Tours at the Mackerel Islands, Western Australia

Create memories that will last a lifetime through our range of tours designed for a holiday full of sunshine, adventure and relaxation.

Explore the island, ocean and reefs on a self-guided or organised tour. Discover the incredible sea life teeming underwater and learn about our resident turtles. On land, immerse yourself in nature, encounter the island wildlife, see a famous Pilbara sunset and watch an incredible canopy of stars come out.

 

Turtles Mackerel Islands

Turtle Interaction

Free self-guided tour using the Turtle Watchers Code of Conduct

Available all year

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Whale Watching Mackerel Islands

Whale Watching

Included in your Island Transfers!

45 minutes during transfers. July - August

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Bird Watching Mackerel Islands

Bird Watching

Free self-guided tour

Available all year

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Sunset 4WD Bus Tour Mackerel Islands

Sunset 4WD Bus Tour

Free tour
BYO drinks/nibbles

2 hours. Operates all year

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Back Beach 4WD Bus Trip Mackerel Islands

Back Beach Bus Trip

Free

2 hours. Operates all year

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Island Infrastructure Tour Mackerel Islands

Island Infrastructure Tour

Free tour

1 hour. Operates all year

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Kids Fishing Clinic Mackerel Islands

Kids Fishing Clinic

School Holidays

*Available during school holidays only and may be substituted

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Guided Reef Walk Mackerel Islands

Guided Reef Walk at Low Tide

School Holidays

*Available during school holidays only and may be substituted

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Island Reef Eco Tour Mackerel Islands

Island Reef Eco Tour

School Holidays

Half day, weather permitting.
*Available during school holidays only and may be substituted

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Beach Fishing Mackerel Islands

Beach Fishing

Self-guided
Use your own fishing rod or hire one from us

Available all year
Head to the island jetty, east end or back beach for awesome land based fishing. Try for Trevally, Queenfish, Threadfin Salmon, Mangrove Jack, Spanish Flag, Emperor, Cod, Bluebone, Coral Trout, Longtom and Squid!

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Family Travel Mackerel Islands

Bookings

To book a tour or activity hire, visit the island general store on arrival, or see our crew at the Dinner Under the Stars

 

 

Turtle Interaction

Free self-guided activity

You will be provided with a Turtle Watchers Code of Conduct and some useful information on the types of turtles you will see during your stay and how best to see them! All conveniently located in your cabin's compendium.

Read about the lifecycle of the Mackerel Islands sea turtles and the conservation program run by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA), then head out on a field trip to see and interact with the turtles.

Our very special turtle season occurs each summer, when flatback, hawksbill, loggerhead and green turtles come home to the islands to mate, dig nests in the sand dunes and lay eggs. After incubating for around 6-10 weeks, the baby hatchlings dig to the surface and scurry to the ocean.

Every year DBCA and volunteers monitor a 1.5km stretch of beach on Thevenard Island for flatback turtles. They apply flipper tags, a PIT tag/ID chip, take length and width measurements of the shell, and a biopsy sample from the rear flipper. They also count turtle tracks to identify which species the tracks belongs to. This important work helps to protect populations of flatbacks - the only marine turtle species that nest exclusively in Australia - listed as vulnerable under Australia's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Watch a short video about the island's flatback turtles here and check out the very interesting site that shows our satellite tracked turtles here.

More info about the conservation program here and marine turtles in Western Australia here.

Read the Turtle Watching Code of Conduct Guidelines here.

Whale Watching

Included in your Island Transfers!

45 minutes during transfers. July - August

The Mackerel Islands are visited by various species of whales during their migration and calving season, July to August every year. If you book an island transfer during these months, you will have the opportunity to observe these magnificent gentle giants in the wild on the ocean crossing.

Each winter, hundreds of humpback whales leave Antarctica to migrate northwards to warmer waters along the coast of Australia to breed and calve, before heading back to their feeding grounds in the polar waters of the Antarctic. Other species you might see include the pilot whale, false killer whale, sei whale and bryde’s whale.

It is common for island guests to have continuous whale sightings and view awe-inspiring whale behaviour like blowing, breaching and tail slapping.

Bird Watching

Free self-guided activity

Available all year

Bring your binoculars and explore the island on foot to discover the fascinating bird life in residence.

On Thevenard Island, 24 species of land birds have been recorded and up to 31 species of migratory birds, including kestrels, quails, godwits, plovers, sandpipers and harriers. Some birds migrate from remote northern hemisphere locations as far as Siberia, and are protected by international treaties. Seabirds, such as terns and shearwaters, nest on the island from October to January.

Sunset 4WD Bus Tour

Free

2 hours. Operates all year

Head out on a 4WD bus trip with our driver to the West Side of Thevenard Island to watch the sun sink below the ocean's horizon as the sky lights up with reds, oranges, pinks and yellows.  

On the way, spot the island's distinctive osprey bird nests.

Make sure you bring along some refreshments and nibbles and take advantage of some spectacular photo opportunities. This is particularly good at low tide when the exposed reef provides amazing exploring opportunities.

Back Beach Bus Trip

Free

2 Hours. Operates all year

Hop on the 4WD bus to ride out to Back Beach for a different side of the island. Explore the beach with a long walk, see shells and sea urchins washed up on the sand, or enjoy a swim.

Island Infrastructure Tour

Free

1 hour. Operates all year

Mackerel Islands has state-of-the-art facilities installed to support sustainable ecotourism, including a solar farm and desalination plant.

The solar farm was one of the first to use lithium battery technology at this scale and comprises of 1200 solar panels delivering 325 KVA of power, 650 KW hours of lithium ion battery storage, plus 4x 110 KVA generator backups.

The desalination plant utilises reverse osmosis to produce up to 70,000L of crystal clear water per day and runs entirely from the power of the sun, while the waste water recycling plant collects and treats all waste water for use in landscaping.

Learn about the technology and Mackerel Islands commitment to future sustainable solutions to develop tourism in the region.

Beach Fishing

Use your own fishing rod or hire one from us

Available all year

You don't need a boat to enjoy fishing on the island, our land based fishing is also awesome! Head to one of these spots:

Island Jetty
You can fish here all day, but high tide, first light and last light are the best times.
Try Halco twisty lures for Trevally, Queenfish and Threadfin Salmon.
Species such as Mangrove Jack, Spanish Flag, Emperor, Cod and Bluebone can be caught using either squid or mulies as bait.
A simple rig often works best, such as having a ball sinker on some 20-30lb leader, running straight down to your hook.
Squid come to the jetty, especially at night - ask a staff member for assistance in turning on the generator for the floodlight.

East End
Off the point, in front of the sandbags, is a good spot to try for Emperor, Bluebone, Cod and Coral Trout.
You may also encounter Trevally and Queenfish.
Keep your rig simple, with a ball sinker running to your hook, or a small lure.

Back Beach
High tide works best here.
Cast lures for Trevally and Queenfish.
Spangled Emperor can be caught with squid for bait at the western-most point.
You may also catch Longtom, Bluebone and small sharks.