WHITSUNDAY TRIP REPORT — by David Grimshaw.
I recently went on a kayak camping trip with the University of Queensland Canoe Club and Queensland Sea Kayak Club; a joint expedition. This was an extended camp trip of ten days. The only assistance was a water drop on the fifth day. I was a little worried what they would think of my home-made plywood kayak. It was received well and the kayak performed well in the rough seas. The Whitsudays are known for their strong tides and rough seas. The first day did not disappoint — I was sure my kayak was pointing skyward up some of the waves! We first stopped at Whitehaven Beach for two nights which was very picturesque. Some snorkelling was done on the nearby Chalkies Beach, Nicolson Island. We then went to Hill Inlet, a Mecca for tourists, and continued on to Cairn Beach campsite for two nights on the Northern Tip of Whitsunday Island. On the way to Cairn beach we saw a whale that breached right amongst our kayaks which caused both worry and excitement. When hiking to Cairn Lookout, which had beautiful views, we saw the following day’s route along the east side of Hook Island. This part of the paddle was probably the worst weather we had with confused seas all the way along the Eastern side of Hook Island. That night we spent at Maureen’s Cove, North side of Hook Island, which was a good snorkelling site. The next day we stayed at Curlew Beach, Southern side of Hook Island, as a stop-over on the way to Joes Beach, mid-Western side of Whitsunday Island (opposite Cid Island). We spent three nights on Joe’s beach, during which we snorkelled and hiked to Whitsunday peak. Due to bad weather and kayak equipment failures, some of us (me included) took the barge back to the mainland. It was a marvellous trip and I highly recommend every sea kayaker to go to the Whitsundays at least once in their lifetime.
You can view a nine minute video I made of the trip at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nh48vf-NkkE