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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/2upyEfM – 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/2GoBt37 – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.
Lenses – Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RL7CY7  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://ebay.to/2ve3w2Z This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/37pCAM9 – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RpOJed  – 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/37oKkhb  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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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

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.

 

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!

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. So 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

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 utilized 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. Eating Places 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. For more of our favourites, click on the link here >

https://indefiniteleave.com.au/best-17-places-eat-drink-brisbane-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.

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. Plus, 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. Also, directly opposite 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. So 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.

 

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 jetty at Woody Point are also popular land based spots to fish from. The rock walls at the entrance to the Newport canals can also 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.

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. So 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>

https://indefiniteleave.experienceoz.com.au/en/brisbane/whale-watching/brisbane-whale-watching-cruises/whale-watch-including-lunch-ex-redcliffe-self-drive

 

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. So 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. Also it is 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.

So 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 > https://indefiniteleave.experienceoz.com.au/en/brisbane/skydiving-brisbane/brisbane-15-000ft-tandem-skydive

 

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!

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. So both 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:

21 Best Things to do in and around Brisbane

Our Best Travel Tips

Tent Camping on Fraser & Moreton Island

 

_______________________________________________________________________________

Photography and Socials

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

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2upyEfM – 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/2GoBt37 – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.

Lenses – Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RL7CY7  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://ebay.to/2ve3w2Z This is my all round, everyday use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/37pCAM9 – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RpOJed  – 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/37oKkhb  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

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

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

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/indefiniteleav3

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Adventurers Diary

19 Spectacular Secret Beaches

19 Spectacular Secret Beaches

When we think of Australia’s best beaches the list usually includes places like Manly Beach, Bondi, Whitehaven Beach, Surfers Paradise or maybe Cable Beach but away from these primarily tourist places are so many hidden beaches and bays. We have discovered some incredibly beautiful beaches around Australia that you have probably neither heard of, nor been to. So we have compiled a list of 19 Spectacular Secret Beaches and we’ve been to every one of these in our last 4 years traveling Oz.

 

Once again Brad Farmer on behalf of Tourism Australia has released his list of Best beaches and again I’m calling it utter rubbish.

https://www.news.com.au/travel/australian-holidays/secret-spots/popular-australian-beaches-snubbed-in-annual-best-of-list/news-story/d3ba80d4b120ff7c71634473f5a3337e

 

He’s even thrown in Wagga Beach, famous to locals for its 5 o’clock wave, because he wanted to show that inland beaches could be great also. We have enjoyed an afternoon at Wagga Beach and it is good but I believe I’ve chosen two that are far superior. Be assured the people of Wagga are very happy and even gloating about this ridiculous list and fair enough.

 

Of course, our favourite beach can be personal for each of us and we all have a reason for being attached to the one we consider the Best.

Have a look at these 19 Spectacular Secret Beaches around Australia we have chosen, that are in no particular order, and tell us what you think.

 

How many of these have you seen?

Where is your favourite beach that no-one knows about?

 

19 Spectacularr Secret Beaches

Silica Cove Beach

1. Silica Cove Beach, near Jervis Bay NSW

You can only reach this one on weekends and only by a 6km return walk from Honeymoon Bay.

Read all about Honeymoon Bay

 

19 Spectacular Secret Beaches

Froggies Beach Whitsundays

 

2. Froggies Beach, Whitsundays Queensland

60 kms from Airlie Beach and a corrugated track brings you here, overlooking beautiful Gloucester Island.

 

13 Best Things to do in Airlie Beach & Whitsundays

Ocean Rafting the Whitsundays

Must see Mackay to Whitsundays Region

Reef Sleep the Whitsundays Great Barrier Reef

Seabreeze Tourist Park Airlie Beach

Base Backpackers Caravan Park Airlie Beach

 

 

Honeymoon Bay - 1 of the 19 Spectacular Secret Beaches

Honeymoon Bay Moreton Island

 

3. Honeymoon Bay, Moreton Island Queensland

Just 45 kms from Brisbane but only accessible by 4wd is this absolutely stunning bay.

