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Oceania » Australia » Queensland » Whitsundays » Hayman Island
February 9th 2013
Published: June 22nd 2017
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Geo: -20.0535, 148.887

Hayman Island can be reached by boat, helicopter or seaplane. We arrived by boat from Hamilton Island to which we had flown from Cairns. The steward on board, Joseph from Fiji plied us with wine during the hours trip and we met some very nice Canadians so it was a good trip. At the island we were taken by a little Disney type train to the resort and shown directly to our room. A lovely room with lounge, balcony, huge bathroom and bedroom to which the luggage arrived shortly after. The resort is a very pretty place with tropical gardens and several pools. We were put in the Lagoon end of the resort rather than the pool end although the lagoon has its own pool anyway. "For more mature guests" the young man who led us to our room said –could have killed him till he said “away from children”! We discovered that we had to book all our evening dinners and that most of the favourite times had gone so we ended up booking the Italian Trattoria for 8.15pm. Not all the restaurants are open as it is low season i.e. rainy. There was a sudden huge down pour late in the afternoon. We tried the bar before dinner which I think is a bit soulless and the drinks are expensive. Thank heaven we brought our own wine left over from our supermarket shop in Port Douglas! The food in the Italian was good enough but there wasn't the atmosphere as it was only half full. We could have tried pitching up earlier without booking with reception and probably have got in when it was livelier. Unfortunately there was a problem with the air con later in our room, which meant we had a sleepless night due to noises off occurring every 10 minutes and disrupting any attempt at sleep. After complaining the next day a cheerful engineer was dispatched to sort out the problem, which he did. The breakfast buffet was very good, the fresh melon being particularly tasty. Later in the morning we walked down to the Marina where they regularly feed the fish. We saw some really lovely tropical fish and a large Queensland Grouper called Jacko who weighs about 150 kilos. After this we did the walk over to Blue Pearl Bay, which is only otherwise reachable by boat. It is a steep walk over the mountain requiring very good walking shoes I was very glad we took our walking sticks and bottles of water. There was a lovely viewing spot along the way of the Whitsunday Islands. A short sharp shower occurred on the way up but by the time we had got rain coats on it had ceased. We were the only people on this beach which had some lovely shells and pebbles to collect as souvenirs. After a short rest our Canadian friends arrived with guide all ready to go snorkelling. Not being our favourite activity we headed back over the mountain getting very hot on the way and really ready for the cold beer at the pool bar when we staggered in there! For dinner we joined the Canadians in the Oriental restaurant. The food and the setting here were superb- the oysters, Pad Thai and red curry all excellent. The following day we decided to give up the idea of walking all around the island which would have taken a good 4 hours with no facilities on the way. Instead we opted for the garden tour with the head gardener who took 4 of us on a very interesting tour around the extensive gardens giving us the history of the Hayman Island and pointing out all the lovely orchids and other tropical plants which at some point have all been transported to the Island- a huge undertaking. The lagoon has two swans which have had cygnets one of which has survived. A mate is going to be provided for him when he is older. There are lots of varieties of birds on the several lagoons along with very cheeky cockatoos who come to breakfast hoping to dive in and steal from the unwary. It is a beautiful setting with lots of water activities, but we spent the rest of the time relaxing by the pool bar, on our balcony or on loungers by our nearest pool. However I still do not think that this resort comes up to what we have come to expect at the Dhara Dhevi in Chiang Mai. For one thing, the constant fall of leaves would have been constantly brushed away and the pools would have been cleaner. However I presume staff are more expensive in Australia than Thailand. A lot of the young staff here are on 6 month internships of Hospitality Management. Some of the older staff have been here for several years and there are the usual students enjoying working in an exotic location with cheap access to water sports on their days off. Our last night's dinner is to be in the Azure restaurant where we have breakfast and it is to be a buffet at $90 a head plus drinks. We hear it is good and at that price it had better be!

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9th February 2013


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