s sensational Whitsunday’s couldn’t be complete without experiencing the pinnacle of Great Barrier Reef adventures. Reefsleep with Cruise Whitsundays is the ultimate, an overnight sleep under the stars at Reefworld on Hardy Reef. Only a 1 hour 50 minute boat trip 40 nautical miles from the mainland in the beautiful Whitsundays.

Only 9 people maximum can be a part of Reefsleep each night, therefore providing an intimate experience, sleeping in swags on the pontoon rooftop under the stars.

Wow!!

Reefworld on Hardy Reef
Reefworld on Hardy Reef - Reefsleep Experience

Departing for Reefsleep

At the marina, Cruise Whitsunday’s staff directed us to our own private lounge seating area on the boat’s mid level just behind the captain’s area. We were able to watch and listen to the staff as they steered us toward our exciting “pyjama party” on the Great Barrier Reef.

Our other fellow Reefsleep guests, David, Christine and German tourist Angelica were also there. We excitedly talked about what we were expecting would happen. The onboard staff gave us briefings about our stay and they told us by 3pm we would have the pontoon and snorkeling all to ourselves until 11am the following day.

fellow Reefsleep guests

The Trip out to Hardy Reef

The boat trip took about 1 hour 50 minutes after a brief stop at Hamilton Island to pick up passengers. The Captain let us know ocean conditions would be a little rough but not too bad and that’s how it turned out.

As we entered the reef area the waters calmed and we began to view the incredible colours only a reef provides. Soon the pontoon comes into view and as we slowly make our way up close we look out at those who enjoyed the experience the night before, looking for clues on what to expect. Nothing obvious stands out.

Our Arrival

Once we were on the pontoon we were introduced to our Reefsleep guide Natalie who would look after us for the night. A few minutes later and we were ready to begin enjoying the facilities available.

Adele and Matthew quickly chose to join others for a trip on the Semi Submersible Glass bottom boat. Whereas I chose to take a look around and discover exactly what the pontoon had to offer. I soon found a group getting ready to Scuba Dive and watched as they prepared their Scuba gear and Stinger suits. I considered for a moment what it would take to join them but decided to venture on and see what else there was to explore.

Semi Submersible Glass bottom boat - Reefsleep Experience

The tide was low and the reef and its coral were on full display. The colours were amazing with the reef displaying almost a fluro blue colour along with turquoise green and a dark blue for the deep waters. By this stage lots of people had changed into their swimming attire and began to snorkel the pristine reef. Cruise Whitsundays provided all the snorkeling gear and had everyone ready and prepared pretty quickly.

Snorkelling - Reefsleep Experience

Adele and Matt returned from the Semi-Submersible Glass bottom boat and we decided to take a look at the Underwater Viewing Room. From there we could see a vast array of marine life including a lot of big fish. At night from the viewing room the lights would go on and attract a whole new range of fish including George the enormous big Queensland Groper.

We weren’t in a particular hurry to begin snorkeling, we were going to have it all to ourselves soon enough.

Reefworld Optional Activities

We had lots of choices including, Underwater Viewing Room, a Massage or take a Helicopter Flight over Hardy Reef and Heart Reef. A 30 minute Helicopter Flight out of Airlie Beach is also available.

The helicopter flight was $140 each (as long as you weigh less than 110kgs) for a 10 minute flight. The massage was $55 for half an hour.

Optional Helicopter Flight - Reefsleep Experience

Snorkeling Hardy Reef

Adele and Matthew couldn’t wait any longer and were soon in snorkeling with everyone else. I heard the call that lunch was served back on the boat and figured I’d get in early. I was one of the first people to arrive for lunch and had the pick of everything. A smorgasbord of cold meats, salads, chicken, prawns, wraps and more.

After lunch we decided it was time for me to snorkel and we all donned our wet suits and snorkeling gear and I had my first look at Hardy Reef. The array of coral and marine life was spectacular. The clams were so big, so colourful. The fish were amazing with how close they would allow you to get to them. Sometimes I would reach out to grab them but they’d slip through my fingers. Every moment in the water was simply breathtaking.

As night begins to fall

That night Natalie cooked us a big delicious BBQ including steak, sausages, chicken, and seafood while we sat enjoying Champagne and watched an amazing sunset. The birds began to join us also as the sun went down and the clouds rolled in.

Amazing Sunset

After dinner we spent time having a few drinks and chatting to our new friends. We also enjoyed time in the underwater observatory watching the fish at night. The birds had joined us in their hundreds and were all mostly around the lower deck. We ventured to the top deck to look out at the moon and stars however cloud had begun to roll in and our view was intermittent.

We made our way to our Swags for an early night. I left the zipper open on my side as it was hot inside the swag and I wanted to look at the stars as I fell asleep. More about our night under the stars soon.

Waking Up on the Pontoon

For breakfast the following morning once again Natalie cooked us a feast! Bacon, eggs, hash browns, tomato and toast.

I had woken early in the morning and was the first one awake. I ventured around the pontoon and soon discovered some big GT (Giant Trevally) as they rounded up bait fish beside the pontoon. Once they were ready, it would become a feeding frenzy. It was crazy as fish would be flying out of the air and the water would become a thrashing of big fish looking to feed on the small ones.

We watched as this went on over and over all around the pontoon. One moment they would be at the front of the pontoon and a few moments later they’d be at the back. Sometimes one side and the next they would be the other side. It was fascinating watching Mother Nature at work.

Up close and personal with Giant Green Turtles

Another morning attraction was the appearance of two giant Green turtles who regularly feed off the side of the pontoon. It was fabulous to get such an up close and personal view of them. We used our GoPro on the extension stick to get video of them as close as possible.

giant turtle reefsleep experience

Fitting in a Morning Snorkel

As soon as breakfast was over we were already together planning to go snorkeling again before the next days sightseers arrived at 11am. We were determined to have another chance to snorkel before the crowd arrived however a high tide, windy conditions and a cool morning were all challenges we were facing. The ocean was rough as the winds blew and there was no protection from the reef due to the high tide. The waters were choppy and no-one was prepared to risk swimming in the conditions.

We waited and waited and with just 15 minutes before the boat arrived I decided it was now or never and jumped in for a last snorkel. The boat was 10 – 15 minutes late giving us some extra time as we all began to enjoy snorkeling again among the fish and coral.

last minute snorkeling

It wasn’t long before the crowd arrived and the energy and enthusiasm of a new group began to enjoy the facilities.

Relax Time - Reefsleep Experience
Great Barrier Reef Adventures Cruise Whitsundays
Did it all go perfectly, well no.

What could go wrong on such an incredible experience?

We can only write about the adventure from our own personal experience and the overnighter did offer up its challenges.

Our Reefsleep Experience

Our Reefsleep experience was amazing, almost breathtaking. It did however have its issues, mostly made worse by not being prepared. Here are a few things we experienced or noticed on our trip that the glossy brochures don’t tell you.

Reefsleep Experience - snorkel time

  • Fresh drinking water is limited 40 nautical miles out in the ocean as you can imagine. Access to showers is only for the Reefsleep guests and therefore they are only open outside of the day tripper hours. They are also closed again when guests from the helicopter charter flights come aboard the pontoon. This is to conserve the water and ensure Reefsleep guests ultimately have enough for their overnight stay. You will need to time it right for when you can have a shower. Talk to the staff they will guide you for when it’s going to be suitable.
  • We don’t drink coffee but the other guys weren’t altogether fussed by the instant coffee that was available. Once again, this is more like a camping experience rather than a resort, there’s no cappuccino machine and you may need to lower your coffee standards for one night.
  • You have to deal with the elements of the weather. I recommend you read my blog about researching the weather before booking your Reefsleep adventure – http://indefiniteleave.com.au/always-take-weather-weather/. The weather can change quickly and unpredictably. Our weather was predicted 0% chance of showers, but it rained anyway.

Reefsleep pontoons

Just Us, a Swag, a Pontoon and a lot of water

Naturally you are braving the elements that nature has to offer when sleeping in swags in the open air of the pontoon deck, but there were no suggestions from the Reefsleep staff as to what to do if the weather turns bad during the night. Given this was our first night sleeping in a swag, we were excited at the thought of gazing up at the sky to see the stars when we retired for the evening. In order to take in the view of the night sky and for some ventilation as well, as the canvas tents are hot, I left the side flaps of our swag open.

pontoon deck - Reefsleep swags

A Wet Swag

Unfortunately unpredicted weather meant we experienced bursts of light and heavy rain throughout the night. I did not zipper back up completely which caused one side of our swag mattress to become saturated with water. It was an unexpected early rise to our second day at the outer Reef. If you have any rain, ensure you fully zip up your swag, especially at the base.

