Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Turtle Research Expedition – Great Barrier Reef 17-22nd December 2018 (Fully Booked)

December 17, 2018 - December 22, 2018

AUD $795
Wild Mob - Turtle Research

Location: Great Barrier Reef

Dates: 17-22nd DEC 2018

Duration: 5 nights, 6 days

Av daily temp: 22–30ºC

Group size: Max 9

Cost: $795





Limited Spots. Be Quick

Only 9 spots available. Pay a $100.00 deposit to secure your spot now.

Ask us anything

Welcome to the Cumberland Islands Marine Turtle rookeries!

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 research project. You’ll be committed to working some odd hours, especially at night time (It’s cooler then anyway!) whilst we collect invaluable information on marine turtles nesting on beaches on the Cumberland Islands. But there will be plenty of time to explore and enjoy these amazing places.

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 warm weather, great like-minded company and the chance to get up close and personal with marine turtles – the Ancient Mariners

A day in the field:

A typical evening sees us on the beach just after dusk on a rising tide waiting for turtles to emerge. Depending on nesting activity we can work for sometime during the night, but you’re in the company of some great like-minded people, opportunity to learn from our highly experienced project leaders, and of course the chance to witness a wonderful spectacle of nature, nesting marine turtles.

8.00am: After a well earned rest, breakfast on our boat the Wild Cat. A continental breakfast of cereals, toast, eggs and fruits to get you fuelled for the day ahead.
9.00am: Time to play, time for snorkelling, swimming, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, exploring the islands and soaking up the spectacular surrounds.
12.30am: Time for a delicious lunch prepared by our project leaders (who are also culinary experts!). We can cater to a range of dietary requirements.
1.45pm–5pm: Depending on the day we might be travelling to another island, removing marine debris from turtle nesting beaches, maybe catching an hour of rest before the night’s work or simply taking it easy.
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!

7.00pm: Back to the beach to witness the wildlife phenomena that is turtle nesting

Conservation impact:

Our primary focus is collecting information on marine turtles and their nesting habits which is essential for guiding ongoing management of these endangered species.

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.

Learn more about our conservation impact in the Great Barrier Reef.

Cost includes:

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

Learn more about our boat Wild Cat here.

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 towel
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)
Head Torch with a red light and spare batteries
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)

Highly recommended:

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:

Mackay Marina Village, Mackay Marina Office
Mulherin Drive, Mackay Harbour, QLD

Departure times:

Start date: Monday 17/12/2018 at 7:00 am
End date: Saturday 22/12/2018 at approximately 3:00 pm

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.

What next?

Read our trip Terms and Conditions.

What our volunteers are saying

The Wild Mob team and project leaders are inspiring and caring people who share the same Passion for protecting the environment as I do.


The crew were amazing and so knowledgeable. The boat and camping experience was incredible. As were and animals and scenery we experienced.


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!


Seeing and being a part of Wild Mob’s conservation efforts was truly inspiring.


What an incredible way to spend a week in paradise!



December 17, 2018
December 22, 2018
AUD $795
Event Categories:
, , , ,


Cumberland islands
Goldsmith Island QLD Australia + Google Map