Long Island - Paradise Bay
Paradise Bay is a unique and secluded resort surrounded by woodland
A gorgeous forested island 9kms long and only 400 meters wide, Long Island is a laid back tropical paradise and the closest of the Whitsunday Islands to the mainland (although by boat from Shute Harbour, Daydream Island is actually a shorter trip). There are two resorts on the island, Paradise Bay and Long Island Resort, and although they share 20km of dense National Park, the mountainous and impenetrable area which separates the north and the south of the island means they are both totally isolated from one another. Of course, they may be totally separate, but they both have excellent walking tracks, local flora and fauna as well as beautiful beaches and coral fringing reefs; it’s the perfect place for relaxation and snorkelling.
The hottest news in the Great Barrier Reef is that a bright new star is being reborn – on the 15th March 2013, Paradise Bay Eco Resort will reopen to guests following a multi-million dollar makeover.
The luxurious resort, which was loved by all those who stayed there, went into administration in December 2011 but it was down to the love of one man that the resort will once again be the place to stay on Long Island. That man is Barry Pickering, the extremely romantic husband of Julie Pickering, who bought the island resort as a 50th Birthday present for her. Since April 2012, the couple have lovingly restored and improved the resort to make it once again the dream destination for guests in search of ‘something special’. They have added a day spa and pool, they have renovated and landscaped, and they have added Hobie cats, paddle boards and kayaks; all the kinds of things that guests like to enjoy.
With a maximum of 20 guests at any time, Paradise Bay is an exclusive boutique retreat and an eco luxury resort. Its uniqueness is its simplicity, a place where guests can truly escape. There are no children, no cell phones and none of the distractions of everyday life, but what the resort does have are sleep ins, barefoot walks in the sand, the sound of lapping waves at dawn and sophisticated cocktails at sunset. Add to this unforgettable gourmet experiences under the stars, boat trips and snorkelling and it's clear why this resort is truly unique.
They always say that the journey is as important as the destination, and this is certainly true of Paradise Bay, as you arrive here by helicopter from Hamilton Island or the Whitsunday Airport at Proserpine. The ten minute flight, even for those who have a fear of flying, is one of the highlights of the trip. Before anything else, you are greeted with cold towels and a glass of champagne, whilst your luggage is whisked away to your beachfront bungalow, ready and waiting for you when you have settled in.
The resort’s beach bungalows are detached and private, featuring their own furnished terrace where you can sit and look out over the ocean; they are carefully positioned for ultimate privacy. Inside, the luxurious king size paradise beds are the ultimate in comfort, so much so, you may never want to get up in the morning as you listen to the sounds of the waves on the shore.
A leisurely breakfast is where daily island life begins. This is where you will be treated to a sumptuous continental buffet made from only the finest and freshest produce. Fruit and croissants, cereal and freshly baked muffins are all available and the resort's chefs are also on hand to cook up old favourites such as bacon and French toast, or Eggs Benedict. Lunch is a simple but delicious picnic; fresh produce is used every day to provide an al fresco lunch to accompany the views from the ocean, or on the island trails.
Join your fellow guests for pre-dinner cocktails and canapés at sunset whilst admiring the views over the Conway National Park; then dine on a gourmet three course dinner accompanied by fine Australian wine. Each night the chef’s creations are made from the finest and freshest local produce and even guests with special dietary restrictions are amazed by their own very ‘individual’ creations. After dinner enjoy pleasant conversation with your fellow guests, or retire to the gorgeous couches in the gazebo for board games. If you prefer, there is also an opportunity to enjoy your very own bonfire where you can toast marshmallows under the stars.
The resort’s boat skipper has over thirty different locations to visit, so no two days are ever the same. There are opportunities to explore Whitehaven Beach, to go turtle or whale spotting (August to October), or to explore some of the less visited islands of the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy snorkelling, swimming and kayaking, or for a break from the water try one of the island’s natural trails. There are many tails to choose from, one of the best is the route which winds its way through the lush subtropical rainforest to the lookout at the southern tip of the island, the views out across the Whitsundays are breathtaking. The coral in the fringing reef around the island is perfect for snorkelling, but if you would like to scuba dive, you can take an optional half day helicopter trip out to the Great Barrier Reef. Of course, there’s always free time to laze in your hammock and watch waves roll in and out, or to discover the islands small sandy coves, which are idyllic, picturesque, private, and intimate.
Finally, Paradise Bay is a unique and secluded resort surrounded by woodland and the mountainous terrain of Long Island. When you chose to stay here, the only other people you will see are your fellow guests and the staff who are there to make sure that your stay in paradise is absolutely perfect.