The full Robinson Crusoe, only with a full eski!

Trip Start Apr 14, 2012
Trip End Dec 21, 2012

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Saturday, November 24, 2012

The next morning before the crack of dawn we packed up the camper and then headed to Shute Harbour arriving at 6am. Even with the smartest and most efficient packing, we thought we had ever done, the guy running the water taxi joked, "I'll need another boat just to take all your stuff!" The water taxi to the island ended up departing after 7am with bunch of passengers, most headed to Whitehaven Beach and another two couples for Crayfish Beach.

Coming into the bay where Crayfish Beach is located we were greeted by the full deserted beach scene – a stretch of white sand with shallow aqua waters, pandanas and casaurina everywhere and rocky granite cliffs encasing the beach. There was also a gorgeous Spanish couple on the beach. These boys were having their very first, and they told us, their very last camping experience on this island. The water taxi operator had an eski of food for them, as they hadn't taken enough as they thought they would be able to eat at the resort (located on the opposite end of this rather large island). Despite their lack of camping experience, or perhaps because of it, they were entertaining and lovely, and certainly appreciated our company.

Hook island offered up the very best of Great Barrier Reef snorkelling. We swam with turtles, definitely a highlight for all our gang. The marine turtles are so beautiful, graceful and majestic – it’s a real treat to swim with these creatures. On one of the days Ant and Amon swam with one for half an hour or so. It let them pat it and swim with it, and even when they were moving on to look at other stuff on the reef it followed them! The coral on this part of the reef was amazing, it was like being in a colourful underwater garden. There was brain coral, fluro purple staghorn, giant bombies and pinks, yellow and green corals as well as giant coral that looked like huge florets of cauliflower. We saw sea anemones with Nemo fish (Clown fish) swimming in and out, stingrays, Christmas tree worms, gigantic clams with iridescent lips and the largest array of tropical fish we have ever encountered. As Astrid said “It’s like being in a giant aquarium!”

We had to wear stinger suits as the waters are warmer and both box jellyfish and irukanji were out and about - deadly to small children. and both Astrid and Ant saw irukanji whilst we were snorkeling.

The snorkeling at Hook Island certainly surpassed our expectations. On the last day we were there we organised the water taxi to drop off a sea kayak for us. We paddled out to the other side of the bay where the reef makes a channel. Here in the water there were massive drop offs- nearly 10 metres of hanging gardens of coral where the edge of the reef gave way to the deep, deep blue.  We duck dived deep down holding onto ledges of coral jutting out and providing nooks that hid still more wonders of eels, gropers and tiny schools of timid bright flashes of light. It seemed immense and intense when in the deep water but the in the shallows the fish swarmed around in colorful schools over the vivid bright carpet of coral.

On the beach we relaxed in the hammock, read books and played charades as we watched the sunset. Ant managed to keep our fruit and beers icy in the esky for 3 days by burying it in the sand and keeping it covered. And we enjoyed cooking and eating pasta, and had delicious live oysters that Ant collected snorkeling among the rocks on the side of the bay - a definite delicious highlight!. At night a cool breeze wafted across the beach as we lay in our hammock reading books in lamplight as the kids slept - How very idyllic! It was the perfect island experience, yet another memorable part of this very memorable adventure.
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Susan M on

Wow Sharon & Co - how idyllic and fabulous! Great to see the Barrier Reef still healthy & thriving. What wonderful experiences for the children. Brings back memories of Ningaloo Reef for us last year X Susan

Sara Webb on

Oh! This reminds me of the awesome kayaking trip Dave and I did the year before Archie was born... ten days paddling between islands, camping and swimming and exploring. It's a magic place!

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