Reef from the boat

  • Once we were heading out to the Reef on the boat I was looking forward to a relaxing trip with thoughts of what our next 2 days were going to be like. It started so well, we were taken to our own personal lounge only for Reefsleep guests and made to feel special.

The Push for Optional Extra Activities

Soon into the trip to the island staff came to us wanting to sell tickets for the Helicopter ride, Massages and Scuba Diving and the pressure was on as spaces were limited and we might miss out. We really just wanted to relax at that time, chat with our fellow guests, take in the views and enjoy the experience.

Despite the sales push we were happy we held off until we arrived at the pontoon. You will need to decide when is best for you to book. The helicopter rides for example are limited and you might miss out if you don’t book early.

  • We were so excited by the idea of flying over Heart Reef, in fact Adele’s heart was set on it. Sadly we were left disappointed as with no previous limitations being mentioned prior, we were told there were weight restrictions of 130kgs. If you were over that you had to pay for 2 seats.

Love Snorkeling at Hardy Reef on Reefsleep Adventure

Misguided Information from Helicopter Company

Upon returning to further question this we were then told it was 110kgs. We were unhappy for this restriction to be in place but even more disappointed that we weren’t notified at any stage prior to the trip and the rules kept changing. We spoke about it to pontoon staff who told us they were a separate company and we would need to sort it out with them.

I decided if Matt couldn’t go than neither would I and Adele ended up choosing not to go alone. Very disappointing but we soon found out Angelica had taken a scenic flight from Airlie Beach that looked a much better option anyway.

Hardy Reef Underwater experience

  • The Reefsleep staff are friendly but apart from the host, everyone was busy. We had very little interaction with any other staff.
  • There didn’t seem to be a plan B. Being so far from land surrounded by water with not a lot of options of things to do, if you’ve had enough of snorkeling or the ocean gets a bit rough then you have an underwater observatory and that’s about it. You can only take so many sunset photos.

Opportunities to add to the Reefsleep Experience

It was our opinion that they missed an opportunity to further entertain the guests.

There was little information passed on about Reefworld, the Great Barrier Reef and Hardy Reef. An opportunity was there to give more insight into such a unique and world renowned location. A discussion about the history of Hardy Reef, the damage the reef is undergoing and how it can be protected plus, how the pontoon works and what it is doing to conserve the reef and showcase this amazing reef system. Also we felt they could introduce all the staff and explain their roles. These are just some of the things that would make it more interesting and beneficial to us as overnight visitors. I think they are missing the chance to educate their guests.

Hardy Reef Coral and giant clams

This is important!!

I only provide these points to give you a better overall guide to the experience and an understanding of what to expect. With this information upfront we would have been better prepared for the experience, rather than just the glossy brochures and rave reviews by travel companies. Despite these thoughts, don’t hesitate, it is absolutely a ‘must do’ experience.

My tips for Reefsleep

  • Make sure you have a camera for underwater photos and videos. We bought a Lifeproof Waterproof case for our iPhone and practiced in the pool before we went. We also took our GoPro to capture lots of quality under water footage.
  • Approach it like you would if you were going camping. It is not 5 Star but it is an experience you will remember forever.
  • Ask questions. Talk to the staff if there’s anything you need to know.
  • Talk to your new friends and enjoy the experience together.
  • Save some energy for snorkeling once the crowd has left and before they return at 11am the next day.
  • Don’t take any bird phobias with you, there’s going to be lots of them with you for the night.
  • Apply plenty of sunscreen
  • Leave the zipper of your swag open and enjoy the amazing view of the stars in the sky.
  • If you do get a shower of rain, make sure you close up the bottom zipper. That was my big mistake. Rookie error!!
  • The Helicopter Flight, Glass Bottom Sub and Massage are only available during the day when everyone, including the day-trippers are there. At 3pm these features are closed.

Reefsleep Experience

More about Reefsleep

You can read more about Reefsleep as well as our Top 13 Best Things to do in Airlie Beach & Whitsundays or simply book your Reefsleep experience out of Airlie Beach here.

We chose the Swag and our cost at the time was $440 each.

Have you done the Reefsleep or planning to do it soon?

Let us know your thoughts.

Thanks
Kev, Adele and Matt

Indefinite Leave

 

Our readers also enjoy reading:

Ocean Rafting the Great Barrier Reef in Whitsundays

Driving north of Townsville to Cairns

A Day Trip to Fitzroy Island in Cairns

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all of our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.
Lenses – Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2yQwPed  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/2XlOZ0I – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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Where to Find Us

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Annie

    November 28, 2016 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks for this extremely informative post! My sister, parents, and I just booked a Reefsleep for early April. We will definitely use your tips. I am enjoying reading your blog and wish you safe travels.

    • Indefinite Leave

      November 28, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      Hi Annie, thanks for your comments 🙂
      Hope you have a sensational time. We have been 10 months now travelling Australia and it still ranks in the Top 2 for things we’ve done for me so far. Just don’t expect it to be a Hilton experience 😉
      Let us know how you go 🙂
      Kev & Adele

  2. Pingback: Our 18 months Budget to Travel Australia by Indefinite Leave - Indefinite Leave

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Adventurers Diary

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island

In our travels all around Australia over more than 4 years we can tell you, Fraser Island is as spectacular as anywhere. It’s one place everybody should want to visit in their lifetime as everything to see and do on Fraser Island will leave a lasting impression.

There is so much that is unique about the World’s Largest Sand Island but you’re going to need a 4wd and at least a few days just to see the main attractions. Add another few days to relax, absorb your surroundings and catch a few fish. Even learn the techniques for worming, now that’s a challenge.

Poyungan Rocks Sunrise
Mornings on Fraser Island

There are a lot of great day trips you can do but it’s like watching the split second highlights of your favourite footy teams win on the news. You get the idea of it but you really want to see so much more and now wished you’d watched the whole thing.

Fraser Island is diverse, unique, stunning and spectacular. It is steeped in so much history.

With decades of experience of coming to Fraser Island and having lived here for an extended period with the island almost to ourselves we have an intimate knowledge of this majestic location that everyone wants to see.

Everything there is to See and Do on Fraser Island

These are the primary places you will want to go when you visit Fraser Island.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - Lake McKenzie
Lake McKenzie

 

Lake McKenzie

There are over 100 freshwater lakes on Fraser Island but none as incredible or as popular as Lake McKenzie.

The Lake is rainwater and has no creek or river access. Just like you experience on spectacular Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsundays, the sand is pure silica.

The water feels soft as you swim and is cooler than the ocean waters making it very refreshing.

Aerial View of Lake McKenzie

There is a fenced picnic area to enjoy your lunch you brought with you. No food is allowed outside this fenced area.

No trip to Fraser is complete without visiting Lake McKenzie.

How to get there: From the ocean beach take the Eurong exit and follow the track and signs. It will take approx 25-30 mins and this track can be rough and slow due to all the traffic and tourist buses that use it. You can also access it from the Cornwell Rd track just north of Eurong. From Kingfisher Bay Resort, exit towards the ocean beach and look for the sign to Lake McKenzie.

Can I park close by: Yes, there’s a big carpark at Lake McKenzie with an easy 100m walk to the lake.

Are toilets available: Yes, you will walk past them for the entrance to the lake.

Is there phone reception: No

Looking up at the trees at Central Station
Central Station

 

Central Station Rainforest

Whenever you visit Lake McKenzie you should always stop at Central Station which is only a few kms nearby.

Central Station was originally a Logging Station and you can still see the cabins and some of the equipment they used on display. It is surrounded by magnificent rainforest with large ferns and an amazing canopy from the trees, some hundreds of years old.

There is an information board on display telling the details of the history of Central Station.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island
Wanggoolba Creek

A short walk takes you to Wanggoolba Creek through the rainforest alongside a stream that is so clear at first you won’t even believe there is water flowing. The next moment you will notice a leaf floating by and that’s when you realise there is actually water flowing. That’s how incredibly clear the water here is.

The boardwalk takes you further into the Rainforest beside the crystal clear Wanggoolba Creek where the surrounding beauty will leave you in awe of just what makes Fraser Island so unique.

A campground is also close by and there are toilets and a picnic area.

How to get there: From the ocean beach take the Eurong exit and follow the track and signs. It will take approx 25 mins and this track can be rough and slow due to all the traffic and tourist buses that use it. You can also access it from the Cornwell Rd track just north of Eurong. From Kingfisher Resort, exit towards the ocean beach and look for the sign to Lake McKenzie. Central Station is nearby, just follow the track and look for the signs.

