Port Douglas, Outer reefs, Lizard Island, Flinders and Stanley Islands return to Lizard Island
Liquid Desire offers private day charters departing Port Douglas to the spectacular Great Barrier Reef.
All charters are professionally catered for by our onboard French and or Asian chef’s. Liquid Desire is also crewed by myself as skipper and an in water guide / deckhand when needed. Day trips to the Barrier Reef are our speciality and there is no better way to fully experience the reef and the magic of the cruising experience, sailing aboard your own private catamaran with up to 5 of your friends and family.
The 2023 rate per day is $3900. The 2024 rate per day is $4200.
- Morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea
- Non alcoholic refreshments, alcoholic beverages are BYO
- Snorkelling equipment including wetsuits / or stinger suits
- Stand up paddle boarding
- Fishing equipment
- Reef taxes
This is a 12-day trip to Lizard Island and beyond
Lizard Island and Cape Melville which is long range premier trip. There is a return delivery fee of $800 per day for me and the crew to sail the Yacht back to Port Douglas. It takes 4 days for me to return to Port.
Daintree air can provide a private plan out of Lizard Island and back to Cairns … takes about an hour and is very scenic. You can contact them directly to arrange … talk to Greg, he owns the business. Aprox cost are $2600.
Otherwise a chopper out of Cape Melville would be ideal.
Day 1 Port Douglas to Hope Island
Hope island is located 50 nautical miles north of Port Douglas and directly offshore from the famous Daintree World Heritage Rainforest. Which offers stunning mountain views as we sail by.
The island itself is your classic tropical paradise with coconut trees , a fringing reef , beautiful white sand , many species of birds and loads of bait fish in the shallows.
We will arrive here just after lunch and have the afternoon to relax and enjoy the Island. Beach combing is always interesting and you can find beautiful shells and flotsam washed up above high tide.
You can snorkel directly off the beach , Stand Up Paddle or throw a fishing line in. It is also possible to have a fire on the beach and a enjoy a cold beer or wine as the sun sets.
We spend the night a Hope and Sail out to the outer reef the next morning.
Day 2 Hope Island to Steve’s Bommie
Steve’s Bommie is located 28 nautical miles offshore from Hope Island on the Outer Barrier Reef. This is approximately a 4 hour sail, a great opportunity to troll for Mackerel or Tuna along the way.
Steve’s Bommie is a premium Outer Reef location, with a pinnacle rising up from 30 mt housing some of the best reef and fish-life in the area. You can expect to see over 400 species of colourful coral, reef sharks, rays, large fish such as big eye travelly , basketball size stone fish , yellow snapper , clown fish , and occasional turtles. During June and July it is possible to spot a pod of Minke Whales in the area. We can overnight on the bommie or travel in closer to the main reef ( Ribbon # 3 ) and have another snorkel or two in the afternoon. Fishing is also possible if you feel like something fresh.
Day 3 Ribbon # 3 to Ribbon #9 and # 10
Ribbon # 9 and # 10 are located 35 nautical miles from Ribbon # 3 ( Steve’s Bommie ) Sailing on the inside of the outer reef is something else , Relatively calm seas and fast broad reaching is an amazing way to travel. We are normally flying the spinnaker and trawling for Mackerel or Tuna. There are some great drift snorkelling to be experienced in the location with some reefs in the passage between Ribbon # 9 and Ribbon # 10 , particularly on the incoming tide where we end up starting out on the pass and finish up in the shallows at least 1 to 2 km away. Drift snorkelling is easy with our high speed tender and experienced crew always with you.
In this area there are some spectacular underwater peaks with various large schools of fish circling in the current. Lunch on day three is generally served whilst underway and we can either spend the night on a mooring or anchor in the shallow’s of Ribbon # 10. Watch the sun set and be treated to a delicious meal cooked by your personal chef.
