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EXTREME DREAMS: TORRES STRAIT 2023

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Torres Strait QLD, Australia 9 DAYS

Are you an Extreme Dreamer?

Our EXTREME DREAMS: TORRES STRAIT expedition is a one-of-a-kind, pioneering, raw adventure in untamed sea country. It's not for the feint-hearted and not everything will go to plan. What we can guarantee is a true 'Robinson Crusoe' style adventure.

After flying into Horn Island, we start the expedition at the northernmost point in Australia, the tip of Cape York, and set off in two outrigger canoes to explore the archipelago of Southern Torres Islands, camp on beaches under a tapestry of stars, and supplement our food stores with whatever we can harvest from the ocean en route (crocodile isn't very good to eat don't worry). 

For the first half of the expedition, we'll hone the art of paddling outrigger canoes in the comfortable waters around the southern islands, before (weather/ocean/tidal conditions permitting) embarking on a crossing to the Western Torres Strait islands of Moa, and Badu, just 80km from the mainland of Papua New Guinea.

Working closely with the local Torres Strait Islander communities, we'll learn about their deep spiritual and cultural connection to the land and ocean, cook Kup Murri on the beach and witness rarely visited sacred sites, all with the blessing of the Traditional Owners. 

My ever-lasting memories during my time as the Caretaker of the Islands of the Great Barrier Reef during the Best Job in the World are from my visit to the Torres Strait islands. The deeply cultural island communities have an appearance more Pacific Islander than Australian Aboriginal, they engage in warm conversation with strangers, have deep pride in their history and for these and a million other reasons, I created the expedition to share the experience with others. I still remember the deep belly laughter, community gatherings, palm leaf weaving under the trees and the best view I've ever experienced from a toilet seat. 

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RISK-FREE BOOKING 
We’ve added Refund Protect, a completely no-risk add-on for ALL of our Best Life Adventures that will refund you 100% of the value of your adventure with us, should you need to cancel for any valid reason, right up to the moment you’re adventure commences.

If you suddenly get struck down by illness, need to isolate, the government shuts down the border or a plethora of other reasons – you’ll get 100% of the value of your adventure back…within 48 hours. When you book your adventure with us simply add the ‘Refundable Booking’ option to your expedition, it’ll cover your ass if things go pear-shaped prior to your trip.

To find out all about it visit the Refund Protect website and then get yourself signed up for a magnificent adventure with us.

Check out our Travel Portal page here for all the other things you need to know.

 

This expedition has been completed once before, by our Venturer Team in 2021,  so our itinerary may, and probably will change. It's an unscripted adventure, the kind that challenges you and has more unknowns than most people can stomach. It’s a different kind of travel, and we think more people should experience it.

No previous experience in outrigger canoes is necessary. We will all start this adventure as novices and end up as salty sea dogs. Best Life Adventures will arrange a couple of taster sessions around SE Queensland in the run-up to the expedition proper. 

We need 10 people to ensure this expedition goes ahead - no more, no less. If you get in too late and miss out, we'll add you to the waitlist but don't expect people to give up their place easily. This will be epic.

 

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Arrive Horn Island

Our Extreme Dreams: Torres Strait expedition kicks off today so make sure you get to Horn Island in time for our initial briefing. 

If you're flying in from South East Queensland, you can make the journey in one day. Our recommendation for travel is as follows:

  • Monday 25th September 2023
    • Depart Brisbane on an early morning flight into Cairns
    • Have a dip in the lagoon pool and an early lunch somewhere in the city
    • Catch the 13:20 Qantas Link flight from Cairns into Horn Island, that arrives at 15:05
    • Meet us at Horn Island airport for the bus ride back to the hotel
    • Check into your accommodation with us

As the sun sets on our day we'll have a pre-expedition briefing where you meet your fellow adventurers, get the latest information on the adventure you're about to embark on, get bags packed and prepared, and feast on an early dinner.

Tomorrow we embark on something that's never been done before. It's time for your Extreme Dream to become real.

