Where to next?

Part of the fun of cruising is planning where to go next! And for every place we go, I think I ‘experience it’ at least four times. First in the planning, second in the actual trip, thirdly in writing my blog and finally whenever I read the blog or comments!

Since we’re staying at Hervey Bay until the end of April, I’ve had a bit of time to think about our route to Townsville. It’s a distance of about 500 nautical miles (NM) from here if you go directly, but we think we’ll take a leisurely, two-month timeframe to cover the distance. We’ll cruise to some of the beautiful islands off the coast of Queensland and this’ll see us cover a distance of about 645 NM.

This blog is our ‘rough’ passage plan, split into arbitrary sections, showing the estimated distance in nautical miles, time to get there and screenshots of the maps generated by the Navionics application. I’ll flesh out the details in the coming weeks and plot the course on our (paper) charts in detail and then create the routes using our Garmin GPS navigation system. 

Any plan like this is subject to change because of weather events, so I’ll have contingencies to cater if these situations arise, or if we simply change our mind about some places! 

Harvey Bay to Gladstone (about 140 NM)

  • Hervey Bay to Bundaberg, 45NM, 5.5 hours
  • Bundaberg to Seventeen Seventy (or 1770), 52NM, 6.5 hours
  • Seventeen Seventy to Pancake Creek, 14NM 1.75 hours
  • Pancake Creek to Gladstone, 32NM, 4 hours

Gladstone to Mackay (about 240 NM)

  • Gladstone to Keppel Islands, 48NM, 6 hours
  • Keppel Islands to Port Clinton, 48NM, 6 hours
  • Port Clinton to Supply Bay, 31NM, 4 hours
  • Supply Bay to Marble Island , 22NM, 2.75 hours
  • Marble Island to Middle Percy Island, 22NM, 2.75 hours
  • Middle Percy Island to Curlew Island, 25NM, 3 hours
  • Curlew Island to Mackay, 44NM, 5.5 hours

Mackay to the Whitsundays (about 95 NM)

  • Mackay to Brampton Island , 20NM, 2.5 hours
  •  Brampton Island to Goldsmith Island, 11NM, 1.5 hours
  • Goldsmith Island to Shaw Island, 14NM, 1.75 hours
  • Exploring the Whitsundays (route will be decided closer to the time), around 50NM, about 2 weeks

Whitsundays to Townsville (about 170 NM)

  • Hayman Island to Cape Gloucester, 26NM, 3.25 hours
  •  Cape Gloucester to Cape Upstart, 52NM, 6.5 hours
  •  Cape Upstart to Cape Bowling, 45NM, 5.5 hours
  •  Cape Bowling to Magnetic Island, 34NM, 4.25 hours
  • Magnetic Island to Townsville, 12 NM, 1.5 hours

It’ll be interesting to see how much of this plan we keep and how much changes when we actually start this passage!

9 Responses

  1. I love the town of 1770! Not sure how long you’ll be sticking around there, but the beach and national park are fantastic! Enjoy your leisurely trip up the coast of Queensland! (From a very jealous city slicker) x

  2. Cape Upstart is a very special place for my husband and myself. My husband spent a lot of weekends and school holidays there. His family had a hut (beach house there)
    I do not recommend swimming there!
    Some large crocs and sharks in the area.
    The fishing can be very good though.
    Its a beautiful spot.

    1. Hi Esther, re the crocs, we’ll be limiting the swimming and kayaking as we head north! Cheers, Pam

  3. It sounds amazing. We enjoyed a week on Hamilton Island. Imagine spending all that time visiting multiple islands. I look forward to living vicariously through you.

  4. Sounds like a great plan with plenty of beautiful scenery along the way. The Whitsundays before the last leg to Townsville. Then you can look at all the amazing challenges over the last year
    and plan the next phase of your amazing retirement.

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