Can I park close by: Yes, there’s a carpark at Central Station with an easy walk in to Central Station.

Are toilets available: Yes.

Is there phone reception: No

Looking down on the wreck of the S.S. Maheno

S.S. Maheno Wreck

The Maheno was built in 1905 in Scotland and began life as a Luxury Passenger Liner which accommodated 234 First class passengers, 116 Second class passengers and 60 in Third Class.

There was so much hype about its arrival in Australia that on its first voyage it created enormous attention at every stop.

At the start of World War 1, by official order, the New Zealand Government recommissioned the Maheno as a Hospital ship. After the war the Maheno was restored once again back to her former condition and returned to work as a passenger ship operating across the Tasman between Australia and New Zealand.

In 1935 the Maheno was retired as bigger and better ships were built. It was sold to ship breakers from Japan. The same company also bought the Ship named the Oonah which they decided to use to tow the Maheno to Japan.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - S.S. Maheno
Maheno Wreck

Whilst under tow the ships hit an unseasonable July cyclone as it passed Brisbane and the tow ropes broke and the Maheno was at the mercy of the wild seas before eventually being grounded on the beaches of Fraser Island.

The Maheno soon became a tourist destination with tour guides taking groups on fishing trips on the Maheno. They would fish off the decks of the abandoned ship and sleep in the cabins at night.

Wedding on the Maheno

The Maheno even hosted a wedding. Customs officers were required to oversee the ships equipment and chattels. One of the Customs officers had already postponed his wedding 3 times and so it was proposed to have the wedding on board the ship and the Captain agreed.

The Bride and Groom plus all the guests climbed a 9m high rope ladder to board the ship for the wedding.

85 years later and the ship still remains, even after being used as bombing practice by the Australian Air Force and for weapons training by the Secret Commando Unit on Fraser Island.

It’s now a rusted wreck with not too much left but it remains one of Fraser Island’s most popular and iconic pieces of history.

How to get there: Follow the ocean beach north from Happy Valley for 10 mins. It is a few kms north of Eli Creek.

Can I park close by: Yes, find a space to park high up on the beach.

Are toilets available: No

Is there phone reception: Sometimes if you have Telstra but very slow if available

Have you read our Ultimate Guide to Fraser Island. 

Adele wading through the waters of Eli Creek
Ever popular Eli Creek

 

Eli Creek

Eli Creek is an inland fresh water creek which flows an amazing 4 million litres of crystal clear sand filtered water into the ocean every hour!!

That’s a huge 96 million litres or pure fresh water every day!!

As one of the most popular and safe places to swim on the island, every day people float down Eli Creek on their favourite blow up mat or tube. You can also walk through the creek or just relax and enjoy lunch on the edge of the creek.

With so much water filtering out of Eli Creek into the ocean every day, driving past the beach in this section should always be done at low speed and with care. There’s almost always a big washout and it changes daily.

How to get there: Eli Creek is just a few kms north of the township of Happy Valley.

Can I park close by: Yes, you can park backing on to the creek.

Are toilets available: Yes, walk over the bridge and follow the sign straight ahead.

Is there phone reception: No

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - Champagne Pools
Champagne Pools

 

Champagne Pools

Another great place for a swim on Fraser Island is Champagne Pools. From the carpark it’s an easy boardwalk stroll to find these big naturally formed rock pools facing the ocean.

As waves crash over the rocks and fill the pools with ocean water it creates bubbles and froth similar to when you pour a glass of Champagne, hence it’s name.

The best time to swim here is low to mid tide. At high tide or during rough seas it might be dangerous with waves crashing over the rocks. Fish are known to enter the pools with the waves also.

Look between the rocks to find an array of beautiful coloured fish and other marinelife including crabs and shellfish.

How to get there: To find Champagne Pools head north up the beach to Indian Head and take the track behind Indian Head to the beautiful Bay on the other side. Drive up the beach to the next headland where you can park on the beach or drive up the track to the carpark next to the entrance. It is an easy stroll along the boardwalk to Champagne Pools.

Can I park close by: Yes, there are two carparks with an easy walking track to Champagne Pools

Are toilets available: Yes, at the main carpark.

Is there phone reception: No

Indefinite Leave on Fraser Island
Parked on the Beach with Indian Head in the background

 

Indian Head

Indian Head is a rocky headland on Fraser Islands Eastern beach. It is located at the end of 75 mile beach and is the most Easterly point of the island.

The top of Indian Head provides spectacular views and it is common to spot Humpback Whales, Sharks, Rays, Turtles and more in the surrounding crystal clear blue waters.

Fishing is banned either side of Indian Head during August and September each year however for the rest of the year it is a great location to wet a line.

How to get there: Head north from the Maheno Wreck for approx 20 mins.

Can I park close by: Yes, you can park either side of Indian Head or at the base of the walk up.

Are toilets available: No.

Is there phone reception: No

For more on Fraser Island, be sure to read: Camping on Fraser and Moreton Island How we ended up on an Island in Lockdown

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - The Cathedrals
Coloured sand cliffs – The Cathedrals

 

The Cathedrals

The Cathedrals are coloured sand cliffs created over thousands of years by wind and rain blown in from the Pacific Ocean.

Their structure and appearance resemble that of church cathedrals and hence this is how they got their name.

Located a few kms north of the Maheno Wreck they are worth stopping to view and learn more about.

How to get there: The Cathedrals are a short drive past the Maheno Wreck along 75 Mile Beach.

Can I park close by: Yes, park on the beach in front. Please do not climb on the Cathedrals or any dunes.

Are toilets available: No.

Is there phone reception: No

Beautiful coloured sands of The Pinnacles
The Pinnacles

 

The Pinnacles

Take a walk along the track into the Pinnacles to discover the incredible coloured sands of one of Fraser Island’s most historically enchanted locations. Dreamtime stories of the local Indigenous people tell of the fight for the heart of a local woman who fell in love with a Rainbow Serpent and it ultimately led to the many different colours of the sand.

Early morning as the sun’s rays glisten on the coloured cliffs is the best time to view The Pinnacles.

How to get there: The Pinnacles are along 75 Mile Beach just north of the Maheno Wreck.

Can I park close by: Yes, park on the beach at the start of the track in to the Pinnacles.

Are toilets available: No.

Is there phone reception: No

Evertything to See and Do on Fraser Island - Sandy Cape
Aerial view of Sandy Cape

 

Sandy Cape

The Sandy Cape is the northern most tip of Fraser Island. A truly stunning part of the island with large sand blows, clear turquoise water and the rough wild seas where the oceans meet at the tip.

The spit at Sandy Cape continues for another 30kms beyond the tip of the beach.

Camping at the tip is fantastic as you’re often the only ones there however there are no facilities and amenities.

During season Loggerhead and Green turtles nest along the beaches in this northern part of the island and therefore driving at night is not permitted.

How to get there: Follow the ocean beach as far as you can go. You will need to navigate Indian Head, Waddy Point and Ngkala Rocks. Plan the drive around tides and give yourself plenty of time.

Can I park close by: Very few people at the Cape, find a sensible spot and enjoy.

Are toilets available: No.

Is there phone reception: No

Places to stay in Rainbow Beach and Hervey Bay: Rainbow Beach Holiday Village Hervey Bay 48hr Rest Stop The Pier Caravan Park Urangan

The Cape Lighthouse
Cape Lighthouse
Photo by Malcolm Griffin at Travel Australia Art Gallery

 

Cape Lighthouse

Due to the amount of shipwrecks around Sandy Cape a lighthouse was built in 1870. The now Heritage listed Sandy Cape Light is the tallest Lighthouse in Queensland.

To visit the lighthouse drive north from Orchid Beach, past Ngkala Rocks and to the northern tip of the island. Follow the beach around to the western or calm side and drive down the beach for 6kms. Park your 4wd and take the walk to the Lighthouse.

The Lighthouse also marks the furthest you can drive down the western side of Fraser Island from the northern tip. The beach south of the Lighthouse is closed to vehicles.

How to get there: Drive to the northern tip at Sandy Cape and follow the beach around to the calm or western side. Drive for 6kms down the beach until you see the sign.

Can I park close by: Once you park at the beach it’s a soft sandy walk for a couple of kms to the Lighthouse.

Are toilets available: No.

Is there phone reception: No

Looking down on 75 Mile Beach
Fraser Island’s 75 Mile Beach

 

75 Mile Beach

The Ocean beach on Fraser Island stretches approximately 123kms. Prior to Australia changing to the metric system in 1970, this equated roughly to 75 miles and this is how it got its name.