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Expedition Day One: The Tip to Roko Island

It's an early start today with a big journey ahead. Our outrigger canoes are already safely secured on a neighbouring island, so we can jump in the support boat and make for the northernmost point of the Australian mainland - the tip of Cape York.

Obligatory photos out of the way, it's time to take to the water and start the expedition proper.

With a sheltered first paddling session ahead, we make for Roko Island, around 14km away, where we spend our first night under canvas.

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EXPEDITION DAY TWO: ROKO TO ZUNA ISLAND

After waking up to the sound of the ocean lapping our beachfront camp, we devour breakfast and prepare our vessels for Day Two - the 20km crossing to Zuna Island.

Zuna is one of the most picturesque islands in the southern Torres Strait group with palm tree-lined, wide sandy beaches, shallow sheltered waters and one of the most luxurious island properties in Australia. We might even give them a wave as we paddle past and hope they invite us in for sunset drinks.

Our impromptu campsite is the perfect place to light a fire, throw a line in the water and catch some dinner. Failing that, we have ample supplies to cook up a veritable feast.

 

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EXPEDITION DAY THREE: ZUNA TO PRINCE OF WALES ISLAND

Today is our last big day on the water for the first part of our Extreme Dreams: Torres Strait expedition. It's a 25km paddle around the exposed southern tip of Prince of Wales Island (or Muralag to the locals) with over 700km of open Arafura Sea to the west, and Arnhem Land the next landmass WAAAAAY off in the distance. 

At the end of the mission, we pull into our secluded and beautiful camping location Banfield Bay, where we'll spend the next two nights.

Hammock time.

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EXPEDITION DAY FOUR: VISIT SACRED SPRINGS TREK

After three days on the water we swap paddles for walking shoes, and head on a full-day trek to the rarely visited sacred springs in the higher ground of Muralag Island.

Today we learn about the local's seafaring historical journey around the islands, their connection to sea country and share yarns as the Kup Murri bakes in the sand. Who knows what's for dinner? Just close your eyes and give it a go!

 

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EXPEDITION DAY FIVE: MURALAG TO THURSDAY ISLAND

Our seafaring expedition continues as we skirt the western side of Muralag and turn east towards the populated capital of the Torres Strait, Thursday Island (TI to the locals). En route we pass Friday Island, stop at Kazu Pearl Farm to savour fresh oyster sashimi and learn about the century-old industry of pearl seeding.

Once on TI, it's a chance for the expedition to restock and recover, feel the comfort of a 'normal' bed under our backs for a night and check the weather to see if Stage Two of our Extreme Dreams adventure to the western islands will be viable. 

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EXPEDITION DAY SIX: THURSDAY TO MOA ISLAND (conditions permitting)

The itinerary for the next three days is at the mercy of the gods. If they're looking down favourably we'll pack our canoes for the long paddle north across shallow, shoaly water towards Hawkesbury, Moa, Badu Islands and our ultimate destination Mabuiag Island, just 70km short of the PNG coastline. 

It'll be a raw, stripped back adventure where our physical fitness, a finely-tuned compass, and pure pioneering adventurous spirit will get us to the finish line.

If the winds are up and the crossing looks to be too challenging, we've got a backup plan that's just as good. New islands to explore, some epic snorkelling en route and the chance to skin dive for crayfish and harvest other ocean delights along the way for a feast Atlantis would be proud of. If you're allergic to seafood or fish....we have some tinned spam saved for the occasion.

Look at this part of the expedition as true untamed exploration. It'll be simply magnificent. Have I tempted you enough yet?

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EXPEDITION DAY SEVEN: MOA TO BADU ISLAND (conditions permitting)

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EXPEDITION DAY EIGHT: BADU TO MABUIAG ISLAND (conditions permitting)

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TRAVEL TO HORN ISLAND

Today is the final day of our adventure together so it's an early start to get everyone back to Horn Island in time for the first flight to Cairns, the 10:55 departure.

Weather dependant - this part of the trip is totally fluid and may well change.

Feel free to stay longer and explore the other outer Torres Strait islands - I can personally vouch for the magnificent Masig, Poruma and the bizarre-looking Croissant Island! 

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Location
Torres Strait QLD, Australia
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