Just across the harbour from Gladstone lie a number of islands – the major landmark Island being Curtis Island and Facing Island. A 15-minute boat ride will transport you to a place that seems a million miles away.
The scattering of rock and reef outcrops around the Island is a fisherman’s paradise, with many species in close proximity. The southern end of Curtis Island, known as South End, is a fishing hotspot with many reef species residing and frequenting the coral and rocks that litter the coastline from Rundle Island to Cape Capricorn.
This area is home to Coral Trout, Nannygai and huge Spanish Mackerel. Yellowpatch and Keppel Creek, both creek systems at the Northern end of Curtis Island, are home to large Flathead, Barra, Whiting, Mangrove Jack and the sought after Mud Crab.
Facing Island is abundant with coral and rocky outcrops which attract Spanish Mackerel, Long Tail Tuna, Sweetlip, and Coral Trout. The inshore side of the island has Whiting, Flathead, Black Jew and Barra. The Gladstone Region is the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Here you will find a number of the island where you can camp such as North West Island, Mast Head Island and Lady Musgrave Island. These locations, as well as many other reefs and shoals, are well known for their Coral Trout, Red Emperor, Sweetlip, Nannygai, Spanish Mackerel and seasonal Billfish.
Access to these inshore and offshore islands can be obtained through Curtis Ferry Services which offers regular services to Curtis and Facing Island – including vehicular transport plus chartered services and supply to outer islands.
Gladstone is also the main departure point for charter boards to the Swain and Saumerez Reef, and beyond.