Since starting our Yardie Creek Boat Tours and Turquoise Bay Beach Service in March 2013, we have had a number of frequently asked questions (FAQs). We have recorded them below to assist with any queries our visitors/clients may have in the future…
What is YCBT doing about COVID-19?
Well, it is great to be back out on the creek for the 2022 season (our 10th season for YCBT) after the last two challenging years in 2020/2021 of dealing with the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic requirements. Like all the other tourism operators in Exmouth and the rest of Western Australia (WA) we have been trying to keep up to date with the current information relevant to our business, listening to and taking advice from our tourism industry partners and trying to keep abreast of all the ever-changing Health Department of WA changes and recommendations, all whilst continuing to offer our tour services in a remote part of our state. This year is proving even more challenging as we navigate through the direct impacts of the COVID-19 virus impacting the people in our small remote community – directly affecting local businesses, our hospital, sporting clubs and community groups.
In accordance with COVID Safety Guidelines (from 20 March 2022), the most effective measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 are maintaining very good hygiene practices, additional cleaning and disinfection regimes, mask wearing, physical distancing where possible, following testing and isolation requirements, getting tested if you have symptoms consistent with COVID-19, and getting vaccinated. YCBT supports all these guidelines and recommendations, but we have also applied a practical and customised approach given the outdoor nature of our boat tours and general operating environment. We want you to come aboard our boat and enjoy a relaxing one (1) hour tour experience on the Creek, but it’s important everyone has the chance to feel safe and comfortable to be onboard. We have decided not mandate the requirement for Proof of Vaccination (POV) for our boat tour services, however, any guests utilising our bus transfer services (either to Yardie Creek or Turquoise Bay Beach) must show their POV and wear a mask at all times whilst in the bus. As such all bookings for the bus services in 2022 will be on application only, direct to the operators.
With the current situation with the COVID-19 Pandemic in Western Australia (but acknowledging things can change quickly), we still require all guests to book online for contact tracing and registration purposes. In accordance with our current COVID Safety Plan, please be aware of the following health & safety requirements when preparing for your tour with YCBT:
- Please practice good physical distancing when waiting at the jetty area at Yardie Creek before boarding the boat tour and allow space when guests are disembarking after a tour.
- We will be greeting you at the jetty with a big smile and a squirt of hand sanitiser (no handshakes, high fives or knuckle knocks, sorry) – every passenger must sanitise their hands before accessing the boat (parents please help the kids with this important hygiene practice).
- We will be cleaning & sanitising the seats and handrails, before & after each boat tour for essential health & hygiene reasons.
- Please practice good cough & sneezing etiquette when on our tours – this is really important – remember to cough into your elbow and cover sneezes with a tissue.
- Mask wearing is optional, but not required as we operate outdoors in the fresh air.
- Please do NOT access our tour services if you have tested positive to COVID-19 and you are in your seven (7) day isolation period or if you are considered a close contact (as per the current guidelines). Please also do NOT access our tour services if you are sick or unwell, or showing any signs of a cold or flu-like symptoms. Our tour guides reserve the right to refuse access to our boat tour or bus transfer services if a person is sick or unwell.
- In accordance with the COVID TRANSITION (PUBLIC HEALTH AND SOCIAL MEASURES) DIRECTIONS gatherings in or on a motor vehicle, boat or aircraft are excluded under Section 49 (r) from restrictions on gatherings, unless the vehicle is being used for the donimant purpose of serving or consuming food and drink. This means tourism operators (like YCBT) can provide a service up to the number of persons normally permitted our our vessel “Yardi” and we are exempt from the 1 person per 2 square metre rule.
How long does it take to get to Yardie Creek from the Exmouth Townsite?
We estimate that you allow at least 90 minutes to drive from the townsite of Exmouth to the carpark at Yardie Creek. Please don’t listen to Google or Siri, as they do not get the timings right! The Yardie Creek Jetty is just a short stroll to the left of the carpark once you arrive at Yardie Creek (Please use the pathways provided to get to the jetty, as walking down by the creek bed can be slippery & uneven and we are trying to protect the limestone). It is really important that visitors abide by the speed limits once you enter the Cape Range National Park (CRNP), as there is usually plenty of wildlife (eg. kangaroos, bungarras, bush turkeys, echidnas, wedgetail eagles etc) that may be close to the road. Plus the drive / journey to Yardie Creek is very scenic, so why not take the time to enjoy it?
