Turtle Tracks is a sunset odyssey for those with a spirit of adventure. This cruise operates on select dates April through September during turtle nesting season.
A Darwin Harbour sunset cruise with a difference – Sea Darwin’s award winning Turtle Tour
Leaving Stokes Hill Wharf at 4.00 pm on a date especially picked around the lunar cycle, your cobwebs will be blown away as Darwin Harbour fades into the distance. With the warm breeze on your face and the smell of salt in the air, life will become surreal as you skim over turquoise waters on the way to the nesting ground for flatback and olive ridley turtles.
Keeping your eyes peeled for marine mammals and reptiles, your journey will take you past historic Charles Point Lighthouse into Bynoe Harbour, arriving at remote Njulbitjlk (Bare Sand Island) in time for the sun set. Explore the island with Team Turtle, learn about the fascinating marine creatures who inhabit these waters and who visit the island; and find out about the unique war history and traditional stories as you experience day turning to night.
Back on board your bento meal will delight, and then after twilight fades, Team Turtle will take you for a guided walk to witness the egg laying ritual. For those who take this adventure late in the season you may have the privilege of witnessing the eruption of baby turtles from their home under the warm sand. A fast boat ride will get you back to Darwin, with memories that will last a life time.
This tour is conducted around the lunar cycle – full moon and new moon are the best times to see the turtles. Nature dictates your experience and return time – the females usually come up around sunset, although there are no guarantees. The tour will return later if babies are hatching. Note that nesting turtles or hatchlings cannot be guaranteed on any tour though in 2015 100% of our guests experienced a turtle encounter.
This cruise attracts Advanced Eco and ROC Accreditation.
Turtle Tracks Photo Gallery
Operates: April to September (inclusive) around full moon or new moon lunar cycle
Duration: approx 8 hours
What to Bring: Flat shoes or sandals*, camera, warm jacket
We Supply: Drinking water, bento meal (choice of local prawns, chicken or vegetarian), complimentary drink, experienced and permitted guides
Licensed bar available. No BYO on this adventure.
Departure: Stokes Hill Wharf (4.00 pm)
Return: Stokes Hill Wharf (approx 12.00 am)
* This cruise involves beach access from the bow of the boat, and walking on sand, sometimes soft, sometimes wet. Bare feet are recommended, but for those who prefer to use footwear please be mindful that footwear might get wet and sandy.
This cruise is ADVENTURE TOURISM – nature dictates weather + sea conditions and turtle activity.
Adult: $285.00, Child (6-13 years) $190.00
Charter and family pricing available, please contact us.
Please Note 5% of ticket price is contributed to AUSTURTLE to assist with their ongoing research into Australia’s endemic turtle species.
Please note: Sea Darwin is family friendly however this adventure is not suited to children under the age of 6. The MV Snubfin and the MV Flatback are fast open boats exposed to the elements. This tour is not advised for people who are pregnant, or who have existing neck or back injury. Sea Darwin reserves the right to cancel or vary trips subject to weather or sea conditions.
Your Turtle Tracks Journey
- Sea Darwin visits the island with permission from the Kenbi Custodians who request that our tour groups to remain together on the beach area only, and not to light fires;
- Turtle observation is conducted in accordance with Northern Territory Government’s Turtle Watching Code of Conduct for Tourism Operators . In accordance with these guidelines, all observation is managed by guides qualified in seaturtle biology who are permitted under Northern Territory Government Parks and Wildlife regulations;
- 5% of all cruise tickets is forwarded to Austurtle to contribute to their continuing research;
- Sea Darwin conducts an annual marine debri collection from the island and collects rubbish during the nesting season. All rubbish is returned to Darwin for proper disposal with results forwarded to the Australian Marine Debri project.
- Sea Darwin ensures that all that is left on the island from our group is footprints