Cid Harbour is located on the western side of Whitsunday Island, about 10nm (19km) from our base at Shute Harbour. It’s a popular anchorage for people on their first or last night of a bareboat charter due to its proximity to the mainland.
Cid is a calm, large anchorage offering numerous shelter options for spending the night. There are several beaches and bays within the harbour as well as some great bushwalks.
Courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland
Anchoring at Cid Harbour
Cid Harbour is protected from North-East to South-West. Moorings are not available; you will need to anchor.
The two best anchorage options in Cid harbour are at Sawmill Bay and Dugong Beach.
Sawmill Beach is a large sheltered overnight anchorage. Approach cautiously and take note of the tide because the beach drop off is gradual.
Protection from NE & SW winds
Dugong Inlet is another safe anchorage point within Cid Harbour. The inlet can be a shallow anchorage, but the bottom is mostly mud, so you won’t do any massive damage if you do find the tide has gone out further than you thought!
Protection from NW, NE & SE winds
Homestead Bay is located on Cid Island, a small island which sits close to the Harbour. Anchor off the southern end of the beach.
Protection from NE & SE winds. For charter vessels, Homestead Bay is a daytime only anchorage.
Courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland
Beaches in Cid Harbour
Sawmill Bach is the best beach in Cid Harbour. Access Sawmill from mid to high tide.
The beach has a fantastic, shaded day-use area with picnic tables. Keep an eye out for the orange-footed scrub-fowl and the sea-eagles who use this part of Cid Harbour to nest.
Access the track to Whitsundays Peak from the southern end of Sawmill Beach.
As the same suggests, Dugongs have been known to frequent Dugong Beach thanks to the tidal seagrass flats along the coast. It’s for this reason that snorkelling is not permitted at Dugong Beach, to protect this important marine environment.
Keep your eyes peels for dugongs in the bay and turtles popping their heads up.
Dugong Beach is home to one of the largest camping areas in the Whitsundays and has 7 campsites available. Day-trippers may also like to take advantage of the sheltered picnic grounds and toilet facilities.
The walking tracks from the Dugong Beach campsite are
- The simple 1.5-kilometre Dugong-Sawmill trail over to Sawmill Beach
- A 2.5-kilometre one-way walking track to the Sawmill Beach lookout
Sitting opposite Cid Island, Joes Beach is one of the more secluded parts of Cid Harbour.
There are camping facilities among the lush coastal rainforest and some good fishing opportunities right off the beach.
Hikes at Cid Harbour
Hikes from Cid Harbour are part of the Whitsunday Ngaro Sea Trail.
An easy 3km return
Allow 1 hour of walking time.
A beautiful forest walk which can be accessed from both Dugong and Sawmill beach, this stroll through shady hoop pines along the coastline will delight everyone.
Notice when you’re closer to Dugong Beach the giant rainforest trees and lush mosses. The kids will think it’s a fairyland.
When at the Sawmill Beach end of the track, keep the creek crossing in mind. If you are walking the track at high tide, you may need to wade through the gentle creek.
Whitsunday Peak Track
A challenging 5km return
Allow 4 hours of walking time.
Whitsunday Peak is one of the most challenging hikes in the Whitsunday Islands. If you decide to do this hike, prepare to test your strength and endurance as you climb up to the 437m -high summit. You must bring plenty of water.
Known as the ‘roof of the Whitsundays’, the panoramic views once you reach the top will have you amazed. Access is from Sawmill Beach.
Photo credit GoPro who chartered with us in 2020
Fishing at Cid Harbour
Fishing is permitted within Cid Harbour. Many people have success tolling for pelagic species like sailfish, black marlin, Spanish mackerel and tuna on there way to their harbour anchorage.
Camping at Cid Harbour
If you are not on a bareboat charter, consider booking a Whitsundays camping adventure through SCAMPER. They will hire you all the camping gear you need to take you to camp at one of Cid Harbour’s campsites.
Being Shark Smart
Everyone who visits Chid Harbour must be aware that swimming is strictly prohibited in the area. Swimming in the deep waters of Cid is dangerous because it is home to a variety of essential shark species.