We are currently working our way down to Sydney on a private expedition. Port Douglas, Hamilton Island, The Percy Islands, Lady Musgrave, Lady Elliot, Heron Island, Hervey Bay, Gold Coast, Coffs Harbour and Port Stephens are all included in the passage plan, with our final destination being beautiful Sydney.
We had some lovely guests join us for a diving and fishing adventure between Hamilton Island and Hervey Bay. We had to share this wonderful recount of the trip by the one our guests – Todd.
*Note: Some content has been sourced via external websites. Images are guest’s own.
Hamilton Island Islands to Hervey Bay, visiting the stunning islands of the Southern Barrier Reef
I just finished a wonderful voyage on the MY Beluga, which was accompanied by the game fishing vessel Zulu. We spent five days traveling from Hamilton Island to Hervey Bay, visiting remote Middle Percy Island, the turtle sanctuary Heron Island and the stunning Lady Elliott Island.
MIDDLE PERCY ISLAND
Middle Percy is kind of deserted Island that the Castaway Tom Hanks would create if he never got rescued. Arriving on a coconut palmed lined beach the first thing to greet the eyes is an A-framed hut known as the “Percy Hilton”. This the rustic split level beachcomber sets the standard in castaway resort accommodation, and inside it is covered in signs and souvenirs from passing boats. A rich history of boating is revealed. Given time to sort through the lot, I found signs from boats that had visited before I was born.
The A-frame has the feel of a funky children’s clubhouse. Swings, hammocks and other devices of entertainment, along with benches, tables and huge pit BBQ, suitable for roasting whole beasts. And everywhere…the signs. Some painted and decorated with great care, others very casual, but everywhere the names of passing boats and crews.
A short distance away is beach book club, a well-stocked book exchange library right there just off the beach.
If you are in the area you have to pass by Middle Percy Island and visit the “Percy Hilton”. But remember that you have to leave a souvenir from your boat. Get creative here! There are some fascinating relicts of boats and there crews that have visited over the last 50-or more years.
Heron Island is a coral cay located near the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern Great Barrier Reef, 80 km north-east of Gladstone, Queensland. Heron Island may be small, but it’s 11x5km reef is home to 60 per cent of fish species and 70 per cent of coral species found in the Great Barrier Reef. It’s also a nesting site for green and loggerhead turtles, as well as tens of thousands of sea birds. We had several amazing drift dives here, and we were rewarded with huge friendly Manta Rays, enormous Green Turtles and Reef sharks.
LADY ELLIOT ISLAND
I am definitely coming back (and bring my friends)! Lady Elliot Island is a coral cay situated at the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef approximately 80 kilometers north-east of Bundaberg. The Island lies within a Marine National Park ‘Green Zone’ and forms part of Australia’s World Heritage Listed Area on the Great Barrier Reef. The waters surrounding Lady Elliot Island are exceptionally clear all year around with an average visibility of 20+ metres. Lady Elliot Island is regarded as one of the best snorkeling and diving destinations on the Great Barrier Reef. The Island is situated within the highest protection zone of the Great Barrier Reef and is a haven for marine life including manta rays, turtles, whales, dolphins, sharks and the entire cast of ‘Finding Nemo’ – over 1,200 different species of marine life can be found around the Island.
MY Beluga and Zulu
And finally, a big thank you to my friend Chris and Sandrina for having us as a guest on board. MY Beluga is a 35 meter long, ultra-luxurious, expedition class, diving enabled cruiser and Zulu is a state of the art game fishing boat, both based out of The Reef Marina Port Douglas.
-Todd | Sydney, Australia