Great relaxing day on the water!
WOULD WE VISIT AGAIN
Cruise times and lengths vary, and the boat is available for charter. Visit their website for more information on packages available.
Lunch cruises start at $149 pp for adults and $65 pp for kids (up to age 15). Children under 4 years sail free. Price includes free use of kayak, stand up paddle board and fishing equipment.
Sunbird is a 35ft Seawind 1000 extended catamaran, fitted with all necessary safety gear, electronic navigation and a tender with 5hp motor. On board there is one bathroom (with toilet and shower), deck shower, galley kitchen with fridge/freezer, all kitchenware, a BBQ on the deck, two TVs, DVD player, stereo sound system, and you can bring along your own music if you want.
If you are interested in overnight or multi-day cruises, the accommodation includes 2 x double berth, 2 x single berth, plus 1 x queen berth available upstairs on a fold-down table.
There is easy access to the boat with aft boarding platform and forward drop down beach ladder.
There are no wheelchair facilities.
All drinks were included, from wine or beer to soft drink or water. You are welcome to BYO. A light snack was provided after our departure (at 11am) in the form of corn chips and salsa. Lunch was served at about 1:30pm after we had finished kayaking and testing our skills on the stand up paddle board – a first for both of us. It comprised of cold meats (chicken, beef and ham), salads, potato salad and coleslaw, and fresh bread rolls, followed by fresh pineapple, rockmelon, watermelon and grapes.
The boat departed from The Esplanade Wharf, at the end of Bruce Avenue, Paradise Point, on the Gold Coast. If you are arrive early, as we did, there is plenty of parking and cafes nearby, so make the most of your time there and enjoy the area. For those with children, there are numerous playgrounds and park areas running along the water, and toilet facilities are also available before you get on board.
With perfect weather, blue sky and not a cloud in sight, even at this time of year it was still plenty warm enough to sit back, relax and soak up the sun on the front of the boat. Ample seating is available, and for those who really do just want to lie back and relax, you’ll find yourself easily able to drift off to sleep in the mesh nets at the front.
During the trip you will sail past massive, luxurious mansions (including Clive Palmer’s two that sit side-by-side – his and hers?) on Sovereign Island until you head out to Stradbroke Island. We confess we had no idea Stradbroke was so close, and it was good to have local camping spots on the island pointed out to us. Apparently it is very popular with the locals on weekends who head over in their own tinnies to camp.
You may be lucky enough to spot a dolphin, turtle or dugong. We were able to spot just the tip of what we believe was a dugong but he then disappeared, and our skipper advised that they can be seen this far south but aren’t common. The fish jumping out of the water later was evidence that something was going on underneath but that was as far as our wildlife spotting went.
If you’re aware of the fact that the fifth Pirates of the Caribbean movie is currently being filmed on the Gold Coast, then you won’t be surprised that we came across a boat that looked suspiciously like the Black Pearl from the first movie. It looked totally out of place in the area, but that’s not to say it didn’t look incredible, and we were able to get close enough for quite a few good snaps.
We parked up for lunch by a large sandbank, where we were taken ashore in their smaller inflatable dinghy and given free rein to use the kayak, stand up paddle board, fishing gearing, take a stroll in the sun or just lie back and sunbake. The water was cool, but not unbearable, and it was great fun to at last try our skills on a stand up paddle board. It’s not too difficult, just takes a bit of getting used to and we now understand why they say it’s such a good workout for the lower body and core.
While we were ashore, lunch was prepared – it was absolutely delicious, everything was fresh and there was plenty of it to go around. It seems you work up quite an appetite while relaxing in the sun!
Our cruise back was calm and relaxing, and the only thing that could have possibly improved it would be a hot cuppa and biscuit on the way. The cruise went for about 4 hours, and we enjoyed every minute.
The owner and skipper, Darren, prides himself not just on his boat, but the fact that both he and his son Hayden (who also accompanies you on your cruise) are locals who have grown up on the waters of Queensland and are on hand to show you the best locations, hidden waterways and fishing spots. The atmosphere is relaxed and casual, and it is just like sharing a day out with good friends as opposed to being just under the watchful eye of a boat owner.
Overall, a great, relaxing day out with good company, great food and beautiful views. What more can you ask for really?