Everything about visiting Moreton Island

 

Twilight Cove is one of our 19 Spectacular Secret Beaches

Twilight Cove Esperance

 

4. Twilight Cove, Esperance Western Australia

Along the Great Ocean Drive in Esperance you can’t miss this glorious stretch of beach.

 

Stunning Maitland Bay in the Bouddi National Park, NSW

Maitland Bay Bouddi National Park

5. Maitland Bay, Bouddi National Park New South Wales

Take the path down and back through the forest to reach this one.

 

Aerial view of Moon Point with the drone

Moon Point Fraser Island

6. Moon Point, Fraser Island Queensland

Access is only by boat from Hervey Bay or 4wd on the sand tracks of Fraser Island to see it but OMG it is stunning.

Fishing and Exploring Fraser Island

The Nkgala Rocks challenge, Fraser Island

 

19 Spectacular Secret Beaches - Hidden Beach Stokes Bay Kangaroo Island

Hidden Beach Stokes Bay Kangaroo Island

 

7. Hidden Beach, Stokes Bay Kangaroo Island South Australia

Make your way through a rock opening created by dynamite to find this secret spot.

Discover Hidden Beach on Kangaroo Island

 

19 Spectacular Secret Beaches - Loch Ard Gorge

Loch Ard Gorge Great Ocean Road

 

8. Loch Ard Gorge, Great Ocean Road Victoria

This one you may know of, a lesser discussed gem than the 12 Apostles nearby.

 

Quicks Beach on the Murray River

Quicks Beach Murray River

 

9. Quicks Beach, Murray River Victoria

A fabulous sandy beach it can get busy during peak times but when we were there we had it almost to ourselves.

Camping at Quicks Beach on the Murray River

 

The colour of the water at Parker Point o Rottnest Island is spectacular

Parker Point Rottnest Island

 

10. Parker Point Rottnest Island Western Australia

We could have chosen any one of the many beaches and bays on remarkable Rottnest Island off Perth in WA. Way too much to see in just one day.

 

Rapid Bay is one of our 19 Spectacular Secret Beaches

Rapid Bay

 

11. Rapid Bay South Australia

One of our favourite campgrounds in all of Oz and it fronts right onto the magnificent beach. It sure is beautiful and perfect for swimming, snorkeling, fishing and more.

Camping at Rapid Bay

Rapid Bay Sunset

2 days before Easter Rapid Bay

Easter Friday Rapid Bay

Our 29 Best Campgrounds

 

Ormiston Gorge has its only spectacular beach

Ormiston Gorge West MacDonnell Ranges

 

12. Ormiston Gorge, West MacDonnell Ranges Northern Territory

Another stunning inland beach, this one is in the West MacDonnell Ranges.

 

A stunning sunrise at Crab Claw Island Resort

Crab Claw Island Resort

 

13. Crab Claw Island Northern Territory

Enjoy magnificent sunrise views and admire the beach from the resort pool or bar but just don’t swim here. Salt Water Crocodiles can be seen sunning themselves on this beach and we were busted off by big sharks within casting distance from the shore.

Staying at Crab Claw Island Resort

Access to Crab Claw Island

Sunrise at Crab Claw Island Resort

 

Our 19 Spectacular Secret Beaches list includes The Pinnacles in the Ben Boyd National Park

The Pinnacles Ben Boyd National Park

 

14. The Pinnacles, Ben Boyd National Park New South Wales

We got a tip from a local to visit here and just Wow!!

 

Barn Hill Station - 19 Spectacular Secret Beaches

Barn Hill Station

 

15. Barn Hill Beach Western Australia

The turquoise water, white sand, red or white cliffs with perfect blue sky make this a genuinely stunning beach.

Camping at Barn Hill Station

 

Marney Bay Dampier Archipelago

Marney Bay Dampier Archipelago

 

16. Marney Bay, Dampier Archipelago, Karratha Western Australia

Take an island tour out of Karratha to reach this one. We swam and snorkeled here for hours.

 

Spring Beach near Triabunna Tasmania is spectacular

Spring Beach

 

17. Spring Beach, Tasmania

Some of the most crystal clear ocean water you will ever see and breathtaking views across to Maria Island. Great fishing too.