The Beach is one of Australia’s most stunning scenic drives and is a recognised National Highway. This means all road rules apply including driving to the speed limits, keeping to the left as we do in Australia and drink driving (DUI) limits apply.

Driving along the beach you may witness breaching Humpback Whales, Dingoes, Snakes, many fantastic tourist spots on the island and other island visitors and their vehicles. You will also see airplanes who have designated runways along the beach.

Beach conditions change every day and it is vital to look out for washouts, soft sand and pedestrians. It is ideal to plan your driving around 2-3 hours either side of low tide for easier driving and better fuel economy.

Never drive on the sand dunes.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - Lake Wabby
At the water’s edge of Lake Wabby

 

Lake Wabby

Lake Wabby is located approximately half way between the township of Eurong and Poyungan Rocks.

Pull up into the carpark on the beach and take the 4.5 km return walk over Hammerstone Sandblow and down the steep dune into Lake Wabby. This sandblow is slowly filling Lake Wabby and in course will completely engulf the entire Lake.

Trekking over Hammerstone Sandblow to Lake Wabby
Hammerstone Sandblow

 

Hammerstone Sandblow

The Hammerstone Sandblow is just one of 36 Sandblows on Fraser Island.

Lake Wabby is a freshwater lake which looks Lime Green in colour and is a gorgeous spot to cool off after the walk here.

You can also continue your walk to the Lake Wabby lookout which is a 7.5km return trip from the beach entrance.

How to get there: The entrance to Lake Wabby is approx 5 kms north of Eurong along the ocean beach. You can also access it from the Cornwell Track Rd.

Can I park close by: Park on the beach and it is a reasonably easy 2km plus walk in to Lake Wabby.

Are toilets available: Yes at the beach entrance to Lake Wabby.

Is there phone reception: No

 

Ngkala Rocks

Ngkala Rocks is a headland and outcrop of rocks north of Orchid Beach. Known for it’s 4wd challenge in crossing the soft sand track to bypass the rocks or crossing up and over the rocks at the front.

The right tyre pressure for the conditions, ideally good ground clearance and some recovery gear will see you through however there’s always someone bogged on the track and long delays are often the case when trying to get over Ngkala Rocks.

It’s all part of the fun on Fraser Island.

How to get there: Drive north of Orchid Beach for 5-10 mins until you reach the rocky outcrop.

Are toilets available: No.

Is there phone reception: No

Memorabilia of the S.S. Maheno on display at the Happy Valley Retrest
Happy Valley Retreat

 

Townships and Resorts on Fraser Island

There are a few small townships around the island where you can find food, coffee, bait and fuel to purchase during your stay.

The shops also have a lot of great photos and memorabilia about the island. Happy Valley Retreat includes models of the original S.S. Maheno and a number of large photos and information boards about the wreck and the island in general.

How to get there: Eurong, Happy Valley, The Cathedrals and Orchid Beach are all on the ocean side of the island and Kingfisher Bay Resort is located on the Western side.

Can I park close by: Yes, each township has plenty of parking.

Are toilets available: There are public toilets at Eurong, Happy Valley and The Cathedrals. Orchid Beach does not have public toilets. Public toilets are nearby at Waddy Point.

Is there phone reception: All the townships have Telstra coverage and some coverage with other networks.

Watch our video at the 7.15 minute mark to see when I got lucky and captured the experience of a Super Hornet flying over.

Super Hornets

Planes flying above Fraser Island is very common but it’s the Super Hornet Jets that really grab your attention. They are super fast, super loud and are above you and gone before you have time to grab a camera.

Throughout the year but especially in September they fly from Townsville to Amberley in Brisbane. In September they do practice runs for their annual flyover during the Brisbane Riverfire spectacular. They fly very low over Fraser Island making the experience of speed and sound one you won’t miss.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - Air Fraser Scenic Flight
Fraser Island Scenic Flight

 

Scenic Flights – Air Fraser

Air Fraser operates 15 minute scenic flights from different locations around the island. What they take you to see will depend on where you take the flight from.

They use the beach as a runway to take off and land. This makes for a unique experience when a plane flies over you just metres above your vehicle. You can park and watch them take off and land on the beach.

Be aware of your surroundings and any planes that may be landing or taking off and give them the appropriate space to fly safely.

We did a flight over Lake Wabby, Lake McKenzie and Central Station.

Cost is usually around $80 per person.

Find out everything there is to see and do from Hervey Bay to Bundaberg

Watching the Humpback Whales migrate past Fraser Island
Humpback Whales

 

Fraser Island Animals

Fraser Island is home to a large array of wildlife and marine animals. All the animals are wild and should be treated with caution and never be fed. Keep a safe distance from all the animals and appreciate them from a distance.

Marine Life

Dolphins, Sting Rays and Sharks are common in the waters around Fraser Island. They come up close to the beach at times and can easily be seen around the island. You can often spot them from atop Indian Head.

Humpback Whales during their season of June to November migrate north before returning south again are easily spotted as they play and breach in the waters off Fraser Island.

Day tours from Hervey Bay are available to go sight seeing and see the beautiful Humpback Whales up close.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island - Sea Snake on the beach
Sea Snake

Snakes

Sea snakes are another common aquatic animal often spotted around Fraser Island, sometimes washed up on the shores. These should never be approached as whilst they are a passive snake they are also highly venomous.

There are 18 species of snakes around the island and they are especially active in summer. One-third of Fraser Island’s snakes are venomous including the Eastern Brown and Coastal Taipan.

Everything to See and Do on Fraser Island
Dingoes, Mum Dad and Pup

Dingoes

There are quite a number of dingoes roaming Fraser Island and a visit is sure to see you come across one on the beach or across the many inland tracks. Dingoes are very cunning and incredibly opportunistic and will watch you for hours in an attempt to steal food from you. It is vital not to leave any food where they can access it.

The Fraser Island dingo is the purest breed of dingo in Australia. They are naturally lean and walk up to 45kms per day across the soft sands of Fraser Island.

Birds

The birds around the island are majestic. Large Eagles and Osprey soar above the ocean beaches. Watch as they swoop on stunned fish after being released back in the water by fisherman. Australia’s native and iconic Kookaburra are another feature to the island. We witnessed them whilst we had lunch at Lake McKenzie.

The Australian Pied Oystercatcher is common to see along the beaches. It is easily recognisable for it’s red beak and is often searching for worms and crabs in the sand.

Other birds rest along the beaches after long flights from distant countries. Resting and building energy reserves for their long flight back is important so they are best left undisturbed.

Lizards

Monitor Lizards roam the bushes, shrubs and lakes and aren’t to be messed with. They have large sharp claws used for digging and capturing their prey. They are fascinating to watch but don’t get in their way or try to handle one.

Like all animals on the island, view from a safe distance.

Awesome Sunrises on Fraser Island
Fraser Island Sunrise

 

Sunrises

Early mornings on Fraser Island are well worth it to witness the dawn of a new day. As the dark turns to day the Sunrises over the ocean beach are nothing short of spectacular.

Head to the beach with your camera and enjoy the stunning views each morning.

Don’t miss reading our Ultimate Guide to Fraser Island for all the information about visiting.

There is so much more to Fraser Island if you have a few weeks to explore this magical location. Everything to see and do on Fraser Island is simply amazing! The Great Barrier Reef begins just a few short kms north of Fraser Island.

We truly love Fraser Island, it is one of the most extraordinary places on our planet.

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

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Photography

Our camera equipment we use for all of our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2yQwPed  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/2XlOZ0I – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttps://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

___________________________________________________________________________

Where to Find Us

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

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Adventurers Diary

How we ended up on an Island in Lockdown

While chaos and turmoil envelops the entire world, we are two of a very limited few people, isolated and in lockdown, on what is now almost a deserted island. Quite simply by being in a Caretakers Role on Fraser Island at the time of the evolving virus crisis is how we ended up on an Island almost on our own.

There is no one allowed on to this island!!

Property owners might be allowed if their primary address is the island or if coming to the island is essential travel. For example they may need to complete repairs or maintenance.

On an island in lockdown means Eli Creek is deserted
Eli Creek deserted

Only the owners can come, if they satisfy the strict conditions of entry, no other person may accompany them.

Reality is, basically no-one is coming on to the island or leaving.

Police are located at the only 2 entry points, River Heads near Hervey Bay and Inskip Point, and are very strict on any movements.

Kev talking to the Ranger while on an island in lockdown
Talking to the Rangers

Isolating on an Island in Lockdown

Yet here we are, on the World’,s largest sand island, a World Heritage Listed location with over a hundred kms of long stretches of spectacular beach. An island steeped in so much history and some of Australia’s best and most iconic fishing locations.

