Recently I was able to visit Broughton Island in the AI to see if it would be suitable as a Tandem camping trip destination.
My plan was to kayak/sail the 15kms around the island as a day trip stopping to investigate the many sights the island has to offer.
Broughton Island lies off the coast of NSW between Hawkes Nest and Seal Rocks. It is usually reached from Shoal Bay which is about 20kms south. A day trip from there would not be possible so I looked at other options on Google Earth.
At its closest point to the mainland it is only about 3 kms off Sandy Point. This is a beach that can be accessed with a 4WD via a sandy track. You are only able to drive up to the last sand dune before the beach leaving a 100 metre cartage over the dune and down to the beach. With my limited time this looked the best option.
With the AI loaded on the roof rack and the amas inside the vehicle I left early for the 150km trip North.
After reaching the Sandy Point Track I lowered the tyre pressures so I could negotiate the loose sand. The track ends in a small car park where I assembled the AI.
I changed the heavy duty wheels for the balloon wheels on the cart.
I find a strap useful in securing the rear amas. It stops them from hitting the ground when negotiating uneven terrain.
The dune was very loose and it was a struggle getting the AI up and then down to the beach.
By the time I was ready to launch it was midday.
At the waters edge I had to contend with a strong rip, shallow sandbar and 2â€™ breakers. My first time in the AI in these conditions I was a bit nervous but neednâ€™t have worried. The AI handled them well.
I was soon out in open water and passed close by Inner Rock, which is a storm petrel sanctuary.
With a 2 metre SW swell running and only a 10 knot breeze it took me about 40 minutes to reach the sheltered Providence Beach . I was impressed with the clean sand and clear water.
With the late start, swell and light winds I realised I wouldnâ€™t have time to travel around the entire island. I decided to explore this Northern side and headed out to the islands end enjoying the rugged cliffs, sea caves and pristine beaches.
On a calmer day a closer inspection of the caves would be good.
I returned to Providence Beach which looked even better as the clouds had cleared.
I went for a quick explore of the island and walked over to the southern side, finding this chasm
Sadly daylight was running out and it was time to leave. The trip back was easy, despite the wind having dropped as I was able to pedal back
I arrived back at Sandy Point just on dusk, having really enjoyed my quick trip.
There is so much more to see of Broughton Island. Although it is only around a 4 hour drive from Sydney it is not that well known. In fact I didn't see another person the whole trip! I have read about Con's Cleft which is a narrow chasm that can be kayaked through if conditions are right and Esmerelda Cove (the main camping area) looks like a great base.
I'll definitely be back - hopefully with enough time to camp on the island and explore it properly.