Captain Billy Landing – Oh How We Missed You!

The first Cape York clean-up of 2021 is done and dusted! A motley crew of volunteers from all different walks of life came together to clean up Captain Billy Landing in Heathlands National Park last week. 

For those of you that have been volunteering with Tangaroa Blue  for a long time,  you’d know that we usually visit Captain Billy Landing in June each year. Well, this year HEAPS of Australians are heading up to explore the cape during the holidays and as a result we needed to bring the event forward to May last minute.This meant that we needed to wrangle a crew of vollies in very little time, and the result couldn’t have been better! 

Thanks to Nuffy, Gene-o, Lewis, James, Ebony, Juzzy, Bec, Georgina and Ella for dropping everything to join us on this trip late last month, you guys were awesome!

Some of the volunteers out on the beach!


The organised chaos of the sorting station!

In 5 days the crew pulled off 2.5 tonnes of debris from the beach with the help of Ron and Grace, long term Tangaroa Blue volunteers, who had already cleaned up a portion of the beach before we’d even gotten there!



All data was entered into the Australian Marine Debris Initiative Database, which was of particular importance as this monitoring site was not able to be visited last year due to travel restrictions.  

The team were rewarded with an incredible view of the supermoon lunar eclipse in the middle of the week, as well as a dip in beautiful Fruit Bat falls. 


Bottles jam packed with soft plastics which appear to be homemade bricks!

Some of the more interesting items found were plastic bottles jam packed with soft plastic packaging, which we suspect have been used as a type of home-made brick, but this was the first time we’d found them on our clean-ups in the Cape! We also found a plastic float which had several years of coral growth on it, indicating that it had been pulled down somehow (perhaps by a rope) and wedged into the reef for a long time before becoming dislodged again.


Georgina, one of the of the volunteers, holds a plastic float with a large amount of coral growth on it
This not-so-little guy must have been basking in the sun only minutes before we headed out to clean-up the beach that morning!


Thankfully we didn’t come into any close run-ins with crocodiles, but we did certainly spot a few in the creeks and saw signs of their presence, so made sure we were always on the lookout!

We’d like to say hanks to the many day-trippers that gave the crew a hand (as well as some garlic and cold beers!) and the QPWS Heathland rangers for providing us with water, disposing of the debris and being incredibly supportive of the project.


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