The Howick Island Group holds a rich history that dates back thousands of years.
Located off the northeast coast of Australia in Queensland, it’s a popular stop for cruising boats.
For us, it’s typically the next stop as we head north after Lizard Island.
What’s more, the traditional custodians of the land are the Wulgurukaba and Bindal Aboriginal people, who have inhabited these islands for countless generations.
These islands served as important gathering places, offering sustenance and shelter to the indigenous communities.
HOWICK ISLAND GROUP CONSISTS OF 19 ISLANDS
Captain James Cook navigated these waters during his voyage in 1770.
He named the group after Viscount Howick, later known as Earl Grey, a prominent British politician.
In the following centuries, the islands witnessed various endeavours, including pearling and beche-de-mer industries.
One of the islands in the Howick Island Group, Watson Island, is named after Mary Watson. Mary, her infant child, and Chinese employee, perished there in 1881.
They were chased off Lizard Island in a cut down iron tank by the first Australians.
THE MAIN ISLAND – HOWICK ISLAND
The area provides good anchorages as there are several islands close together.
This affords protection from the swell.
Good protection from the south-east tradewinds is offered between Howick Island and Houghton Island.
However, you can’t get in too close to the islands because of the fringing reefs.
But we found good sand in the deeper channel.
Alternatively, around the north-western side of Howick also provides good protection.
Lastly, the only downside is wash from ships. The shipping lane runs either side of Howick island.
This is one area we haven’t really done much snorkelling.
The Howick group is not far from the mainland and houses mangrove swamps.
So we have been mindful of crocodiles.
FISHING THE HOWICKS
Turns out the area abounds in fish life.
Interestingly the main catches were small tropical snappers like grass sweetlip, stripies and spanish flags.
They are so thick that we couldn’t get to the better-sized fish.
Seems to be a kindergarten.
At the time of our visit during the wet season the Howick Island was coated with green.
The craggy rocks jutting out of the green pastures reminded us of Scotland.
Going ashore at high tide was midgie city. As our cameraman Stephen found out!
Join us and go exploring and fishing Howick Island during our Norther Safari.
LIVING ON A BOAT IS A CAPTIVATING ADVENTURE!
From the awe-inspiring wonders of the Great Barrier Reef’s Howick Islands, to amazing fishing and secluded beaches waiting to be discovered.
While it can be challenging and expensive, it offers an unforgettable experience for those seeking natural beauty and marine encounters.
Which is why we keep fixing the boat!
I hope you enjoyed Episode 12 of our Northern Safari series – Howick Island Group.
New episodes drop each Thursday so stay tuned…
And while you’re here, why not take a look at some of our other tips and fishing action videos below.