Beach Combing Cape York Style

2016 Chilli 1Report by Tangaroa Blue Crew Member Vanessa Carey.

The road to Cape York was red dirt against a bright blue sky, heading northbound to Chilli Beach for a five-day clean-up event within the Iron Range (Kutini-Payamu) National Park. On our arrival the location was welcoming but the weather displayed an unhappiness. The skies were grey of clouds filled with rain, the wind constantly roared and the waves never stopped. Perhaps it was Tangaroa’s (the god of the ocean) reaction to the marine debris scattered across the beach, vulnerable to being swept back out to sea.


Coral Sea Adventure

Parks 110 isolated coral and sand cays out in the middle of the Coral Sea were the destination of a unique voyage to survey marine debris and biodiversity by scientists and researchers.

Funded by Parks Australia and Bush Blitz, the 12 day trip also included three NGOs including Tangaroa Blue, and provided a unique opportunity to remove debris and collect data from some of the most remote locations we've ever been to!


Tangaroa Blue reunites with Australia’s Tip

Somerset 2Only 9 months ago, Tangaroa Blue travelled to the very tip of our continent for the first time to clean up the iconic Five Beaches Loop near Somerset. After a 2-day break from our Captain Billy clean-up 2016, Tangaroa Blue and Conservation Volunteers Australia headed there again to remove what had washed up since September 2015.

With the camp set up at Australia’s northernmost camp ground Punsand Bay (the presence of running water and showers at the camp came like Christmas presents to the volunteers that had just spent a week at Captain Billy’s), the group travelled every day to Somerset, where we set up our data camp near the access to the chain of picturesque coves and rugged headlands that form the Five Beaches Loop. Giant red termite mounds fringed the rough 4WD track to the beaches where the team of 20 fanned out to collect the rubbish.


Captain Billy’s – a slice of wilderness reserved for Tangaroa Blue

Cpt Billy 3Only one day after the Cape Bedford expedition, Tangaroa Blue set sails again for their so far longest and greatest Cape York adventure: For the first time the two northernmost trips were combined into one, saving us another 2000km of driving back and forth to our office in Mossman. And even though volunteers could come to either the Captain Billy’s Landing clean-up or to the event in Somerset, most of the group stayed for the entire time and life long memories.

The windswept cliffs of Captain Billy’s lie in the far north east of the peninsula. It took two days of driving over red, yellow and white corrugations to get there, and the adventure started right on day 1: The team rescued an injured red tailed black cockatoo – named Captain Billie-Flint – from the side of the road. Cool as a cucumber, the wild bird travelled with us in the car for two days, totally comfortable with all those humans around her, before we could hand her over to a wildlife carer near our destination. Captain Billie-Flint was since transferred to a vet in Weipa, airlifted to the avian hospital in Cairns, will be released in a few weeks time and has become the most well travelled cockatoo of Cape York. Not long after our cockatoo episode we even came across mating snakes in the middle of the road, performing a mesmerising courting dance. True David Attenborough stuff!


2016 Cape York season kicks off!

Cape Bedford 1Five week-long clean-ups lead us up and down the Cape York Peninsula this year. Cape Bedford, the southernmost destination of our Cape York Tour was the warm up for the big adventures further north, but rewarded us with stunning scenery - once we managed to make it there!