We are stuck on Fraser Island!!

It’s surreal to read about what is happening. Grocery stores with empty shelves, fights in Woolworths, State borders closed with Police and Army on duty, empty streets and absolutely no sport on weekends.

The Elderly are in lockdown, in fear of catching a virus with no cure and a high rate of death in that age group.

We just can’t imagine it.

Visting Indian Head before lockdown was announced
Indian Head before lockdown

A lot has changed for us here but we have been fortunate to be mostly isolated from a lot of the effects most people are facing.

Our arrival on Fraser Island

We arrived at Fraser Island on Wednesday 4th March.

2 days later on the Friday afternoon Kevin began to feel some tooth pain. By Monday we were back on the mainland at Hervey Bay visiting a dentist. Root canal treatment was required or they could remove the tooth, but we would have to come back again on Wednesday for it to be done.

Heading off the island in just the first few days!
Heading to Hervey Bay

That Monday we had 130mm of rain and driving through one of the many puddles we lost our front Number plate on our 4wd.

We were back on Wednesday and had the tooth removed. On our way across we wrecked our bash plate and subsequently had it replaced while in town at Hervey Bay. We had an ARB full length Bash Plate fitted.

At that time, we didn’t know it but this would be the last time we will see the mainland for quite some time. In fact, we don’t really know when we will be able to leave the island next.

Sensational colours in the sunrise
Sunrise at Poyungan Rocks

How did we get to be on Fraser Island?

In 2018 and 2019, Kev came to Fraser Island for a week with 6 other guys for a week of great fishing during September for the Tailor season. The Caretakers are a lovely couple who also live in a Caravan when not here and we talked a lot about travel and fishing.

Exploring Fraser Island Beachs, Tracks and Creeks

The following month in October 2019, Kev and Adele came camping on the island. We  dropped in to see the Caretakers Les & Shelley and they suggested we should consider becoming part of the caretaking team.

After speaking with the owners and doing a couple of days training we accepted the role for March to the end of July in 2020, completely unaware of the crisis which was soon to unfold.

Watch Episode 1 of our October 2019 camping trip

Watch Episode 2 of our October 2019 camping trip

When we arrived on the 4th of March the virus in Australia was in its early infancy. We weren’t due for a further few days but the current caretaker was keen to finish his stint and we chose to come up early.

Within days chaos began unfolding.

On an island in lockdown - Orchid Beach Store
Orchid Beach Store

How are we affected on Fraser Island?

When we arrived there were guests staying in 2 of the 3 houses. New groups replaced them but by March 14 our houses were empty and all future bookings had been cancelled. No one has stayed since.

On the 26th of March the Queensland Government announced all the States Campgrounds were to be closed. Fraser Island was now inaccessible.

Soon after it was announced all Queensland National Parks were closed and Fraser Island went in to Lock down. It was completely shut to all but a very very limited few.

Dingo watery reflections
Dingo at Indian Head

On the 29th of March, Police did a door to door visit to explain the conditions for us on the island. We could go for walks to the beach and go fishing but we too had to apply the rules of non-essential travel. Social distancing was also required. The Island was not a free for all.

Less than a week later and no more than 2 were allowed to be in a group.

What is it like here?

Fraser Island quickly shut down. The Kingfisher Bay Resort closed, announcing it was taking no more bookings until at least June. Eurong Resort is owned by the same Company and it too was closed.

Guests began cancelling their trips and holidays and all of the Island’s townships of Orchid Beach, the Cathedrals, Happy Valley, Eurong and Kingfisher Resort became absolute ghost towns. Only bare skeleton staff remained in place to oversee maintenance and management.

On an island in lockdown
Champagne Pools

Only Residents on the Island while in Lockdown

All the Tourist buses, 4wd adventures Tours and 4wd hire companies were forced to stop operating. There were no more visitors to the island and the beaches became a secluded haven. Not a soul to be seen as far as the eye could see.

Any sighting of another 4wd became exciting. Most times it would be Police, Rangers or the Ambulance service that continued to operate. On rare occasions you would get to wave to another passing resident.

All the campgrounds are empty.

Eli Creek, Lake McKenzie, the Maheno Wreck and Champagne Pools are all normally bursting with people enjoying the islands hot spots. Now there is no-one.

It is surreal seeing the island as it is right now.

Adele enjoying fishing for whiting
Fishing on Fraser Island

What restrictions do we face?

We can visit the beach for a walk and we can go fishing. We face all the other requirements of Social distancing and Essential travel.

Fishing is important to us as it is allowing our food stocks to last longer.

We are not allowed to be in groups. For others in the townships they may see other people, for us at Poyungan Rocks, there’s no one else around.

What’s it like visiting the iconic tourist features without the crowds?

We don’t visit the touristy areas as it is non-essential travel. Eli Creek and Maheno Wreck are visible as we drive past. We have fished around the wreck as a good gutter opened up but no-one is visiting any of those tourist areas.

We did see Eli Creek and Champagne Pools just prior to everything being closed. They now have barricades to say no entry.

On an island in lockdown - Eli Creek closed
Eli Creek closed

Where are we on Fraser Island?

We are Caretakers at Fraser Beachfront Holidays at Poyungan Rocks. It is approx. halfway between Eurong and Happy Valley on the Eastern beach.

We love this location because it is so central. It’s really easy access to most of the island’s main features plus each of the houses have great ocean views. You can be sitting at your dining tables and watch Humpback Whales swim by.

Each of the Houses are all in very good condition and present really well.

The fishing is also excellent directly out the front, you don’t have to go far to get a feed.

Looking down on Fraser Beachfront Holidays
Fraser Beachfront Holidays at Poyungan Rocks

What are the Dingoes doing?

The Dingoes have become less noticeable now. It seems they have gone inland to hunt for their food.

This is probably the best thing that will come out of this. Hopefully the Dingo population will learn to survive off their own hunting instincts rather than scraps left behind by visitors and fisherman.

Fraser Island Dingoes are believed to be the purest on the eastern side of Australian
Dingo

What are we doing for groceries?

Being on an island in lockdown does create some challenges regarding food. All of the shops are closed but open on specific days for allocated times for locals to access groceries. As the shops had already begun receiving supplies for the busy April School Holidays and Easter period, they have food available.

We can leave the island to get groceries however whilst the Police have assured us that we can return, as we are Caretakers, we aren’t keen to take the risk. Without Fraser Island as our address on our license we worry we may not be allowed back.

Poyungan Rocks - on an island in lockdown
Drinks with a view

What about alcohol?

Coincidentally we brought a reasonable amount with us not realising at the time that it would result in us being on an island in lockdown. Fortunately we have enough for another couple of months.

With no socialising our alcohol intake is a bit less now.

How can you get a Caretakers role on Fraser Island?

To be honest, we weren’t looking for this, it just happened. It fitted our schedule so we agreed. However since accepting this role we have been offered other caretaking gigs here so they are available. I know of one at Waddy Point, they may even need someone else for here where we are later this year.

If you are keen I would google Fraser Island Caretaker, check the Fraser Island Facebook pages or contact the Fraser Island holiday homes and resorts directly.

On an island in lockdown
4wd Fraser Island

Be prepared, there’s a lot of maintenance to the properties given the continual issue with salt water, sand, rust and corrosion. Plus, your vehicle will be effected if you are here for an extended period.

Every time you want to go back to the mainland it will cost you in fuel and barge fares, depending what agreement you have with the owners where you are doing your role.

Island living isn’t for everyone!!

There are so many different kinds of insects, bugs, snakes, other animals and creep crawly’s and they will be very difficult to avoid.

How we ended up on an Island in Lockdown has been quite by chance but we feel we are extremely fortunate to be self-isolating on stunning Fraser Island – the World’s Largest Sand Island!

Monitoring the Island in Lockdown

The Police and Rangers continue to monitor the island every day and are doing a terrific job. There are Owners, Managers and or staff at all resorts and holiday locations to look after their grounds and maintain equipment.

On an island in lockdown
Maheno Wreck

So far Fraser Island is Covid-19 Free.

Being on an island in lockdown is not for everyone. Do you think you would enjoy isolated island life or would you get bored or get island fever?

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

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Photography

Our camera equipment we use for all of our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses

Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2yQwPed  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lenshttps://ebay.to/3eCueUo This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/2XlOZ0I – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lenshttps://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

___________________________________________________________________________

Where to Find Us

Follow us, Subscribe, Like, Share, and Comment on our website and social media here:-

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indefiniteleave/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/indefinite_leave/

Website: https://indefiniteleave.com.au/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/indefiniteleave

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/indefiniteleave/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

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This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through a link on this page we may receive a small commission. It will not cost you any more, in fact we’ve sourced out some great deals for you. Thank you for supporting us.

