Sunday 3 November 2013

Old Women (Mudjimba) Island

Old Women Island is a well known surf and fishing spot a kilometer off the Sunshine Coast.  The island itself is surrounded by rock platforms and rock reefs, and is home to around 2000 wedge-tail shearwater nests, commonly known as mutton birds.

Apparently the island was leased from around 1940, and you can see the remains of various buildings on the island.  On its day, this is one of the best reef breaks on the East Coast.  The swell wraps around both sides of the island and you can surf into an on-coming wave on the western side of the island.  Its not often you can get airborne in a 5 meter sea kayak, but this is the spot to try!

Access to the island is via a rock platform on the north-western side of the island - only rocks and more rocks!  The waves wrap around the island so you need to get your timing right, coming in on the back of the set and getting into the rock lagoon before the next set cleans you up on the rocks.  Not recommended for days with large swell and you only have access from half to full tide.  The white water behind Rowdy is where the two waves are meeting and you don't get swell much smaller than the conditions today.

The mutton birds have recently finished hatching their young and only the weak and dead remain as they continue on their migration. More and more of these birds are washing up on our beaches and there are concerns about the overall numbers of these birds diminishing.

Access to the top of the hills is restricted by a forest of prickly pear and the lower slopes are a mine field of mutton bird nests - so tread carefully and avoid the island when the birds are nesting.

Bring your snorkeling gear along as the on calm days the water visibility is great and the reef has a lot to offer.

Old Women Island - Nov 2013 from Paul Wilton on Vimeo.

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