Archive For The “Australia” Category

Hunter River

Hunter River

Our next stop after the Mitchell River was the Hunter River. While we were excited to see a crocodile or two in the previous rivers, here we pretty much lost count of the crocodile sightings. We passed one that was rearing out of the water to smash its catch against the shore, and captured video…

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Mitchell River

Mitchell River

We made an overnight run from the King George River to the Mitchell River. We didn’t need to run overnight as there are plenty of anchorage on the way. But we’re moving quickly to visit the rivers as early as possible since their flow will slowly be diminishing in the dry season. We’ll coastal-cruise on…

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King George River

King George River

We loved the Berkeley River, but the King George was even more spectacular. A narrow gorge leads from about halfway into the river to twin several-hundred-foot waterfalls at the head. The water is deep enough in front of both falls to bring the boat up fairly close, and we had just enough swing room to…

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Berkeley River

Berkeley River

After an overnight run from Darwin across the Joseph Bonaparte Gulf, we spent three nights in the Berkeley River. This was our first time in Western Australia’s famed Kimberley region and it definitely is one of our top ten destinations ever. The scenery was incredible, and we saw our first crocodiles in the wild. Traveling…

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Cape York to Darwin

Cape York to Darwin

From Cape York we ran 750 miles over 4 days direct to Darwin in the Northern Territory. The first day or so through the Gulf of Carpentaria was surprisingly rough with strong tidal currents opposing the southeasterly trade winds. The winds were a little bit stronger then normal running in the 20-30kt range. Conditions eventually…

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Cape York

Cape York

Cape York is the northernmost point in mainland Australia. When we arrived there a few days after leaving Lizard Island, we crossed 10°40′ south, just ten degrees short of the equator. We haven’t been this far north since the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia two years ago. And we likely won’t be again until we…

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Lizard Island

Lizard Island

From Cairns we made a 150-mile overnight run to Lizard Island. Everyone we knew who’d been there said it was a must-do stop. They were enthusiastic, but it might have been even better than described. We did several excellent dives while there, plus a hike up to the top of the island for 360-degree views….

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Cairns

Cairns

The calm weather we’d been enjoying for the past few days on the outer reef was forecast to end, so it was a good time to go and visit Cairns. The city has a beautiful waterfront, with many restaurants, bars and coffee shops, and several nearby attractions. It also is a good place to provision…

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Daintree National Park

Daintree National Park

A few days after our Karunda trip, we rented a car in Cairns and made another rainforest day trip, this time to the Daintree National Park. There we took in the rainforest at all levels–from the ground, midway up and all the way above the canopy–and flew through the trees via zipline. The Daintree is…

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Karunda

Karunda

While in Cairns we made a day trip to Karunda village in the World Heritage Listed Barron Gorge National Park. We reached Karunda on Skyrail, a 4.7-mile (7.5 km) cableway over the rainforest, and returned on the 23-mile (37 km) Karunda Scenic Railway. Highlights from trip follow. Click any image for a larger view, or…

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Back to the reefs

Back to the reefs

North of Townsville we stopped at Orpheus Island National Park and then passed though beautiful Hinchinbrook Channel. With winds forecast to blow less than 10 knots for the next few days, we then returned to the reefs–our first time since Circular Cay off the Whitsunday area last October. We had several excellent dives, particularly at…

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Diving the SS Yongala

Diving the SS Yongala

The SS Yongala is a world-renowned wreck dive about 48 miles south of Townsville. The 350 ft (107 m) luxury liner Yongala disappeared during a 1911 cyclone and the wreck was not discovered until 1958. The site now is protected under the Australian Historic Shipwrecks Act, and boats must have a permit to visit, so…

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Townsville and Magnetic Island

Townsville and Magnetic Island

We weren’t intending to stop at either Magnetic Island or Townsville, but Horseshoe Bay on the north side of Magnetic Island made a convenient stopover after Upstart Bay. One night turned into two and was almost to three when Townsville resident Mick Malone called and encouraged us to visit there. Mick is a longtime friend…

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On board the SL Herbert

On board the SL Herbert

Last week we were invited to ride along while the tug SL Herbert escorted the cement bulker Alcem Lugait into the Port of Townsville. The SL Herbert is modern Damen ASD Tug 2810 designed for towing, mooring and fire-fighting operations. The vessel is 94.22 ft (28.67m) long with a 34.22 ft (10.43m) beam and 15.94…

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