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Adventurers Diary

17 Reasons to Visit Redcliffe

17 Reasons to visit Redcliffe

There’s plenty to see and do in and around Redcliffe so it is definitely worth it to visit Redcliffe. In fact, there’s at least 17 reasons to visit Redcliffe that we can think of.

Take a stroll through Bee Gees Way, cool off in the Settlement Cove Lagoon right beside the water’s edge, enjoy a meal at one of the many cafes or restaurants, check out the Sunday Markets or visit any one of the beaches on the Peninsula.

You can go skydiving, whale watching all from Redcliffe which is just under 40kms from the city of Brisbane.

Redcliffe is part of the Redcliffe Peninsula which is located just north-north-east of the Brisbane CBD.

Do you know how Redcliffe got it’s name? The name originates from ‘Red Cliff Point” named by Matthew Flinders due to the red cliffs at Woody Point which is an obvious choice when you think about it.

Read more about Brisbane: 21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane

17 Reasons to visit Redcliffe - Redcliffe Welcome Sign

From Redcliffe on a clear day, you can take in the magnificent views across Moreton Bay and distinctly see the huge sand hills on Moreton Island.

17 Reasons why you should Visit Redcliffe

1. Bee Gees Way

The Bee Gees Way has proven to be a popular attraction for Redcliffe over the last 6 years. The first stage of the 70 metre walkway which runs from Redcliffe Parade through to Sutton Street was unveiled in 2013.

On an even more spectacular scale, Barry Gibb personally attended the Grand Opening of Stage 2 in 2015!

How do you get to Bee Gees Way?

At the Redcliffe end of Anzac Avenue, simply turn left at the roundabout into Redcliffe Parade which runs alongside the waterfront. Alternatively, turn left from Anzac Avenue one street beforehand into Sutton Street.

When entering from Redcliffe Parade, just look for the huge orange rings and the entry to Bee Gees Way is directly opposite. Street parking is available in both streets and there is also a carpark at the bottom ends of Redcliffe Parade and Sutton Street, opposite the RSL.

The walkway features more than 60 captioned photos and 13 album covers from their incredible career which spanned 4 decades. There’s also a 5.3 square metre video screen showing exclusive interviews with Barry Gibb.

They also play old home movie footage on the big screen along with video clips of many of their songs.

As you stroll down this awesome musical monument, you can also take in the 70 metre mural showcasing artwork of Barry, Robin, Maurice and Any Gibb whilst listening to their hit music in the background.

17 Reasons to visit Redcliffe
Bee Gees Way – 70metre walkway runs from Redcliffe Parade through to Sutton Street

Be like us and the many thousands of others and be sure to have your photo with either of the life-sized bronze statues or both!

There’s one when the Gibb brothers were young barefoot boys and the other one commemorating the band as adults when they were at the peak of their career.

17 Reasons to visit Redcliffe - Bee Gees Way
Adele posing for a photo with the Bee Gees

#beegees

How much does it cost?

Entry to this amazing outdoor musical tribute is FREE and a must see for Bee Gees fans and music enthusiasts in general.

The walkway honours the most famous young Redcliffe residents of the 50’s. Who would of thought way back then that the Gibb brothers would go on to become one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time.

Nightly

Time your visit in the evening and you can also experience the fabulous light shows which are set to three of the Bee Gees greatest hits – “Staying Alive”, “Night Fever” and “How Deep is Your Love”. The light shows run every night on the half hour from 7pm through to 9.30pm.

Bee Gees Trivia

Do you know how the Bee Gees began?

The Bee Gees were founded in 1958 after their family migrated from Manchester to Redcliffe. They were first discovered while playing at the Redcliffe Speedway which was owned by Bill Goode.

Bill Gates who was a DJ from Brisbane’s Radio Station 4BH heard them singing in the interval at the speedway. It was Bill Gates who gave them their first gig on the radio. Coincidentally, it’s the initials of these two men that brought about the name The Bee Gees.

Barry the eldest of the Gibb Brothers was only 14 at the time that they signed their first music contract at the kitchen table in their home at Redcliffe.

#beegeesway

2. Settlement Cove Lagoon

Nestled below the main street of Redcliffe at the water’s edge is the Settlement Cove Lagoon.  There is an awesome large lagoon-style pool and a separate wading pool with a pool fenced enclosure for little kids.

Make a day of it as there are barbecues, picnic shelters and playgrounds. There’s also a bike path that runs alongside the lagoon and the foreshore edge.

The best part – the lagoon is FREE and open to the public 24 hours a day, every day, all year round.  So it’s a great place to cool off on a hot Brissie Summer’s day. Most people naturally swim in the Summer months.

It’s also the safest time as the Lagoon Lifeguards are on duty from December to March, even on Christmas Day! The hours are usually from 7.00am to 6.00pm Mondays to Sundays.

You’ll find however Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Australia Day and the entire January School Holidays the Lifeguard hours are extended to 8pm.

We utilised these extended hours when we spent the afternoon and evening cooling off in the lagoon with friends last New Year’s Day.

17 Reasons to visit Redcliffe - Settlement Cove Lagoon
How inviting does the water look at Settlement Cove Lagoon

Although Settlement Cove Lagoon is an open facility it does have some restrictions. It’s a ‘no alcohol’ and a ‘smoke free’ zone. Also you are not allowed to take glass into the lagoon area, plus pets are not allowed.

You can however walk your dogs on a lead along the pathway on the ocean side of the lagoon. Certified service animals are permitted in all areas except in the actual lagoon water. Best to check the Moreton Bay Regional Council website for a full list of restrictions as these are just the main ones!

3. Redcliffe Jetty

The Redcliffe Jetty is hard to miss as it extends out from the main street of Redcliffe. It has long been an identifiable landmark of the Redcliffe Peninsula but the original jetty was actually not the first pier to be built in Redcliffe.

Built in 1885, it was second to the Woody Point Jetty which was constructed in 1881.

In 1922, a second Redcliffe Jetty was built. After the original jetty fell into disrepair, it was more economical to build a completely new structure. This new jetty housed a Halfway House which was later transformed into the Penny Arcade in 1938. 

Apparently, the Gibb brothers often frequented the entertainment arcade as youngsters growing up in Redcliffe.

By 1961, the second jetty had deteriorated so much it was pulled down and replaced with the third and current Redcliffe Jetty. The current jetty which opened in 1999 extends from what was once the 1930’s Bathing Pavilion.

It is great to see that they have retained the heritage features of the old pavilion including drinking fountains, lights and seating.

17 Reasons to visit Redcliffe - Redcliffe Jetty
The third and current Redcliffe Jetty

4. Redcliffe Jetty Markets

Every Sunday the main street of Redcliffe is closed off and is only open to pedestrian traffic. The entire street and entry to the Jetty comes alive.

Both sides of the road are filled with a variety of fabulous stalls ranging from quality arts and craft, hot food, fresh fruit and vegies to jewellery, plants and other handmade items.

The Redcliffe Jetty Markets are open from 8am – 2pm. It’s a fun day out for the whole family especially with it being located right on the beach front as well. Plus, the markets are pet friendly!

#gottalovesundays

The main street of Redcliffe is closed and only open to pedestrians on Market Days
Redcliffe Jetty Markets are open every Sunday

5. Where to Eat in and around Redcliffe

What’s in the Pot? and Mon Komo are two of our favourite places to eat not just in Redcliffe but they are also two places that feature in our 17 Best Eating Places in Brisbane and Gold Coast.

Check out our favourite eating places: Best 17 Places to Eat in Brisbane and Gold Coast

One of our 17 Reasons to visit Redcliffe is for the array of dining options. Here is our list of just the eating places that we have been to in Redcliffe, Margate, Woody Point and Scarborough over the years.

There are many dining options available in the Redcliffe region but these are just a few!

Redcliffe Restaurants & Cafes

MonKomo – A great spot to meet up with friends and family for a drink and lunch or dinner!

What’s in the Pot? – We just love the atmosphere, the authentic Italian food and the warm, good old-fashioned hospitality at What’s in the Pot?.

You never know what delicious food will be on the menu as it is cooked fresh daily and the menu changes depending on how many dishes are available on the day/night.

One of our favourite restaurants - What's in the Pot?
What’s in the Pot?
17 Reasons to visit Redcliffe
One of our favourite Redcliffe Restaurants – What’s in the Pot?

