Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wilson Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

April 2012

On an early flight from Sydney to Brisbane for our connection to Gladstone.

The transfer bus met us at the airport for the 10 min trip to the jetty. The 2 hr boat was rough but went relatively quick and before we knew we had landed and were met for our transfer to Wilson.

Before our transfer we enjoyed a buffet lunch on Heron Island and  gathered our snorkeling gear before boarding zodiacs out to a fishing boat to take us to Wilson. This transfer was 45 min and we once again boarded the zodiac for our  wet landing on Wilson Island.

We were met by our hosts and shown to our rooms (or tents really), we would be enjoying Serenity for our 3 nights.

DH and I took a quick afternoon snorkel seeing a small white tip reef  shark and swimming amongst schools of fish before coming in for sunset drinks.

The sunset was gorgeous and we were lucky to see our first turtle hatchlings scurry from their nests out to sea.

Dinner was enjoyed with the other 6 guests (the most we shared the island with at any time was 8 other guests and there is a maximum of 12 guests ever on Wilson) which started with drinks (there is an open bar), followed by an entree of scallops, a main of salmon and creme caramel for dessert. A parade of hatchlings also made it's way through the dinning area trying to find their way to sea.

Day 2 started with a leisurely cooked breakfast in the longhouse, followed by some chilling in the tents and another swim before lunch. Lunch was vegetable risotto with pork followed by mango sorbet for dessert.

Lunch was followed by more lounging on the deck of the tent and another afternoon swim (the snorkeling is best done 2 hrs either side of low tide). This time we finally saw a adult turtle swimming as well as many more school of fish.

That evening we once again enjoyed sunset drinks with a full moon in the background but no hatchlings.

Dinner was quail for entree, macadamia encrusted lamb on couscous for main and chocolate creme brûlée for dessert.

That evening we saw a female turtle come ashore to lay eggs under the full moon.

Day 3 started the same way as day 2 with a fully cooked breakfast and  a rest in the hammock on the deck of the tent. Once again we snorkeled struggling with the tide and seeing many schools of tropical fish.

Lunch was seafood laksa and fruit sorbet.

After lunch we took a short trek around the island (which can only be done at low tide) before once again going for an afternoon swim/snorkel.

Just before sunset drinks that night we stumbled across a nest of  hatchlings and it was amazing to see them all struggle out at once and make their way out too sea. The sunset was also phenomenal this night  and the red hues seen was stunning.

Dinner tonight was a vegetable stack with holloumi for entree, main was chicken on a bed of polenta and dessert was a stunning panna cotta with  strawberries.

We went off to bed, with the sea lapping close by and the sound of the  birds knowing that we had experienced one of those once in a lifetime  opportunities.

In the morning we had one final cooked breakfast before boarding the  zodiac and our transfer back to Heron.

On returning to Heron we decided on one quick snorkel in the harbour due to the large number of reef sharks and manta rays we could see on  our transfer back. We were not disappointed seeing many shovel nosed  rays, manta rays, one white tip reef shark and one grey nurse shark (or 
that's what we think it was). Before enjoying the buffet lunch on  Herons restaurant and starting our journey to Gladstone, then Brisbane  and finally Sydney.

Wilson Island - permanent luxury tents "shipwreaked in style"

Wilson island is all inclusive and you will not go hungry with  chocolates, chips and other snacks on hand throughout the day. The bar  is help yourself style with wines, liqueurs and non alchoholic drinks on  hand at all times

Not much, which is the point, and we were never bored. We snorkeled off the beach everyday, more than once on days we were there all day.  You can also walk around the island at low tide, or just relax in your  tent, or on the deck of your tent, or on the daybed in the community  tent, in the longhouse or on the beach, sometimes you were the only  couple on the beach and there were never more than 10 people around at  any time (maximum of 12 guests and 2 hosts at any time).

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