Duck Is from N
Marker near Duck Is
South point Duck Is
Eagle nest Duck Is
North point Duck Is
Pebbly beach Picnic Is
North point Picnic Is
North point Picnic Is
West coast Picnic Is
South point Picnic Is
South point Picnic Is

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Duck and Picnic Islands - Great Sandy Strait


Lying to the south of Big Woody Island in the Great Sandy Strait are the tiny Duck and Picnic Islands. Their sizes vary considerably with the tides but at high tide neither are wider than 100 m. Duck, the larger of the two, is 300-400 m long and Picnic is about half this. They trail to the south of Big Woody Island like chicks following a hen - Picnic Island is closest, about 1 km away, and Duck Island another 1 km astern.

Both islands are rocky with no sandy beaches. Pebbly beaches can be found on the eastern sides of both. I haven't landed on either so I'm not sure about the suitability of these beaches for landing - probably not recommended unless the bottom of your kayak is tough. In any case it is not necessary to land on these islands to appreciate their beauty, a slow paddle around them, gliding over the crystal clear water is most rewarding. At low tide large areas of rock are exposed making approach impossible so the best time to explore Duck and Picnic Islands is at high tide.

Picnic Island is low and covered by stunted shrubs including mangroves. The narrow rocky point that juts to the south of Picnic has hardy mangroves clinging to it. Duck Island is higher and has more complex vegetation with mangrove species along the shore, eucalypts growing higher up and at least one hoop pine. Both islands are important habitats for sea birds so take care when visiting. Pelicans, cormorants, sea eagles, pied and sooty oystercatchers and other seabirds can be seen. There are at least two sea eagle nests on Duck island, high up in dead eucalypt branches.

There is a building on Duck Island and a sign warning that trespassers will be prosecuted but the island is part of the Great Sandy National Park (and is signposted accordingly).


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