Hunter Wetlands National Park; “Smiths Island” Day Tour – 12 klm return
- Single: $120.00 per person
- Group Rate (4 or more) $105.00 per person
- National Park Fee $4.35 adult concession $2.17
- Cost includes Morning/Afternoon Tea
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After launching our paddling route will travel a short distance along the edge of Fullerton Cove to allow everyone to practise their kayaking skills. As you learn we will explore the Ancient Mangrove Forest found along the side of Fullerton Cove with explanations from your guide on the ecological importance of the mangroves and wild life found in this area as well as some of the history of the Hunter and the rivers’ role in the development of modern Australia.
When everyone is confident we will make our way through the island channels to the western shores of Sandy Island. The island is located like a sentinal at the mouth of Fullerton Cove and easily accessed by kayak.
Sandy Island has an interesting past, you can step ashore to view the “Old Munitions Store” ruins located on the island or paddle past and discover more remains among the mangroves.You can still see remains of the more recent history when this area was a major Oyster growing site. Sandy Island is also home to an old shipwreck. The wreck is thought to be the steam tug Ajax or possibly the original Newcastle Harbour Pilot boat, both were scuttled in the area. Of course it also might just have been Captain Hooks ship!
From Sandy Island our journey will take us over to the Eastern shoreline of the cove to “Smiths Island” for a well earned rest stop on the secluded beach. While your guide prepares refreshments you will have the oppurtunity to explore Smiths Island. As you wander around don’t forget to look at the Aboriginal Artifacts and signs of lives long since past scattered along the shoreline. After morning tea we will take a path around the end of Smiths Island to enter the magnificent “Smiths Creek” to circumnavigate the entire island. Our return journey will take you past the northern end of Sandy island where the remains of old oyster wharves can be viewed in the mud flats.
As you paddle along exploring this pristine waterway it really is hard to imagine you are so close to a major city. Most day’s it is possible to see White Bellied Sea Eagle’s in the Mangrove canopy, or flying overhead in search of prey. The National Park is an important stopover for many migrating birds with more than 30 known varieties documented.