Cockatoo Beach on North Molle Island

by Rod

in Sea Kayaking

Day 8 Cumberland Island Adventure

We could have a leisurely start to the day because the later we left the paddle, the more the tide would assist us and there was a relatively short distance to paddle from Curlew Beach on Hook Island to Cockatoo Beach on North Molle Island. Once on the water we found that there was virtually no breeze to make it worth while to put up the sails even though it was coming from the east which was almost behind us. The water was almost like glass as we paddled across the Whitsunday Passage.

Curlew Beach, Hook Island

Imagine, you are on your honeymoon, you arrange to be dropped off by a helicopter on a secluded beach for a couple hours, for a romantic lunch and champagne, Then just as the helicopter leaves, four scruffy sea kayakers turn up on the beach and take over. That is what happened to one honeymoon couple on Cockatoo beach. We did try to leave them alone, but that was our planned camping spot for the night and we had nowhere else to go.

Paddling across the Whitsunday Passage

Cockatoo Beach is a designated Parks camping area with picnic tables and a toilet. It is on the Northern end of North Molle Island, straight across from the now closed resort on South Molle. The western island of the Molle group is called Daydream Island and it’s resort is still open and looked busy. Because we had only a short paddle in the morning we had a long afternoon to look for something to do. Dav and I did some fishing, Dav from his kayak and I walked around the stony point looking for a hungry fish. While Dav was out in his kayak, he spotted a whale and followed it along North Molle getting within about 80 meters of it.

Late afternoon on Cockatoo Beach North Molle

Eric surprised us later in the afternoon by having a shave in participation of seeing Pam the next day. That night we sat around discussing our trip and thinking the next day was our final paddle into Airlie Beach and then the trip back home.


Day 9 Cockatoo Beach to Airly Beach.

We had planned to be in Airlie Beach by lunch time and even though we had plenty of time, everyone was keen to get going now that our adventure was close to the end. This paddle turned out to be fairly physical because we were actually paddling against the tide and wind for the crossing to the mainland. We had a Nor-easterly crossing with an incoming tide,running south, almost directly against us forcing us to do an enormous fairy glide across the passage between Daydream Island and the main land. If we had waited until the tide had changed, it would have been easier, but it would have been afternoon by then.

Once we were around the point the paddling was easier and we made our way around to Pioneer Bay &  Airlie Beach and the Yacht Club where we were being picked up. After packing the kayaks and gear on the cars, the cold bear and big lunch at the Yacht Club tasted really great. We all agreed, it had been, a great trip and had many stories to tell loved ones on the way home.

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