Your Own Reef Safari
  |  First Published: July 2008

Expectation is a wonderful thing in fishing. Sometimes it’s what makes a trip, but sometimes that expectation is exceeded by what you find and that’s exactly what happened when we walked down the gangway and laid eyes on the Reef Safari.

Reef Safari the boat

Reef Safari is a beautifully appointed, hand built 50ft motor sail yacht that can accommodate eight anglers plus crew.

Built with the love and attention to detail that can only happen when you build it from the ground up, Reef Safari boasts air-conditioned cabins, bunk bed and double bed accommodation, a massive walk-in freezer, toilets and showers (freshwater) and a fantastic and spacious front deck that just cries out to be used to watch the sun go down over your favourite reef while you sip on a beer or have pre-dinner nibblies.

The crew will make sure every moment you are on board you are taken care of in a way that will make all your cares disappear. From first light through to an amazing after dark dinner you will not go wanting for food or drinks, in fact you may even do any diet you’re on a bit of damage as it’s pretty hard to say no when there are left over’s that have to be eaten. But that’s all part of the first class service you’ll receive on Reef Safari.

Fishing Mothership

Reef Safari is available for private fishing charter on a daily or weekly basis, and where you cruise is up to you!

The Reef Safari team is happy to help you design your own exclusive and private charter out to the reef, Dunk Island or island hopping around many of the other areas in the Hinchinbrook region. They will even cruise south inside Hinchinbrook Channel for a few days if you’re like me and don’t get along with the sea too well.

The beauty of an exclusive fishing charter on Reef Safari is that you take your own boat along with you. I’ve been on a few Mothership operations and every one of them has not had a boat that I would choose to fish from. This problem just doesn’t exist with the Reef Safari operation as you fish from your boat with everything exactly where you want it and all the electronics and accessories you just can’t do without, all in the right place.

Please note that Reef Safari can tow your tenders in fine weather only, if it gets a bot rough you’ll need to get the tender home on its own. This means that you will have to ensure your boat can make the trip out and back if you plan on going to the reef or island hopping. It’s not such a big issue if you’re staying inside the Channel though, as even my 4.3m BlueFin would be safe for the trip to the anchorage.

I think it’s worth reflecting on the ability to have your own boat with you a bit more. If you are into snag bashing the creeks, having an electric and sounder on the boat are almost mandatory. Most keen lure fishers have these on their boats. If you want to fish the reef at night or drift fish with plastics or baits, your current reef boat will have all the right gear needed to do this. It means you are not relying on the operator to have all the right gear and that’s a good peace of mind.

The other beauty of using your own rig and meeting up with the Reef Safari is that you don’t waste hours and hours getting to and from the boat ramp to the fishing grounds, you don’t waste time with launch and retrieve every day and you can fish the most productive tides and locations knowing it’s only a short hop back to Reef Safari, a cool drink, a warm shower and a great feed.

Now what could be better than that?

All meals and light refreshments are included in the charter pricing and alcoholic beverage requirements will be finalised prior to departure. Meals are always freshly prepared onboard with a highlight being when your catch of the day is presented in gourmet style!

The sleeping arrangements on Reef Safari include 2 x single, 1 x double bunk in the central cabin, and 2 x single (lower and upper), two double (lower and upper) bunks in the forward cabin. All these areas are air-conditioned to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep.

Fishing Charters are available all year and there is no set time frame. This means you can take up a one night charter or a ten, or more, day charter, the choice is yours. And when you combine this flexibility with the chance to fish from your own boat at the peak fishing times, it’s easy to see just how good an option Reef Safari is for keen anglers.

Other options

Reef Safari also offers other charter options leaving from Port Hinchinbrook.

Sunset cruises are a fitting way to top off the week with Saturday evening cruises, toasting the setting sun from the waters of the Hinchinbrook Channel. Reef Safari sets sail twice a month on Saturday evenings to toast the setting sun from the waters of the magnificent Hinchinbrook. Bookings are not essential, but to avoid disappointment and to confirm the departure time, it is advisable to call to secure your passage.

Dunk Island cruises are a popular way to spend a couple of days on the water receiving all the pampering you want. From day trips through to overnight trips anchored in a sheltered bay on the lee shore, a Dunk Island cruise will show off the best the Barrier Reef has to offer close to Hinchinbrook and Cardwell.

Relaxing fun days on the water can be had as Reef Safari cruises around the local islands such as Garden, Goold and Hinchinbrook. These fun days are designed to give access to great snorkelling, sight seeing and adventure if your time is limited. You can choose to extend these island hopping cruises too and reach out into the Great Barrier Reef for some truly memorable moments.


If you think that Reef Safari will give you what you’re looking for in a fishing trip, don’t hesitate to call them on (07) 4068 5115 or 0408 770 525 for more information. You can also log onto their website at www.reefsafari.com.au.



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