Day 4 Ribbon # 10 to Lizard Island
Lizard Island is located 20 to 25 nautical miles from Ribbon # 10 and we can sail via the Cod Hole if you would like to snorkel it.
A morning snorkel in the shallows at Ribbon # 10 is also an option before departing and this drift snorkel can be quite spectacular with a close up look at the reef offering a different perception as you gently float over the top of it all.
At the Cod Hole it is possible to swim with the famous potato cod along with reef sharks and large schools of red bass. We would have lunch on the mooring there then set sail for Watsons Bay / Lizard Island and have you on the beach by the afternoon around 4pm.
Day 5 enjoying Lizard Island
Lizard Island has some amazing walks and reefs to enjoy. You can easily spend time here enjoying the many attractions. The walk to Cooks lookout is highly recommended.
You can fly out at around 4 or 5pm.
I think this trip would be a fantastic way to experience the remote Outer Ribbon Reefs along with a stunning Tropical Island and then have the time at Lizard Island to really relax and enjoy the place. The best of both worlds.
Day 6 Lizard Island to Howick Island
Howick island is located aprox 31 nm away from Watsons Bay / Lizard island and is generally a nice downwind sail. There would be a reasonable chance of catching a Spanish Mackerel along the way. The anchorage is comfortable and the island is wild. The odd fishing boat using the anchorage but more than likely not too many boats around. Spend the afternoon fishing and exploring the area.
Day 7 Howick Island to Cape Melville
Another nice down wind sail to Cape Melville aprox 35nm. We sail past Watson island , named after Mary Watson after she was shipwrecked there with a Chinese worker.
The rock formations of Cape Melville are spectacular and with the long wild beach of Bathurst Bay. We would spend the afternoon here exploring and the beach , flicking lures and sitting by a fire.
Day 8 Cape Melville to Stanley Island / Stokes Bay
Distance aprox 16nm. The Flinders island and Stanley island group are both very interesting with many caves , aboriginal paintings and beautiful beaches. We would have a couple of days here to explore the area and relax.
Day 9 Stanley Island / Stokes Bay / Flinders island
Spend the day exploring the islands via the main boat and the dingy. A flexible approach would be the best way to tackle things.
Day 10 Stanley Island / Stokes Bay / Flinders island to Cape Melville
Aprox 12 to 16 nm. We need to expect the winds to be around 20 to 25 knotts and getting back to Lizard island is a bit of a punch. It is a good idea to allow time to make this possible.
Spending the afternoon in Bathurst Bay would be worth while with time to explore the rock formations and beach. Just watch out for the wild pigs.
Day 11 Cape Melville to Howick Island
Aprox 35nm. If the wind is up around 25 knotts this is going to be a pretty slow day and really we are now just delivering the vessel back to the airstrip at Lizard. Be prepared for a pretty average day if it is windy which more than likely it will be.
Day 12 Howick Island to Lizard Island
Aprox 35 nm. The same goes here with the punch … possible to be only doing 3 to 4 knots. The plan is to arrive at Lizard at around 4pm for the afternoon flight out at 5pm. Otherwise it would be one last night on the boat free of charge and fly out first thing in the morning.
Another option would be to Chopper out of Cape Melville back to Lizard or to Cooktown, if there is wind around this would be the best option, allowing you more time to explore the area.
We can cater to all your preferences and have activities such as snorkelling , diving , stand up paddle boarding, fishing, spearfishing and of course sailing.
Diving ( an instructor is required along with all the certified gear / add $860 a day for 2 divers / $1000 a day for 3 divers and $1150 a day for 4 divers / with 2 dives each day / yes a dive compressor is onboard ).
Liquid Desire departure point is right in the heart of Port Douglas from the Public Pontoon, located on Ashford Avenue. There is plenty of free parking available.
A shuttle bus can be arranged for pick up from Port Douglas, Cairns or anywhere on the Northern Beaches. Best if you arrange this yourself or have your accommodation management / travel agent assist.