Flinders Islands – 80nm past Lizard Island — posted March 2016

   When the winds pick up to 20—30 knots, sitting comfortably in the Owen Channel is a good place to be. The Flinders group of Islands are a very quiet national park. The actual main Flinders Island does have camping facilities but they are very seldom used. A superb walking trail on Stanley Island  leads to  an interesting Aboriginal rock painting cave. A visitors book shows it’s not visited very often.

  Aboriginals occupied these islands up until 60 years ago. Signage along the Stanley Island walking trail provides interesting information on their way of life and the island’s flora and history. The views of the escarpment are spectacular, especially the weathered rusty peaks of Castle Hill.

These islands are a good place for “Indiana Jones” trekking: sturdy shoes, long pants, and a solid stick make it easier to find hidden caves covered with ancient paintings. Good luck with the treasures and ancient bones! Oysters are plentiful here. When you start eating them for breakfast as well as lunch and dinner—it’s time to move on. The anchorages of Stokes bay (where a supply barge calls  every couple of weeks), and the anchorage behind Blackwood Island are also excellent in SE trade winds.

For your last night in the area try venturing to the mainland at Bathurst Head, at the southern end of the huge Princess Charlotte Bay. Often there are dugongs feeding in the shallows as you move to drop anchor. Beautiful! The mainland is quite a change from the islands: a feral pig strolling along the beach, the odd 4WD vehicles, and a few fishing dinghies trying their luck. Almost like being back to civilisation.

 

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Robin at Bathurst Head

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                Overlooking the shallow bay at Bathurst Head

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Owen Channel sunset. An excellent sheltered anchorage between Flinders and Stanley Islands.

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Stanley Island walk up to aboriginal caves

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            The authors enjoying oysters from around the Flinders Islands.

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