Seven Spirit Bay
September 16th & 17th, 1996
With curiosity getting the better of us we couldn’t help ourselves but go around the corner to check out Seven Spirit Bay, and some of the other reefs, rivers, and attractions across from Blackpoint. We dug deep, deep, deep into our pockets and shot over for a night at the Seven Spirit Bay Resort. We got up early to make the trek before the winds came up making the seas too rough. Although immaculately glassy and dead calm at 7am, by 8 you can find a nasty wind has chopped the ocean up into rough waters, impassable in our little boat.
A heavy haze, caused by the burn off that occurs at this time of year, lay across the bay, so we headed off to Turtle Point, hopeful that our visibility would increase on the way. We finally arrived at an unassuming little jetty and were greeted by a casually dressed man who welcomed us to the resort and took us up a dirt track to our “habitats”.
Seven Spirit Bay Resort is no 5-star bee-hive buzzing with tourists but rather a small eco-touristic resort that lies a mere 11 hot degrees south of the equator. No rooms here, just “habitats” for all guests of this natural experience- your HABITAT (as people keep emphasising again & again, taking pride in the mere pronunciation of the word) is actually a hexagonal structure with floor to ceiling louvres and contains a double bed and wardrobe. The open-air-bathroom is at least 20 paces away, down a little path. No TV, no videos. no golf courses, no beauty parlours or boutique shops—–the delights here come from nature itself. Agile wallabies bounce up and peer into your room….oops…..habitat, Banteng stroll past, Geckos crawl around, insects bite.
This resort scores big brownie points for trying to be compatible with the surrounding natural environment. They have not planted out with the cliched palms and frangipanis of most resorts, but have rather favoured leaving all the melaleucas and eucalypts standing where they truly belong. Definitely a tropical but not that pristine wilderness lodge.
Seven Spirit Bay “was” a wonderful resort, the only real indication of this is the effort that the staff put into the place…….other than that, it has lost it. It’s quite clear from our stay that the owners are either hoping that a bushfire will burn it down and they’ll be able to claim on insurance, or that they should never have been in the hotel business in the first place. Let’s hope it’s the latter, and that they sell it to somebody who really does care. In fact, two prospective buyers were being entertained whilst we were staying at the resort, and we had our fingers crossed the whole time (we understand that the resort has since changed hands and is now under new management).
Originally Seven Spirit Bay was touted as a wilderness playground for the very rich, fortunately, the sheer ruggedness of the environment eventually scared them off. Hopefully, Seven Spirit Bay can metamorphosis into what it always should have been- truly a ‘wilderness lodge’ a place where people who ‘really’ appreciate this kind of environment can come and enjoy it, without having to pay through the nose for the privilege to do so.
Before returning to Balckpoint we decided to fish the Port. We’d met up with an old Aboriginal friend from Townsville who was working in the area as a fishing guide, and decided to spend our last day in Cobourg fishing together….wow, what a treat!
Lance knew the waters inside out and we had a wonderful days fishing, and rightly so due to the fact that we spent the morning feeding up the sharks around the pier. It’s a ‘give and take’ thing you see. In our case….give a little, get a lot and we’re VERY grateful. Josh managed to catch the nights meal in his first two casts in a particularly bumpy little snag. It really didn’t stop, other than for lunch, all day.
Lance caught a beautiful 9-kilo Barramundi to top the day off, and as we were releasing it, a very cocky 3-metre crocodile came up behind the boat looking for a free snack. With a sharp jab from our spear to his nose, he disappeared. He’ll think twice the next time he comes up behind a boat. Most importantly, the Barramundi made it safely into the water and we heaved a sigh of relief.
The only other thing of interest to report for the day was a beautiful Brahmeny Kite that unfortunately mistook one of our gold flashing lures for a lonely mullet. Much to her surprise, this little mullet started dragging her back toward a boat filled with people. (definitely the last place on earth she wanted to be!) Fortunately, the hook was not embedded in her foot, and she flew off safely to be chasing our lures again only ten minutes later.
We headed back to the Cobourg wharf, exchanged gifts with Lance, and expressed our hope that we’d bump into each other at least once more in this lifetime.
We looked across the crystal clear bay as the sun set, watched a croc swimming towards the shore and thought to ourselves…..THANK GOD FOR THE CROCS. If they weren’t there and the water wasn’t so inhospitable…this magical place would probably be covered in condominiums, malls and resorts.
A three-day stopover had turned into eight days, we could easily have stayed another eight. ………..wonderful place.
Au Revoir Cobourg.