Location: Great Barrier Reef
Cumberland Islands, Great Barrier Reef 13-18 May 2019
May 13 - May 18AUD $695
Welcome to the amazing Cumberland Islands!
The Cumberlands lie off the coast of Mackay in central north Queensland. Well off the tourist trail, these spectacular islands are brimming with diverse ecosystems, incredible wildlife and a rich cultural history.
Is this trip right for you?
We need enthusiastic adventurers to join our highly-experienced Project Leaders in this unique restoration project. You’ll be committed to around 4 hours of conservation work per day, targeting invasive species and marine debris that devastate local ecosystems.
You’ll camp on tropical white sand beaches, explore secluded bays, snorkel, enjoy the company of like-minded people and learn stacks along the way. There is no age limit or required fitness level on this trip.
Expect some tropical weather (although island climates are more moderate than the mainland), warm ocean waters and watch out, turtle hatchlings are starting to emerge this time of year.
A day in the field:
A typical day sees mornings dedicated to conservation work, and afternoons playing, relaxing and exploring.
7.00am: Breakfast on our boat the Wild Cat. A selection of cereals, toasts, eggs and fruits to get you fuelled for the day ahead.
8.00am: Daily briefing.
8.15am-12pm: Island rehabilitation. Can include anything from weed control and bush rehabilitation to removing marine debris from turtle nesting sites.
10.00am: A quick break for a morning cuppa.
1.00pm: Lunch with the team on the Wild Cat, home-cooked by our Project Leaders (who are also culinary experts!). We can cater to a range of dietary requirements.
1.45pm–5pm: Time for snorkelling, swimming, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, exploring the islands and soaking up the spectacular surrounds.
5.00pm: Drinks and nibbles on Wild Cat.
6.00pm: Dinner with a group meeting and discussion. We always say our dinners “take you around the world in the week”. Some of our signature dishes include an Aussie BBQ, Indian Rogan Josh, Indonesian Nasi Goreng and a Mexican fiesta!
Our primary focus in Cumberland involves restoring and healing its critically endangered littoral (beach) rainforest.
Through weed control, bush rehabilitation marine debris clean up, we’re able to vastly improve the habitat for the native species that live on Cumberland for part or all of their life, from local plant and land animals to seabirds, sea turtles, dolphins and whales.
Our species monitoring surveys and tracking programs also help guide future management and protection of these islands and the surrounding Great Barrier Reef. As part of the Wild Mob team, you can expect to be doing sensible, pragmatic conservation work that ultimately makes a real, measurable difference.
Wild Mob is a science-based organisation guided by the best available information. That includes traditional ecological knowledge. We are humbled by and enormously grateful for the guidance that we have received from the Traditional Owners of the Cumberland Islands, the Ngaro people.
We are a not-for-profit conservation organisation first and foremost. The costs involved in our trips cover our expenses and small overheads. Any profit we make goes right back into our conservation programs.
Travel from Mackay Marina to the islands on our boat Wild Cat (about 2–4 hours)
All food for the trip, home-cooked by your Project Leader
Use of all work and play equipment (loppers, snorkels, kayaks, paddleboards etc)
All camping gear and swags (please bring your own sleeping bag)
Alcohol is not included, but please feel free to bring along your own for daily “sundowners” and nibbles on Wild Cat
There is no accommodation on the islands. We will set up camp in tents or on Wild Cat. We will usually visit more than one island in the group
There is no electricity on the islands. We do have a generator on board for charging important items
There are no shops or laundry facilities on the islands
There is very limited phone and internet reception for some carriers. Wild Mob carries a satellite phone for emergencies only
Camping toilets are available. There is a flushing saltwater macerator toilet on board Wild Cat
Showers on Wild Cat are available but limited
Sal Stutsel, Wild Mob Project Leader
Sal has a degree in Environmental Science and a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Management, through CQ University, Rockhampton. She has developed many successful small business projects in rural communities over the years, all underpinned by an environmental, ethical and sustainable philosophy. Read more…
What to pack:
1 large backpack (better than a suitcase as you will be required to carry your luggage at times)
1 small backpack (for daytime activities)
1 sleeping bag (swags and mats are provided)
1 pair of thick working pants (to protect against scratches from plants and insects. We recommend something thicker than yoga pants, like jeans)
1 or more pairs of long working shirts and trousers (to protect against scratches from plants, insect bites and the sun)
Wet weather clothing (a lightweight jacket with a hood is perfect)
Warm clothes (it can get a little chilly at night, a fleece, wind stopper or sweater is ideal)
1 pair of walking or hiking boots with strong soles (for hiking and working in thick bushland)
1 pair of CLOSED shoes with strong soles that can get wet. (For walking across sharp reef beds. Crocs or reef shoes made out of wetsuit material are great)
1 pair of sandals, thongs or flip-flops
1 pair of swimmers (wetsuits are provided)
1 pair of sunglasses
1 hat (wide-brimmed for plenty of shade is best)
1 personal drink bottle (a total minimum 2 litres is best)
Personal medication and toiletries.
Sunscreen (highest protection factor you can get)
Insect repellent (preferably biodegradable)
Torch and spare batteries (w’d opt for a head torch)
Plenty of casual clothing (t-shirts, tops, shorts, socks, underwear and anything else you think you may need for the week)
Any personal medication and medical equipment (please note there is no access to pharmacies on the islands)
Camera and spare batteries
1 small pillow or pillowcase to put your jumper in
Binoculars to spot wildlife (optional)
Things for free time (books, cards, music etc)
Meeting point and time:
Monday morning at 7:00am
Ocean side of Mackay Marina Office
Mackay Marina Village, Mulherin Drive, Mackay Harbour, Queensland.
Return point and time:
Saturday afternoon approx. 1:00pm to Mackay Marina
If you are travelling to Mackay, we strongly suggest arriving the day before and leaving the day after the trip. The weather, tides or other circumstances outside our control can sometimes cause delays coming back into the marina. We can recommend a range of accommodation options in Mackay.
If you suffer from seasickness, please pack appropriate medications and let our project leaders know in advance. The trip to the islands can be a little rough! Learn more about seasickness and easy ways to prevent it here.
Secure your spot on this trip with a $100 deposit by clicking Book Now. We’ll then be in touch with everything you need to get ready for your expedition.
Read our trip Terms and Conditions.
This trip is run with the support of our mates at Reef Catchments.
What our volunteers are saying
Going on a Wild Mob expedition is an exciting and achievable way to make an impact and effect change in the world.Charlie
Get prepared for some serious fun!David
The work that we are doing with Wild Mob feels real and authentic; like we are actually making a positive difference to our planet and having a heap of fun at the same time!Briody
To work alongside such a passionate, dedicated and creative group of people was unforgettable.Lawson
The work we were doing is clearly going to have a large impact on the ecosystems we we're working with!Maddi