South Long Island
Southern section of Long Island where Whitsunday Wilderness Lodge is located.
Geologically the Whitsunday Islands are all drowned mountains. Prior to the last Ice Age they were connected to the mainland and would have all been prominent mountains in the area. The melting of the polar caps drowned the valleys between the mountains creating a network of 74 islands of which only 7 have resort facilities. Beyond the resorts the whole area is part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the uninhabited islands are all controlled by National Parks and Wildlife.
The first European to explore the area was Captain James Cook who travelled through the area on his journey up the eastern coast of Australia in 1770. He passed through Whitsunday passage, a narrow channel which lies between the mainland coast, South Molle and Daydream Islands to the west and Dent, Whitsunday, Hook and Hayman Islands to the east, on Sunday 4 June which happened to be Whit Sunday (the seventh Sunday after easter) - hence the name of the area.
Today the northern end of Long Island is a budget destination which is easily accessible from Shute Harbour and Hamilton Island. The southern section of this appropriately-named long island - it is 9km long and up to 2km wide (at one point it is only a few hundred metres wide) - is uninhabited wilderness with the notable exception of Whitsunday Wilderness Lodge.
The island itself is 1215 hectares of National Park which is characterised by rugged terrain. There is a path between the two resorts on the northern section of the island but Whitsunday Wilderness Lodge on the southern section of the island can only be reached by aircraft or boat.
There is a nice myth (maybe it is fact) about a sunken Spanish galleon off the coast of Long Island. The sternpost and prow of an old timber ship has reputedly been sighted off the coast of the island and this has given rise to speculation. The legend has been further fuelled by stories of an Aboriginal tale about the crew of a ship being wrecked near the island and a local farmer claiming that he had found coins washed up on a beach.
Vital Information About the Island
1. The Island Itself
In the heart of the Whitsundays approximately 20 minutes from both Shute Harbour and Hamilton Island. The southern section can only be accessed by helicopter, sea plane and boat.
Description of the island
A narrow island which is 9km long and 2 km wide although at points (like Fish Bay and Palm Bay) the distance between the western and eastern shores is probably no more than 200-300 metres.
Whitsunday Wilderness Lodge
The Wilderness Lodge is on a 3 hectare site at Paradise Bay which is independently owned and operated by a private Australian company (Ecoventure Pty Ltd) committed to environmentally sustainable tourism. Bookings & inquiries can be made by calling the phone/fax number (07) 3357 3843 or email email@example.com
How big is it?
Ten well appointed waterfront cabins. Accommodation for 20. It is located on a beach at the southern end of Long Island and is surrounded by tropical rainforest. The resort has no day guests and no children under the age of 15.
Who does it appeal to?
This is a genuine environmental/ecotourism experience. It will appeal to people serious about getting away from phones, TV, hair dryers etc
Guests can spend their time relaxing at the lodge or exploring the surrounding islands aboard the lodge¹s 34 foot yacht, which sails each day to a different location. Or they may choose to explore on their own in one of the sea kayaks or along a surrounding rainforest walk. Snorkelling equipment and wetsuits are also available free of charge.
The "outer reef" of the Great Barrier Reef can be visited by seaplane which can give you an aerial view of the spectacular reef system before landing inside a reef lagoon, where you can snorkel from the plane. This excursion can be arranged at the lodge.
Eating at the resort
All meals included in the standard rates for the resort.
How do I get there?
There are daily flights direct from Sydney and Brisbane to Hamilton Island from where a helicopter transfers you to the lodge.
Whitsunday Wilderness Lodge
South Long Island QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 9777
Facsimile: (07) 4946 9777