The Rustic Olive – As great friends of ours live at Woody Point, we have dined here enjoying the classic Italian food and outdoor dining atmosphere overlooking the beautiful bay.

Preece’s – We have been guilty of stopping in to check out their house-made cakes and slices. Their banoffee’s were to die for but we haven’t noticed them in the cabinet lately 😊

The Coffee Club – Always a great meeting place for lunch, dinner or a coffee/milkshake!

Cactus Jack’s – Another enjoyable dinner out with our friends 😊

Banjo’s Bakery Café – Enjoy Pies, pastries, sandwiches and rolls and of course their sweet treats are always tempting!

Dolphins Leagues Club – We have attended a Wedding Reception at Dolphins and also had dinner in the Bistro.

Margate Restaurants

The Golden Ox – Very popular for Wedding Receptions. We have had dinner there with friends and celebrated special anniversaries there as well.

Scarborough Restaurants & Cafes

Danny’s Café Bar Restaurant – A great place for dinner and catch up with our good friends on one of our visits back to Brisbane while we have been traveling around Oz.

Morgans Seafood – Best fresh and cooked seafood! There is usually a queue but trust us it’s definitely worth the wait!!

Morgans is renowned for the freshest Seafood
Morgans at Scarborough has the freshest seafood

Woody Point Places to Eat

The Belvedere Hotel – We have enjoyed many a Birthday Dinner, Anniversary Celebration or just dinner with our friends or family at the Belvedere!

Café Apre – Their Big Breakfast is delicious and an absolute bargain at $9.99!!

6. Where to Stay at Redcliffe

There are a range of different types of accommodation in Redcliffe from Hotels to Caravan Parks to Showgrounds.

Oaks Mon Komo

We checked into Mon Komo for a night before we left on our adventure back in Feb 2016!

We were utterly exhausted from packing up the house ready for rental and moving everything that wasn’t coming with us in the Motorhome, into Storage. It’s a shame we didn’t get to enjoy it more.

Oaks Mon Komo at Redcliffe
Oaks Mon Komo

The Sebel Brisbane Margate Beach

With a Rooftop pool, a restaurant, stunning bay views and beautiful bay breezes, The Sebel at Margate would be a great option if you are looking for Redcliffe accommodation. It is only 25 mins from Brisbane Airport and 40 mins from the Brisbane CBD.

Good friends who live nearby have dined many a time at the restaurant which faces the beach!

Scarborough Holiday Village

The Scarborough Holiday Village has absolute water frontage therefore you can enjoy the fabulous bay breezes from beautiful Moreton Bay. It overlooks the magnificent Moreton Island and is nestled between parkland and the Yacht Club.

The ever-popular Sea Salt & Vine is located right on the doorstep of the Scarborough Holiday Village and is open 7 days from 7am – 4pm with live entertainment on weekends!

We have just recently stayed at this perfectly located Holiday Park and it has proven to be a very good option for us anytime we are back in Brisbane.

Scarborough Holiday Village
Scarborough Holiday Village

Redcliffe Showgrounds

Like the Pine Rivers Showgrounds at Lawnton and the Dayboro Showgrounds, the Redcliffe Showgrounds opens up out of show season for RV Camping.

Outside of the Redcliffe Show which is held each year at the end of June, the Showgrounds are a popular short-term option for people with caravans or motorhomes who are stopping off in Brisbane on their travels.

Find out about our favourite Campgrounds: Our 29 Best Low Cost Campgrounds in Australia

Bells Caravan Park

The Bells Caravan Park at Woody Point is located right on the Esplanade overlooking the water but the front sites reportedly get a lot of road noise.

7. Beaches in the Redcliffe Region

As Redcliffe is on the Peninsula it is surrounded by a number of little beaches. Although the sand is a little gritty and more of a golden reddish colour, these beaches are close to Brisbane’s doorstep and one of our 17 reasons to visit Redcliffe.

Being so close and handy, any of the beaches are great for beating the Brisbane heat. Don’t bother heading to Redcliffe for a surf as usually there are literally only ripples in the water but this makes the beaches ideal for kids to play and swim.

Bells Beach

Bells Beach is opposite the Bells Caravan Park next to Pelican Park before Woody Point and is a very popular spot for jet-skiers, SUPs and kite-surfers. Look up as you will often see skydivers coming in for a landing on the beach!

Bells Beach Redcliffe
Bells Beach past Pelican Park is popular for water sports

Clontarf Beach

Clontarf Beach runs from the Houghton Highway Bridge down to Pelican Park and is the first beach you immediately come to as you drive off the bridge onto the Redcliffe Peninsula.

It is also where you’ll find the Aqua Splash Redcliffe over the Summer School Holidays.

Margate Beach

Margate Beach is the largest of the Redcliffe Beaches and stretches 2kms from Scotts Point to Suttons Beach. You’ll often find people of all ages using the the shared boardwalk which is lined by beautiful Norfolk Pines, to go for a walk or cycle.

Also there’s a number of white pavilions dotted along the foreshore that provide shelter and a place to stop and admire the beach and Moreton Bay.

17 Reasons to visit Redcliffe - the Beaches
Margate Beach is the largest Beach on the Redcliffe Peninsula

Queens Beach

Queens Beach is the only off-leash dog beach in Redcliffe. The beach only becomes an off-leach area at certain hours of the day – before 8am and after 4pm.

Queens Beach is located between Scarborough and Osbourne Point and has a small sand boat ramp.

Redcliffe Beach

Right in the heart of Redcliffe is the Redcliffe Beach and it stretches either side of the Redcliffe Jetty.

Although it is not highly regarded as a swimming beach, it is great to throw a line in off the jetty or to just cool off in the water on a hot day.

Scarborough Beach

Scarborough Beach is very popular for families.

The main attraction is Pirate Park, a fabulous railway and pirate themed playground which is fenced to keep the kids in! It also has huge climbing trees which our boys loved when they were young!

Recently they have added a separate fenced Jumping Pillow a little further along Scarborough Beach.

Scarborough Beach
Pine Tree Lined Scarborough Beach

Scotts Point

Scotts Point is in Woody Point and is accessed from the most southern end of Margate Beach. There is a nice shaded park high on the hill overlooking the beach and the rocky outcrop.

The Scotts Point Bathing Pavilion which was built in 1937 being the most prominent feature.

The Scotts Pt Bathing Pavilion still stands proud at the northern end of Margate Beach
The historical Scotts Pt Bathing Pavilion

Suttons Beach

Suttons Beach is the only patrolled beach in and around Brisbane. It’s also one of the best beaches at Redcliffe for swimming.

You can take a stroll along the walkway right along the waterfront from Suttons Beach to Settlement Cove and then up to the main street of Redcliffe via the Boardwalk.

There’s a shaded playground and a number of barbecues and picnic shelters at the Margate end of Suttons Beach.

Woody Point

Woody Point has very little beach but right beside the beach and water front is Crockatt Park. It has an undercover playground and a large covered picnic shelter with barbecues.

Directly opposite the park is the Belvedere Hotel and a little further along you can fish off the Woody Point Jetty.

8. Redcliffe Weather

We always believe the temperature is slightly lower at Redcliffe due to the beautiful bay breezes coming directly off Moreton Bay.

Whenever we have visited our good friends at Woody Point, it always seems cooler than it is at our home in the northern suburbs of Brissie.

During hot summer days in Brisbane you really appreciate being at Redcliffe.

9. Fishing at Redcliffe

A portion of the old Hornibrook Bridge remains at each end as a fishing platform. Often bream, flathead, chopper tailor, whiting and school jewfish are caught at this prime and easily accessible Redcliffe fishing spot.

The Ted Smout Memorial Bridge also has a 10m by 50m fishing platform. Both sand and mud crabs are often caught in the Pine River channels as well.

The Redcliffe Jetty and the jetty at Woody Point are also popular land based spots to fish from. The rock walls at the entrance to the Newport canals can be good for fishing and can easily be accessed if you don’t have a boat.

Also people just fish off the beach at Scarborough, Redcliffe and Margate.

For all of your bait and tackle needs, great advice on fishing around Redcliffe and for the friendliest service, be sure to visit Mark and the team at Tackle Land at Sandgate.

If you are heading out for a fish around Redcliffe, be sure to know where the green zones are located. Click here for a Fishing Green Zone Map for the Moreton Bay region.

There is also a reef off Scarborough so it’s popular for boaties! If only we had a boat lol 🙂

Scarborough Boat Ramp
Scarborough Boat Ramp

10. Whale Watching Tours Depart from Redcliffe

The Whale Watching season usually starts in June-July and continues through to November.

