• October 4, 2022

Sandy Island & Paradise Beach, Hillsborough

The island is beautiful! Great for snorkeling and also popular for kite surfing.

Sandy Island is part of the Sandy Island Oyster Bed marine protected area, which starts at the mangroves in Tyrell Bay and goes up to the pier in Hillsborough.

This means you can’t anchor without permission anywhere in this area.

There are mooring buoys in front of Sandy Island, which cost 25 EC per day, plus a 1 USD snorkeling fee per person per day.

Just pick up a mooring buoy and someone will come to your boat to collect payment.

Do jump into the water and check your mooring, as they don’t look perfectly maintained.

Paradise Beach is also part of the marine protected area, and you can find a few moorings on the southern end of the beach.

Because there are so few moorings at Paradise Beach you are allowed to anchor in sand behind the mooring buoys if they are full. Do of course talk to the park rangers first before anchoring.

But, if you have a good dinghy you could easily decide to stay at one of the anchorages and take your dinghy to the other side.

This is why we decided to stay at Sandy Island and dinghy over to Paradise Beach for sunset drinks and dinner.

The anchorage at Hillsborough, just north of the dock, isn’t great. Holding is bad, and it’s a rolly anchorage.

But, it puts you just outside of the marine protected area so anchoring here is free, and the town is worth checking out.

You can’t really use the dock for your dinghy but you can beach your dinghy most days and chain it to a tree.

Hillsborough is a lovely town with a few good restaurants, shops and a bank.

Note: there is an anchorage off of Jack A Dan Island as well. We tried to anchor there because snorkeling around the island is good, but decided to skip it as we approached and had a closer look. Jack A Dan is really just a rock and close to it it gets too shallow to anchor. Further out you have very little protection and most days you are on a lee shore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.