Broughton Island Hideaway

Some anchorages on our way north are stand outs: peaceful, scenic, varied. Broughton Island is one of these. There is a lot to see, with sandy beaches, rugged coves, shorebirds, snorkeling, so you are in for a treat this week as we focus on this lovely island hideaway!

With southeast forecast for a few days, we headed for the northern side of the island and tied to the public mooring at Providence Beach. Later in the day four other boats arrived. They only stayed overnight, but we were keen to stay longer.

Anui moored at Providence Beach

As you can see, we flew the drone soon after arriving, knowing that the favourable weather was not going to last. Strong wind and some rain were forecast for the evening and the next days, so it was then or not at all. Drone photography is captivating. You keep wondering what you will discover from up high. Familiar anchorages look so different and breathtaking from the sky, but the weather conditions and flight regulations often restrict what we can do. And nerves do get in the way too… flying the drone from the boat is never a relaxed activity!

Panoramic view taken high and far offshore
Looking straight down at the lacy waves

We had the most spectacular sunset on the first evening, when the storm clouds were building. The next days were vastly different: overcast, intermittent rain, ESE winds rather than the forecast SE, which meant we were lying along the beach in choppy water – not very comfortable!

Tour of the island

To better show what the different coves on the island look like from above and from land, we have put their names on a copy of our aerial panoramic image.

Providence Beach from the air
Providence Beach from the shore the next day
Esmeralda Cove
Coal Shaft Bay looking east
Coal Shaft Bay looking west

During the next few days, we shared our beach walks with tiny red-capped dotterels. They are funny to watch, scurrying along the sand with their little legs going at lightening speed. The sooty oystercatchers were quite striking too. Here is a slide show of our feathered friends.

  • Red-capped dotterel
  • Red-capped dotterel
  • Red-capped dotterel
  • Red-capped dotterel
  • Sooty Oystercatcher

And of course, we could not be at Broughton Island for a few days and not go snorkeling. The water was relatively warm: 200C. We had hoped to snorkel on the southern side of the island, at Coal Shaft Bay and Split Rock to check out the docile and graceful grey nurse sharks but the conditions did not allow. With poor visibility, swell and low light, there was little chance of seeing a great deal so we just explored the small reefs next to the boat.

The small reefs where we snorkeled with North Rock in the distance

We saw quite a few fish, including a banded wobbegong, a big flathead and a few ludericks, but what caught our eye the most was the colours and textures of the kelp and seaweed covering the rocks and swaying in the current. It was worth the effort, even in the dull light and choppy water.

It was threatening to rain when we got out!
Leaving Broughton Island

We left Broughton Island last Sunday and sailed to Port Macquarie where we are catching up with friends and waiting for the next bout of southerlies. More on this in our next post.

25 thoughts on “Broughton Island Hideaway

  1. As usual, you guys have taken some very beautiful photos from high above and under the sea! The drone was a very long way away from Anui, I hope it never flies out of range. Be well and safe, guys!

  2. You have a wonderful eye for photography, and the drone does too! Love that capture of the lacy waves along the shoreline, Beautiful.

  3. Those drone shots give a lovely perspective for anchorage planning. Broughton has been on my list for awhile and your great post reinforced it. Thanks

    • Hi Graham, it is an interesting spot… never very comfortable in our experience, but with Asteroid you could get right in close. Hope you get to enjoy it soon!

  4. Your photography, both drone and underwater, is just magical ! The skies on the sunset photos . . . Methinks you should seriously consider using the stormy weather ‘off’ days to compile a book . . .

  5. You’re right, Chris. the sunsets are spectacular. All the vistas are wonderful. Thank you very much. 🙂

  6. I love the weeds and waves on the shore. Pleased you enjoyed it. Enjoy Port MAC while you are there

  7. Beautiful pics Chris!!
    We look forward to seeing you both in Port Macquarie!! (OK, you’re already here, so I won’t spoil the story).

  8. Great pics as usual. My favourite was the Dotterels …. you could watch them for hours with their unique running style!

  9. Great photos. The view of Broughton from the drone gives it a different perspective. I have sailed past it a few times on different yachts. Have raced around it on a Crowther 35 about 30 years ago. I will make it destination one day.

  10. It is so cool to have both aerial and sea level shots of the same locations. Wow. I also loved the shots of the very striking Sooty Oystercatchers. The final image is simply breathtaking, with amazing colors and cloud formations.

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