Watch this funny video of Adele catching a good Salmon at Spring Beach.

The Best Things to See and Do in Tasmania

6 Weeks around Tasmania

 

Whiskey Bay Wilsons Promontory

Whiskey Bay Wilsons Promontory

 

18. Whisky Bay, Wilsons Promontory, Victoria

The beaches in this region are gorgeous and Whiskey Bay is a definite must see.

 

Wilsons Beach Abrahams Bosom Reserve

Wilsons Beach Abrahams Bosom Reserve

 

19. Wilsons Beach, Abrahams Bosom Reserve New South Wales

A 2km walk along an easy track from the carpark at Abrahams Bosom Beach in Currarong and you are highly likely to have this one all to yourself.

Discover Gosangs Tunnel and Wilsons Beach

 

There it is, our list of our favourite 19 Spectacular Secret Beaches of Australia.

How many of these did you know about?

Leave us a comment and tell us your favourite secret beach.

 

Safe travels

Kevin & Adele Hockey
Indefinite Leave

 

You may also enjoy reading:

Discover Gosangs Tunnel

Our 22 Best Free Camps in Australia

 

_______________________________________________________________________

Photography and Socials

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

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2upyEfM – 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/2GoBt37 – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.
Lens – Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RL7CY7  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://ebay.to/2ve3w2Z This is my all round, every day use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/37pCAM9 – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RpOJed  – 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/37oKkhb  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 contains 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

Exploring Honeymoon Bay

One of our most favourite places we have stayed around Australia has been Honeymoon Bay in southern NSW.

Exploring Honeymoon Bay at sunset

Honeymoon Bay sunset

Jervis Bay in NSW is an incredible location with numerous spectacular beaches, fantastic swimming and fishing, whale watching opportunities and some incredible National Parks walks and places to stay.

Exploring in and around Honeymoon Bay

Honeymoon Bay is part of the Beecroft Weapons Range which we discovered after driving through the Jervis Bay National Park. It is owned by the Royal Australian Navy and is unique in that access is limited and therefore much of the area remains relatively untouched. Camping is possible only on weekends at the Honeymoon Bay Camping Ground with limited facilities available, which is where we stayed and explored this incredible region.

 

Honeymoon Bay is perfect for swimming

 

There is a small cove perfect for swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, SUP and the campground is Bush camping at its best!

The sunsets here are stunning and we were lucky enough to witness one of the most glorious evening sunsets you could ever see.

Read our review of Honeymoon Bay campground and watch the video.

 

The calm waters of Honeymoon Bay

 

 

We snorkeled all around Honeymoon Bay and spent lots of time swimming, walking the surrounding tracks and appreciating the natural beauty of the area.

 

Spear fishing is prohibited within Honeymoon Bay itself however there are lots of areas outside of the bay where I was able to take the spear out and spend some time under water.

 

Adele enjoying a dip at Silica Beach

Checking out the shipwreck at Silica Beach

 

Silica Cove

From Honeymoon Bay camping area we took a leisurely 5km walk to Silica Cove Beach. Here we found the rusty old St Martins De Porres which was shipwrecked back in December 1994. While we were here we enjoyed a quick swim in the stunning turquoise water of the bay.

There was also a small boat washed up at the other end of the beach. Its console was sitting sideways inside the boat and part of the motor cover was acting as an anchor.

 

Point Perpendicular Lighthouse

 

Point Perpendicular Lighthouse

There’s so much to enjoy exploring the area including the Point Perpendicular Lighthouse. We have seen lots of lighthouses as we have traveled around Australia but this one would have to be our new favourite and it is definitely worth the visit.

 

This historic lighthouse has such a unique castle like design and is believed to have been the first lighthouse in NSW to be made out of precast concrete blocks.

It was built in 1898 replacing the inadequately positioned Cape St George Lighthouse and was operational until 1993 when it was de-manned and replaced with the lattice style tower which needs no manpower and runs automatically off solar.

