View from Refuge Bay, Scawfell Island. Mackay News, Lee Constable
View from Refuge Bay, Scawfell Island. Mackay News, Lee Constable

Top 5 hidden gems for quiet anchorages in Queensland

Looking for a special place to drop anchor? Here are some hidden gems researched by our reporters.

1 Graham Creek at The Narrows

GPS:  23.7335385° S,151.2037113,16° E

Why it's great: If you are a keen mariner, chances are you will already frequent Graham's Crossing. A wilderness encased in the Narrows, crab potting, fishing and sheltered anchorage combine into one isolated haven.

Graham Creek is fairly deep, with a sheltered anchorage at all times.

 

Aerial view of Grahams Creek next to Curtis Island overlooking Gladstone. Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer
Aerial view of Grahams Creek next to Curtis Island overlooking Gladstone. Photo Brenda Strong / The Observer Brenda Strong

How to get there: Boat ramps are available at the Narrows, following The Narrows Rd, otherwise navigate through Port Curtis or from the north at the Fitzroy Delta.

 

Tips: Watch tides carefully. If you are in the depths, you should have no troubles, but there are several shallow sand and rock bars in hiding. Don't proceed into any of the smaller channels during a low tide. Also, prepare for a lot of relentless sand flies.

2 St Bees/Keswick Islands

GPS: -20.9243253,149.4420818

How to get there: St Bees and Keswick are adjacent islands 14 miles north-east of Mackay Marina.

 

Keswick Island.
Keswick Island. Fallon Hudson

Why it's great: There are  good anchorages which are safe in all wind directions, and it's a short distance to move if you have to.

 

Keswick has about 20 permanent residents and holiday homes, and an airstrip for light aircraft flights from Mackay.

The view from Keswick Island to St Bees Island. Photo Lee Constable / Daily Mercury
The view from Keswick Island to St Bees Island. Photo Lee Constable / Daily Mercury Lee Constable

 

3 Refuge Bay at Scawfell Island:

GPS: -20.8633533,149.5982005

How to get there: Refuge Bay is further out to sea, about 25 miles NE from Mackay Marina.

 

Refuge Bay, Scawfell Island Mackay News Lee Constable 020910/364 2scawfell1
Refuge Bay, Scawfell Island Mackay News Lee Constable 020910/364 2scawfell1

Why it's great: Scawfell Island has hiking tracks and a camping area, but facilities are scarce and you need to take your own water. It's a relaxing place to unwind for a few days.

 

4 Port Newry

GPS: -20.851246, 148.912871

How to get there: Port Newry is a series of small islands off the Seaforth area, 25 miles north of Mackay.

 

Looking north towards Newry Island passed Seaforth. Photo Peter Holt / Daily Mercury
Looking north towards Newry Island passed Seaforth. Photo Peter Holt / Daily Mercury Peter Holt

Why it's great: The area has several anchorages suitable for most weather conditions, and is an excellent fishing spot. It's also very quiet and relaxing.

 

5 Maroochy River

GPS: -26.642329,153.06729

How to get there: Try the boat ramp at the Cod Hole on Bradman Ave, Maroochydore. On the northern side of the river, there is another ramp at the end of Nojoor Rd, Mudjimba. If you plan to look in on some of the creeks, the boat ramp at Lake Dunethin Rd, Dunethin Rock, Maroochy River, is probably a more sensible starting point.

Why it's great: The Maroochy River hosts a variety of water activities, including fishing, water skiing, kayaking and canoeing, sailing and jet skiing. If you do not want to participate in any of them, it is not hard for even boating novices to head upstream and away from them all.

 

A fisherman enjoys a early morning fish on the Maroochy River. Photo: Nicola Brander / Sunshine Coast Daily
A fisherman enjoys a early morning fish on the Maroochy River. Photo: Nicola Brander / Sunshine Coast Daily Nicola Brander

Tips: The river can be quite busy around Cotton Tree. Goat Island, Channel Island and the Black Bank can make quiet alternatives. Or head up Petrie Creek towards Paynters Creek for some nice little spots away from the traffic.


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