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EXPLORE Gladstone Region’s sheltered anchorages

EXPLORE Gladstone Region’s sheltered anchorages

The Southern Great Barrier Reef is located just offshore from Gladstone, but you don’t need to go to the reef to find tropical paradise! The coastline around Gladstone provides plenty of opportunity to explore, with sheltered anchorages providing a perfect place to relax, try your hand at fishing or simply soak in the scenery.

Spend your time cruising the coast and then refresh in Gladstone Marina and make the most of the outstanding marina lounge and the luxury amenities, as well as the courtesy bus.


Pancake Creek is located approximately 60nm north of Bundaberg and approximately 30nm south of Gladstone, with high tides guaranteeing access for most vessels. Pancake Creek is in the lee of Bustard Head and is a truly wonderful anchorage known for its wilderness and natural beauty. There are a number of environmentally friendly moorings available for public use. Take time for a stopover and explore the Bustard Head lighthouse and surrounds. The crabbing up the creek is excellent – a feast of freshly caught mud crabs as you watch the sun go down on your back deck is a fabulous way to finish your day. Or, simply rest and wait for the trade winds to ease when migrating south.


West of Pancake Creek is the Rodds Peninsula and Rodds Harbour. There is deep-water access to Rodds Harbour and Seven Mile Creek, and the area offers plenty of sheltered anchorage. Turkey Beach has a boat ramp, pontoon, a tidal swimming enclosure and a general store catering to most needs. The region is renowned for its national parks, dugong sanctuary, and fishing and crabbing. Keep your eye out for dugongs and dolphins when cruising in or throw a line in to catch your dinner.


Gladstone Harbour and Port Curtis provide numerous anchorages and shelter, where you can anchor for a relaxing lunch only a short cruise from the Gladstone Marina. Popular anchorages are off Oaks Beach, South End, Farmers Point and Lacombe Head. Each spot has advantages in different weather conditions. Curtis Island is a bird-spotter’s heaven with jabirus, herons, brolgas, sea eagles, wood ducks, black swans and the rare yellow chat all inhabiting the island. Stroll around and immerse yourself in its beauty or simply enjoy your very own tropical anchorage from the comfort of your vessel. Grahams Creek is a large tidal inlet at the beginning of The Narrows, which extends into Curtis Island roughly 5nm eastward towards the coast. It is a good point to wait for tidal passage through The Narrows or seek shelter from any inclement weather. Black Swan Island and Targinie Creek, behind Kangaroo Island, are also excellent options at the Gladstone end of The Narrows. This entire area is known for its impressive fishing and crabbing.


Yellow Patch is a beautiful anchorage on the northeast end of Curtis Island. It is named after the towering yellow sand hill, which creates a dramatic backdrop to the anchorage. The climb up the sand hill provides some exercise and a stunning view over the entrance, and on a clear day, all the way to Great Keppel Island. The entrance is tidal so check your charts and tides, and watch your depth among shifting sandbanks.

Like a lot of places in Queensland, keep your eye on the tides and consult your charts. Access to most places is possible; however, the deeper draft vessels’ access to anchorages is dependent on tides.

Contact Gladstone Marina 07 4976 1399 for advice on cruising in the area or help with planning your passage. The Marina team are all fully qualified local mariners and are passionate about the region. Whether it’s assistance in navigating the Narrows (which links Gladstone Harbour to The Keppels) or planning overnight stays in the Harbour, the Gladstone Marina team is on hand to help.





Published in print January-March 2022