A list of common frequently asked questions when visiting the Mackerel Islands.
Q. What are the Mackerel Islands?
A. The Mackerel Islands comprise 10 island atolls, two of which have accommodation. Thevenard Island includes 13 beach front cabins, 34 single and double ensuite rooms, a general store, gym, dive centre, bar, moorings, airstrip and fuel facilities. Direction Island has a two bedroom self-contained cabin which is the only man made structure on the island.
Q. Can I stay there?
A. Of course! We have a fantastic range of accommodation types to suit you. We can accommodate school groups, special requests, families, retreats, corporate and team building escapades, weddings and more depending on your requirements.
Q. How long is the trip from Onslow to the islands?
A. Thevenard Island is located 22km from the coast of Onslow and takes approximately 45 min by boat. Direction Island is approximately 10km and 20 min by boat. You can see both islands from Onslow.
Q. Where do I go when I get to Onslow?
A. Our welcome point is the Onslow Beach Resort right in the centre of Onslow on the waterfront. Go to reception where our friendly team will be expecting you.
Q. Can we camp or bring swags?
A. Islands within the Mackerel Islands group are gazetted nature reserves, therefore no camping is allowed without a permit. We currently do not have camping facilities available.
Q. Can you sleep on your boat?
A. No, sorry we don’t allow this, however do have a range of accommodation types to suit all budgets and requirements.
Q. Do I need to bring linen and towels?
A. All linen, towels and complimentary soap are supplied on arrival.
Q. What is in the cabins?
A. The cabins are fully self contained with a fridge and freezer, all pots, pans, crockery and utensils. Outside there is a comfortable outdoor setting with a Weber BBQ. See accommodation for more information.
Q. What medical facilities do you have in case of emergency?
A. All permanent staff are trained in First Aid for treatment of minor injuries. Swift transport to Onslow Hospital is provided if required, which is a two-minute drive from the Onslow jetty. For emergency situations Mackerel Islands is registered with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. There is an airstrip on Thevenard Island for the landing of aircraft in emergency situations. It is advisable to let staff know of any potential medical requirements as soon as possible.
Q. Can I park my car or caravan? Where and how much does it cost?
A. Yes, in Onslow we have secure overnight parking for $10 per car, $15 per trailer. (This is not a powered site.)
Q. What is the best time of the year to come?
A. Our peak season runs from March to October, however the quieter months provide some amazing nature experiences, especially turtle hatchings. It is warmer during this time and there is a risk of cyclone activity between November – April; however we have tight procedures and policies in place should this occur during your stay.
Q. What services are available on the islands?
A. We sell fuel for boats, ice, bait, alcohol, tackle and general groceries. There is an airstrip welcoming private planes, public laundry, bar, pool and BBQ facilities.
Q. We know the fishing is awesome, but what else is there to do for me and my kids?
Lots! One of the best things about visiting is that you can let the kids run free to explore and discover the island – they’ll squeak with delight at the sight of ghost crabs, turtle tracks, cool shells and googly eyed squid floating close to shore.
Then, jump on a SUP board or kayak, hire a Plaka boat and cruise the waters to spot incredible marine life, take a nature discovery walk, reel in dinner from the beach, snorkel, cook up a storm on your shaded cabin deck with a chilly drink, head out for a sunset 4WD tour, or join our skipper on one of our fishing charters.
Need more to do? Partake in a little beach combing, star gazing, bird watching, humpback whale watching, turtles nesting and hatching or become part of history by scribing in our Island Diaries.
Q. Is there phone reception?
A. Yes. The Telstra 3G network is available on the island.
Q. Do you have a list of your pricing and activities?
A. Yes, we have all tours, activities and accommodation prices outlined on the printable list.
Q. Are you connected to the Onslow Beach Resort?
A. Yes! We have food and liquor available at competitive prices to help limit the amount of items you need to cart around with you on holiday. We also have an online store if you choose to have your fridge stocked and ready following a hard day’s relaxing on the islands – food hampers or individual items can be purchased. Check out the store!
The General Store on Thevenard Island stocks a basic range of food, groceries and beverages, and liquor is available both at the Store and Bar. Mackerel Islands operates a no BYO policy on Thevenard Island due to liquor licensing conditions, however we are happy to order in special items with notice. If you’re playing castaway on Direction Island, BYO is acceptable.
Q. Can I order food other than what’s listed in the online grocery store?
A. You can with sufficient notice. We will do our best to accommodate special requests, including special occasions, so please provide as much notice as possible.
Q. Are there boat moorings?
Yes, available close to shore and your cabin at $10 per night per boat – these must be booked in advance. We also supply fuel for boats daily.
Q. What time / how often do charters leave?
A. For day tours:
Depart from Onslow daily – tours run for approximately 8 hours from departure to return. You will be advised of departure times upon booking as these can vary slightly depending on conditions and demand.
For overnight guests:
Daily guest transfers to the islands take approximately 60 minutes. Departure time from Onslow to the islands is 12:00 noon, departure times returning to Onslow are 10:00am from Thevenard Island and 10:30am from Direction Island.
*Occasionally times may vary due to weather and demand.
Q. Is the day trip cost inclusive of weekends?
A. Yes, our rates remain consistent during the week and on weekends. Check out our day trips page for detailed information and inclusions.
Q. Where do you get ice?
A. We have communal freezer storage for the fishing fanatics out there, where we have large stores of fresh ice. Thevenard Island has a state of the art desalination plant pumping huge quantities of fresh water around the island, so ice and fresh water just isn’t a problem!
Do you have another question? Please contact us.