SEA KAYAK – Barnard Islands

Join TAG on an exhilarating 2 or 3 day sea kayaking adventure to these pristine continental islands in the Coral Sea. For further details on the Barnard Islands Group National Park see


Day 1: Our trip begins with a short transfer from Cairns or the Tablelands to Kurrimine Beach where the group is fully briefed on trip itinerary, safety and weather conditions before packing the kayaks and departing. Todays destination is Stephens Island in the South Barnard group and entails an 8 km – (2/3 hour) paddle over the shallows of King Reef where we have the opportunity of spotting turtles, dugong, dolphins and other marine life. On arrival we set up camp and then explore the island, snorkel along the fringing reefs or have a siesta. In the late afternoon we take a short paddle around both Stephens and the adjoining Sister island before returning to prepare a meal and enjoy refreshments under the stars.

Preparations for kayakingExhilarating paddlingSleep next to the seaYour own coral beach

Day 2: We have a lazy start and slow breakafast before starting today’s 8 km – (2/3 hour) paddle to Kent Island in the North Barnard Group. This is our best opportunity of spotting Humpback Whales as well as the marine life detailed above. On arrival at Kent Island we set up camp, prepare lunch and relax for a while. Before our evening meal there are opportunities to observe the abundant wildlife, snorkel around fringing coral reefs or just relax on the beach and take in the pristine atmosphere.

The Barnard Islands are listed as an Important Bird Area – IBA, on account of the numbers of bridled, lesser crested and black-naped terns that breed there. More info about IBA can be found at

 Explore the adjoining islandsTime to eat

Day 3: After an early breakfast and a short hike to the lighthouse on the summit of Kent Island we head north, slowly exploring the 4 other islands in this group. Todays paddle is about 12km (3 – 4 hours). We stop at Robson’s Beach for a snack lunch before heading into our take out point at Mourilyan Harbour after our remarkable adventure!


This shorter option is an out and back from Cowley Beach. Day 1 is an easy 8 km – (2- 3 hour) paddle to Kent Island where we enjoy the same opportunities as our 3 day adventure. An early start on Day 2 allows us time to enjoy our 12km paddle. We hike to the lighthouse and then island hop and explore all of the islands in the North Barnard Group before paddling back to Cowley Beach with the opportunity of spotting numerous rays species along the foreshore.


  • Guest transfers
  • Double sea kayaks and all safety equipment
  • Marine charts, wildlife books and binoculars for guests use
  • All on tour meals, snacks and drinks
  • Great Barrier Marine Park and National Park permit fees and charges
  • Tents or hammocks, sleeping mats and sleeping bags if required
  • Interpretation of the local environment
  • Professional guide and assistant guide/driver
  • TAG also has access to a professional naturalist/ornithologist Dr. Steve Murphy. Steve’s services are by arrangement.


Please view and Printout Gear List


2 day adventure $600/guest, discounted to $500/guest for groups of 4 or more guests
– minimum numbers apply
3 day adventure $850/guest discounted to $750/guest for groups of 4 or more guests
– minimum numbers apply

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Barnard Island Route MapBarnard Island Route MapBarnard Island Route MapBarnard Island Route MapBarnard Island Route MapBarnard Island Route Map