|Moreton Bay - Peel Island|
Horseshoe Bay Peel Island
Peel Island (Turkrooar) is a good sized island that lies between Cleveland Point and Dunwich on North Stradbroke Island. The island is about 400 hectares in size,and close to 3.0 kilometres east west and 1.0 kilometres north south. From the small boat ramp on the north western tip of Cleveland Point to South West Rocks is 5.5 kilometres. It is just under 3.0 kilometres then east to The Bluff, the eastern most point (or close enough) of Peel, and 2.5 kilometres across to Dunwich.
The main tidal current runs right up against Cleveland Point, and it is choked through a narrowing passage as it floods or falls. For this reason, there are often choppy waves encountered right at the start, or the last return section. You may run to South West Rocks, or the north western corner of Peel, from Cleveland Point. Take a look at the historic lighthouse in the Cleveland Point park at the tip, it will help you come home. The bearing from South West Rocks (Peel Island) return to the launch ramp is 265°M, but the prominent markers to look for across at Cleveland are three tall pines very close together, then run the eye out north to the tip of the point where there is one singular pine, that later separates to one high and one short. The lighthouse, when viewed from South West Rocks, is a tall white needle, one thumbs width south of the pine on Cleveland Point tip.
Peel Island is a National Park, and you can camp at Horsehoe Bay. No open fires, and there is a toilet block halfway along the beach. There is deep water close offshore, and the locality has a reputation for sharks. Vegetation includes the Cottontree or Native Hibiscus, Pandanus, and She-oaks. There is a population of Wallabies, and red bellied black snakes are said to be present. Just off the south eastern point and a little north of The Bluffs, is a rusted out ship, the Platypus, in a couple of metres of water. The remains of a concrete causeway run from the shore towards it. A road runs along the backbone of the island north west from that causeway to the north western side of the island, and Heritage Protected buildings that were at different times a Quarantine Station, and a Leper Colony. Access to some of those building areas is limited. South West Rocks emerge at low water, and are marked by a couple of posts.
The deepwater channel off the northern bay is known as Lazeret Gutter. There is said to be coral woth diving on in the Gutter, the water is certainly clear. Thick stands of gum trees lie immediately behind the northern foreshores, but the high tide line is in the mangroves. There does not appear to be any beaching point suitable for relaunch at lower tides at the northern side. Keep in mind that winds are usually from the south east, and pick up in strength as the day wears on. That may mean a return from South West Rocks to Cleveland Point is a quick surf on waves running your way, but as they get bigger with a falling tide, there is a struggle not to broach.
Peel is 11.5 kilometres from Amity, on the north western side of Stradbroke, and 8.9 kilometres from Blaksley 's Anchorage, south of Dunwich. There is a regular vehicle ferry from Dunwich to Cleveland (about a kilometre and a half back down the road from Cleveland Point) that will carry your boat home if the weather turns really bad.
Click on thumbnails below to see larger image