How long is the boat tour of Yardie Creek?
The boat tour takes one (1) hour and we need you at the jetty at Yardie Creek at least ten (10) minutes before your scheduled tour time. With the boat tour only taking 1 hour, it allows you plenty of time to do other things on the North West Cape on the same day! Why not do the boat tour, then have a picnic lunch at Sandy Bay and after a rest & relax, do a swim/snorkel at Oyster Stacks or Turquoise Bay? In the winter months (when it’s cooler) you could do a hike at Mandu Mandu gorge, then on the way home you can call into the Lighthouse and watch the sunset…how’s that for a magical day in Exmouth!
Can we take photos whilst on the boat tour?
Absolutely! Your boat tour guide will ensure you have plenty of opportunities to take photos whilst on the boat tour of Yardie Creek – if you have any special requests please just ask your guide on the day. We would also love you to share them with us on Facebook or Instagram (#YCBTs or #yardiecreekboattours or #wonderoutyonder)
Do we have to be quiet when on the boat tour?
We encourage our clients on the boat tour to be conscious of level noise they make, to ensure they don’t scare off the black-footed wallabies or bird life – the normal noise level of person to person conversation is fine, however we don’t have music on board or encourage loud voices (eg. shouting or yelling out etc).
Do you have any merchandise we can buy to remind us of our boat trip to Yardie Creek?
Yes we do! You can purchase some unique YCBT stubby/drink holders (for $10 each) or beautiful locally made soaps (for $5 each) or a YCBT quality cap (for $30 each) – just ask your boat tour guide or contact Mandy on 0499 202 920.
If we are staying at Coral Bay can we drive up the back road and cross Yardie Creek to do the boat tour?
Since 2013 when we first started YCBT, Yardie Creek has been open to the ocean so crossing the creek has become very reliant on tides and sometimes it’s just not passable at all – please consider your personal safety at all times. Our advice is just to avoid this situation entirely by driving the “long way” ie. via the highway to Exmouth and then coming down Yardie Road to get to the Creek. Unless you are very experienced with 4WD driving and it’s safe to do so, we wouldn’t recommend crossing the creek by car as you may end up like some of the photos on our Facebook page…
Should we feed the wildlife in the Cape Range National Park?
That’s a definite NO! We do not feed the wildlife or marine life on our tours as we do not want to interfere with them in their natural habitats. Giving wildlife human foods can impact their well-being; may lead to unwanted habits and an unhealthy reliance on humans. We strive to observe the wildlife in their natural environment, whilst minimising our impact during our encounters.
Can we use a “drone” in the Cape Range National Park?
The use of drones has increased dramatically in the 5 years throughout Australia and the world and the policies & procedures in managing their correct use is important in any natural environment with wildlife. The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) have very strict protocols for the use of drones in the CRNP, including Yardie Creek and you can only do so if you have a permit from them prior to accessing the Park. Most importantly, drones are not permitted to be flown close to any wildlife in Yardie Creek, particularly around the black-footed rock wallabies in the gorges; the ospreys in the nests or any other birdlife – to do so, has been proven to disturb them in their natural habitat. So if you have a drone, please only use with the appropriate permits from DBCA and always be mindful on NOT disturbing wildlife in their natural environment and also being respectful of other peoples right to privacy.
Are there any other motorised boats allowed in Yardie Creek?
YCBT are the only licenced operators to do daily boat tours on Yardie Creek (as per our operating schedule). There is another operator (Ningaloo Safari Tours) who are only able to do a boat tour in conjunction with their safari tour, but other than that no one else is authorised to take a motorised vessel up Yardie Creek. We regularly need to remind people of this, but DBCA have posted a sign on the jetty at Yardie Creek and other locations at the Creek and they also monitor the area on a regular basis (via their Rangers). It’s all about protecting the eco-system at Yardie Creek, controlling the noise levels and most importantly not disturbing the wildlife in their natural habitats.