Forty nautical miles past Lizard Island brings you to 15 plus fascinating little Islands and cays waiting to be explored. Most have an exposed sandy patch on their NW corner at the low half of the tide, so it’s easy to land via dingy after anchoring nearby.
Ingram Island is a central point to fan-out from with a secure anchorage in brisk SE trades; it’s comfortable except for a little rolly polly at the top of the tide.
Combe islet sits on the end of a large reef and is an OK anchorage in light winds. It has a small bushy patch where sea eagles often nest. Pelicans also seem to frequent here regularly, and in summer the hundreds of island burrows are full of nesting Wedge-tailed Shearwater birds.
Right next to the shipping Channel you could easily overlook the little gem of Watson Island. Unusual in its formation with a rough pile of broken coral at its southern extremity, it also has a beautiful fine sand patch on the northern end. In between both is a mangrove forest with a small perched rock pool that fills up at high tide and doesn’t empty before the next refill. Many little rays, small fish, and no doubt some baby crocs are hiding in there somewhere. There is plenty of time to circumnavigate the island by foot at low tide.
Noble island has an old abandoned mine. The geology here is amazing with three sharp peaks that look like the cores of volcanoes, marvelous shapes, and colors for photography. The mine’s main shaft travels about 50m into the side of one of its cores; solid rock with layers of granite. What a tunneling job it must have been. About 25 meters in you may find a plastic 3Lt container labeled TREASURE CHEST…a yachty placed it there in 2012 complete with a guest book. The anchorage is best at low tide when you can eyeball the coral clumps and get in close to the sand spit between the coral on the NW end.
Bewick Island has some great beach-combing along its wide SE facing shore but it has no easy dingy access and the anchorage has quite a roll that works its way around the island at high tide.
East of Howick island
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