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- Fast boat ride to and from Njulbitjlk (Bare Sand Island)
- Expert guidance and education
- Dinner and a drink
- Njulbitjlk permit fee
- A contribution to Austurtle for Sea Turtle Research
Turtle Tracks Adventure CruiseThis sunset odyssey takes you on a spirited adventure cruise to visit the Bare Sand Island turtles in their natural habitat.
What to Expect
Turtle Tracks is a sunset odyssey to visit the nesting sea turtles on Njulbitjlk (Bare Sand Island). For those with the spirit of adventure, this 8-hour tour operates on select dates from May to September during turtle nesting season. This is the only tour that has the permission of the Kenbi Traditional Owners to visit the island and has an exclusive licence with the Kenbi Aboriginal Land Trust to access Njulbitjlk (Bare Sand Island).
Leaving Stokes Hill Wharf at 4.00 pm on a date especially picked around the lunar cycle, your cobwebs will be blown away as Darwin Harbour fades into the distance. With the warm breeze on your face and the smell of salt in the air, life will become surreal as you skim over turquoise waters on the way to the nesting ground for Flatback and Olive Ridley turtles.
Keeping your eyes peeled for marine mammals and reptiles, your journey will take you past the historic Charles Point Lighthouse into Bynoe Harbour, arriving at remote Njulbitjlk (Bare Sand Island) in time for the sunset. Explore the island with Team Turtle, who have marine science backgrounds and a passion for sea turtles. You will be treated to first-hand knowledge about the Flatback and Olive Ridley turtles, who nest on the island, and other fascinating marine creatures who inhabit these waters.
As day turns to night, you will also hear about the island's unique war history and its importance to the Kenbi Traditional Owners. The Bare Sand Island sunset is something to behold, and at this point, take time to quietly experience the end of the day on this special little island at the Top of Australia. As the sun sets we'll all keep scanning the shoreline for the first head to pop up from the sea. This is often the best time to enjoy your delicious bento dinner.
After twilight fades, Team Turtle will take you for a guided walk to witness the egg-laying ritual. For those who take this adventure late in the season, you may even have the privilege of witnessing the eruption of baby turtles from their home under the warm sand.
At the end of the night, a fast boat ride will get you back to Darwin, with memories that will last a lifetime. This tour is conducted around the lunar cycle – full moon and new moon are the best times to see the turtles. Nature dictates your experience and return time – the females usually come up around sunset, although there are no guarantees. The tour will return later if babies are hatching.
Where we visit:
- Darwin Harbour
- Charles Point Lighthouse
- Bynoe Harbour
- Njulbitjlk (Bare Sand Island)
Frequently Asked Questions
This cruise involves beach access from the bow of the boat and walking on sand, sometimes soft, sometimes wet. Bare feet are recommended, but for those who prefer to use footwear please be mindful that footwear might get wet and sandy.
We also recommend you bring a camera.
- The operator reserves the right to refuse passage to any person who presents for boarding in an intoxicated or substance affected state
- Participants should arrive at the floating pontoon at Stokes Hill Wharf at least 10 minutes before your cruise starts
- While every effort will be made to ensure your comfort and safety the operator will not be held responsible for any personal injury or any equipment or clothing lost or damaged
- Note that nesting turtles or hatchlings cannot be guaranteed on any tour however, the operator has very high (98%) success rates
- This tour is not suitable for participants under the age of 8, people who are pregnant, or who have existing neck or back injury. Minors under 16 must be accompanied by an adult
- Customers will be entitled to a full refund or a reschedule of the ticket if the cruise is cancelled because of bad weather or any other reason
- For customer cancellations, the following fees apply
- Up to 72 hours before departure customers will receive a full refund less $20 admin fee
- Within 72 hours of departure, the price is non-refundable
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