 

Outer Tubes

 

Outer Tubes

Back at the car park to the lighthouse there’s a track taking you to the Outer Tubes. These honeycomb rock ledges are often used for rock climbing and abseiling. Further down the track are steps leading you to a truly unique location. It is here that you find one of only 2 locations in the world known for land based fishing for Marlin.

 

We saw fisherman with blow up pools and water filters to keep live mackerel bait, who sleep overnight in their attempts to catch these big fish usually caught in the deep open oceans.

 

Land based marlin fishing

Filtered pools to store live mackerel bait

 

Flying your Drone at Honeymoon Bay

Because the region is a controlled Navy area it is a restricted air space and therefore a No Fly Zone area for Drones going by the Open Sky app. However this article by local Andy Hutchinson suggests there are times where flying Drones may be possible. If you are looking to fly in the region it might be best to check with the Military as Andy did.

https://andyhutchinson.com.au/illegal-fly-drone-commonwealth-park/

 

Queue of campers entering Honeymoon Bay Campground

Honeymoon Bay Information Centre

 

Honeymoon Bay – How to get there

 

To find Honeymoon Bay, take a right hand turn if heading north onto Forest Road turnoff just north of Jervis Bay at South Nowra. Drive for approx. 30-40 minutes through Jervis Bay National Park to just before the small town of Currarong. It is bitumen all the way although some sections of the road were not in good condition.  Take it easy driving and I’d suggest stick to the speed limits.

Take the Lighthouse Road turnoff to the right and you will find an Information Centre on the corner where you will need to stop and go inside to organise and book your spot.

There is no pre-booking, so it’s first in, first served.

 

The gates do not open until Friday at 1pm and close on Sunday night at 8pm. These are the only hours access is permitted. We arrived at 12.30pm and the queue was already long. We would recommend arriving by midday or even earlier. You can begin paying at the Information Centre from midday however the boom gates don’t open until 1pm.

 

After our fabulous weekend at Honeymoon Bay, we stayed a night at the Currarong Beachfront Holiday Park now known as Holiday Haven Currarong.

 

Honeymoon Bay Campsite

 

Honeymoon Bay Camping Ground

The Honeymoon Bay Campsites are really spacious, our site was huge. We fitted our Motorhome plus friends 4wd and Caravan and still had plenty of room.

Portable toilets and bins were available however you will need to bring your own water. All sites are unpowered.

Take cash with you, there are no Eftpos facilities when booking in.

How much does it cost

Cost to stay is $15 per site for 2 adults. Extra adults are $5 each and children 15 and under are free.

 

Once your paperwork is complete and payment made you will need to go through the Beecroft Weapons Range Ranger Station Check Point outside the Information Centre. They asked us our names, phone number, how many people and if we had weapons or any pets with us.

 

Once we passed the check point it was gravel road. Some sections were quite corrugated for the approx. 3km drive before turning right in to Honeymoon Bay Rd. From here it was another 3kms on gravel road but there were no corrugations on this road down to the campground.

 

While in the region, don’t miss the chance to discover Gosangs Tunnel where you crawl through a cave to the Tasman Sea on the other side.

 

Safe travels

Kevin & Adele Hockey
Indefinite Leave

 

Another great place to stay in the Jervis Bay area:

Jervis Bay Holiday Park

 

You may also enjoy reading:

Our 29 Best Low Cost Campgrounds –  Honeymoon Bay features at No. 6 in our top 29

Cleaning your Solar Panels

National Seniors Card

I Can’t Do 4 Walls

_______________________________________________________________________

Photography and Socials

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

Samsung Note 10 Plus Phone – https://ebay.to/2upyEfM – 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/2GoBt37 – the latest DSLR Canon 24mp camera, buy here to save.
Lens – Canon 50mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RL7CY7  This is the lens I use the least, ideal for still, close up shots.
Canon 24-105mm lens – https://ebay.to/2ve3w2Z This is my all round, every day use, zoom lens. Amazing quality, great price.
Canon 70-300mm lens – https://ebay.to/37pCAM9 – I use this one a lot for long range shots.
Sigma 10-20mm lens – https://ebay.to/2RpOJed  – 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/37oKkhb  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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