If you’re keen to go whale watching and you don’t want to travel far from Brisbane, you’re in luck as tours depart from Redcliffe.

With Brisbane Whale Watching Tours, you are guaranteed whale sightings. Their ‘MV Eye Spy’ is Brisbane’s only purpose-built whale watching vessel. It’s Eco accredited, has 6 spacious viewing decks and also offers wheelchair access.

The ‘MV Eye Spy’ departs daily from the Redcliffe Jetty at 10.00am and returns at approx. 2.30pm. The tour also includes a delicious fresh buffet lunch, yummm!

Book your Brisbane Whale Watching Experience here

17 Reasons to visit Redcliffe - Whale Watching
Whale Watching tours depart from the Redcliffe Jetty during Whale season

11. Redcliffe Annual Events

Redcliffe Kitefest

Each year Redcliffe hosts a North Brisbane Kite Festival which is held over two days at Pelican Park at Clontarf.

Apart from the fun and excitement of the kites of all shapes, colours and sizes filling the skies, there’s kite making workshops, shows, live music, roving entertainers and markets.

Jetty 2 Jetty Fun Run

Each year thousands of people take part in the Jetty 2 Jetty Fun Run which is the most scenic fun run in Queensland. You don’t have to be a professional marathon runner to enter as they cater for all levels of fitness.

You can opt to run, walk for a cause, or simply take a pleasant stroll at your own pace along the Redcliffe waterfront.

There are also 4 distances to choose from – 3km, 5km, 10km and the 21.1km event. All events start and finish at Pelican Park in Clontarf.

12. Redcliffe Wind Sculpture

OPTO is the moving masterpiece of sculptor Phil Price. The two bright orange rings opposite Bee Gees Way are made of steel and carbon fibre.

The kinetic rings are designed so that they move in relation to the environment. 

They can rotate, spin and pass over one another in response to the breeze coming off Moreton Bay. They are truly amazing to see when they are rotating in the wind!

Two distinctive rings rotate, spin and move over one another in response to the wind coming off the bay
Opto Sculpture opposite Bee Gees Way

13. Redcliffe Museum

The Redcliffe Museum is located on Anzac Avenue just up from Oxley Avenue. It is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am – 4pm; 10am – 3pm on Sundays but closed on Mondays.

Entry is FREE!

The museum features films from Redcliffe’s early days. It displays old and modern-day photos as well as highlighting the history of seaside holidays over the years.

Plus, they also hold exhibitions and workshops in the museum so great for the kids and adults.

14. HMQS Gayundah

The rusted remains of the HMQS Gayundah Wreck are clearly visible at the base of the cliffs at Woody Point just around the point from the jetty and the popular Belvedere Hotel.

The HMQS Gayundah, built in 1884, first operated as a flat-iron gunboat by the Queensland Maritime Defence Force. Later it was part of the Royal Australia Navy before being decommissioned in 1921.

She then served as a sand and gravel barge in Brisbane until the 1950’s.

Ultimately in 1958 after being scrapped, she was purposely run aground at Woody Point so as to serve as a breakwater structure to prevent soil erosion.

The wreck of the HMQS Gayundah
The HMQS Gayundah was purposely sunk at Woody Point to act as a breakwater wall
HMQS Gayundah at Woody Point
A drone’s view of the HMQS Gayundah

15. Redcliffe Botanic Gardens

The Redcliffe Botanic Gardens offers a peaceful and shady place to escape right in the heart of Redcliffe.

There’s heaps to see including a Herb Garden with over 500 different species, a water feature, flower gardens, native plants, a rainforest with over 250 rainforest species as well as it’s home to more than 1000 bats!

There’s a number of walkways throughout the gardens, an amphitheatre, an open grassed area and drinking fountain. Unfortunately dogs are not permitted.

It’s a great spot for picnics and birthday celebrations as well with shelters and seating provided around the gardens. It is a popular place for weddings,  however if you are planning an event or wedding you will need to make a booking through the Moreton Bay Regional Council.

Entry to the gardens is FREE! The gardens are open between 6am and 6pm, seven days a week and are wheelchair accessible.

 

16. Redcliffe Inflatable Water Park

Redcliffe Aqua Splash are back for their second Summer season at Pelican Park at Clontarf. You can’t miss it! As soon as you come off the Hornibrook Bridge, you can see Redcliffe’s amazing inflatable Water Park! 

You can splash into Summer 7 days from 9am – 7pm during each season.

If you are looking for a fun way to keep cool and or entertain the kids of all ages, be sure to check out the Redcliffe Aqua Splash Inflatable Water Park.

It’s just one of the 17 reasons to visit Redcliffe especially over the school holidays!

17 Reasons to visit Redcliffe - Aqua Splash
Aqua Splash Redcliffe Inflatable Water Park at Clontarf

17. Skydiving

The last of our 17 Reasons to visit Redcliffe but certainly not least. You can escape the hustle and bustle of Brisbane and get your adrenaline going by skydiving on the peninsula.

Skydiving at Redcliffe provides the best city and coastal views.

If you want to experience Australia’s highest skydive, then Redcliffe is the place to do it! You’ll soar to heights of up to 15,000ft, before taking the huge plunge.  

After a thrilling 60 seconds of free fall, your parachute opens, then you can get your breath back and start to relax and really enjoy the experience. 

While you’re floating down you’ll be able to soak in the views of the Brisbane city skyline as well as Moreton Island, before touching down on the beach at Redcliffe.

Book your Redcliffe Skydiving Experience here.

17 Reasons to visit Redcliffe - Skydiving
17 Reasons to visit Redcliffe
Skydivers coming in for a beach landing at Clontarf

We have witnessed skydivers coming in for a landing on the beach at Clontarf many a time.

When Kev bravely did his skydive 15 years ago, a gift given to him for his 40th Birthday by his good mate, Kev landed on the beach at Scarborough.

This was an enormous challenge for Kev as he has always been scared of heights!

Check this out: Here is the link so you can check out Kev’s Skydive

How to get to Redcliffe

By Car

You can head northbound across Bramble Bay on the Houghton Bridge from Brighton to Clontarf.

The adjacent Ted Smout Memorial Bridge provides the southbound lanes from Clontarf back over to Brighton.

The Houghton Highway is a 2.74km reinforced concrete viaduct. Up until 2013, these two bridges were equally the second longest bridges in the country.

Both Kev and Adele had a set of grandparents who funnily enough lived only streets apart at Margate/Woody Point. Both of us clearly remember the old Hornibrook Bridge and the days of the toll.

The Old Hornibrook Bridge
A portion of the old Hornibrook Bridge at each end has been retained as a Fishing Platform

Another route is to travel along Anzac Ave from Petrie through Kallangur, North Lakes, Mango Hill, Rothwell, Kippa-Ring right into Redcliffe.

By Bus

Buses run from the Sandgate Bus Station to Redcliffe traveling through the suburbs of Brighton, Clontarf, Woody Point, Margate, Redcliffe, Scarborough, Redcliffe, Kippa-Ring back to Clontarf.

Also the new Hornibrook Bus Line services Chermside to Redcliffe with routes around the peninsula including to and from the Railway stations at Rothwell and Kippa-Ring.

By Train

Up until October 2016, because there was no train service to Redcliffe, the only public transport to the Peninsula was by bus. In recent years, the train line has been extended so the new Redcliffe Train Line now runs from Petrie right through to Kippa-Ring.

Have you visited Redcliffe?

Do you have you any other points of interest to add to our 17 Reasons to visit Redcliffe?

Safe travels

Kev & Adele
Indefinite Leave

You may also enjoy reading: Our Best Travel Tips

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Photography and Socials

Our camera equipment we use for all our photos and videos are:

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2XOjXhi – Most of our photos are simply from our phones. The Samsung phone cameras are pretty insane. Our phones have 512gb storage in ours but the 256gb in this one is heaps. We have sourced this one which is approx $500 less than we paid for ours.

Canon 800d – https://ebay.to/2XQYnsk – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses – Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2yQwPed  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
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Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/2XlOZ0I – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://ebay.to/2TWt0vA  – My wide angle lens for all my inside photos & video plus lots more, love this lens.

Our Go Pro 7 Hero Black – https://ebay.to/38wMc7V  –  is an awesome piece of equipment. I use this for all underwater, action video and some general use. Buy here brand new and great value.

Mavic Pro Platinum Drone – https://ebay.to/2ARPxTo  This is an absolute ripper of a drone. The Fly More Combo will provide you with everything you will need. I use this for all my aerial footage and this price is well below other retail stores.

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