GBR / Whitsundays Suggestions Needed

Mar 8th, 2009, 08:47 AM
  #1  
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GBR / Whitsundays Suggestions Needed

Will be heading to Australia from the US in late August through late Sept to accompany my mother (mid-80s) to visit her homeland and relatives in Queensland, primarily Mackay to Townsville region. We'd like to spend a few nights on one of the islands but are unsure which one (things have changes a lot since she was there). As a kid, I remember great times at Happy Bay on Long Island (the only island I've visited). We know we do not want to visit Hamilton and cannot afford the pricey Hayman.

I'd like to be where we can easily get a tour out to the outer reef. Obviously, no diving for us. And I'd prefer not to be in a crazy-busy place like Hamilton.

Any suggestions for us? Thanks for any help you can give.
elnap29 is offline  
Mar 8th, 2009, 02:16 PM
  #2  
 
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Recent topic has some info about the islands.
http://www.fodors.com/community/aust...-islands-2.cfm
Hamilton as ill thought of by many as it is would certainly offer many more facilities for comfort of a mid 80s mother but if she/you are after something more relaxed, a smaller island resort would be that.

Some of the smaller islands do get poorly rated from time to time, lack of visitors, cash flow and age all combining to have them not as spruced and vibrant as in their heydays.
An acquaintance was on Long Is. last year and seems it was the low of an otherwise great trip to NQ - thus, report was:

" After Cairns we flew to Townsville and rented a car and drove to Airlie Beach which gave us the chance to check out the countryside a bit. The reason we went to Airlie Beach was to board a 3 night cruise on the Pacific Sunrise sail boat which we had previously arrranged from home. The Pacific Sunrise is a 125' beautiful sailboat that cruises the Whitsunday Islands. There were only 15 passengers and half a dozen crew so it was a really very nice and personal experience. We were treated so exceptionally well and I highly recommend this cruise to anyone considering the Whitsundays. On our cruise we visited the famed Whitehaven Beach, which is spectacular. We snorkeled at different locations and just had a wonderful time overall.

After the cruise we went to Long Island which is also in the Whitsundays and stayed for 3 nights at Long Island Resort. That was not so great. The setting is wonderful with tons of tropical birds and wildlife walking around but the resort itself is mediocre at best. The staff was less than welcoming and the food overall was not that good."

Maybe if a cruise fits the budget it could offer a great experience.

As to islands generally we've got TC Hamish cruising down the Queensland coast, already passed to ocean side of islands with strong winds, high seas etc. but no reports yet on any particular islands damages but again the smaller resorts with cash flow could take longer to have any damage fixed - bit like the old corner store Vs shopping malls. http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDQ65002.shtml

Cruises pick-up from Long Is. and most resorts, Fantasea I suspect has best facilities to suit your mother - http://www.oceanhotels.com.au/longisland/reeftours.htm

As smaller islands go, maybe Daydream ought to be considered - http://www.daydreamisland.com/
Bushranger is offline  
Mar 8th, 2009, 03:11 PM
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Talk about drawing a long bow with talk of cyclone damage to Whitsunday Island resorts, states of repair & the cash flow situation on the islands.
Is there nothing you don't know Dorrie?
Elnap29 isn't travelling until Aug/Sept. & struggle to see how TC Hamish will affect their visit.
Been a while since I have visited Long, Daydream, South Molle & Hamilton but my favourite was Daydream and rates were reasonable with good facilities.
Webboe is offline  
Mar 8th, 2009, 03:29 PM
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You do need to open your mind some ducky one.

Just put what thinking powers you can to work and consider
1. a resort gets bashed up a bit by the cyclone
2. resort has little capital and a small cash flow ever reducing at moment because of GEC = global economic crunch
3. even with insurance cover, smaller resorts will have to line up with all damaged locations re trades/materials resources being available.

And Ducky!, did you know August is only five months away?
Bushranger is offline  
Mar 8th, 2009, 04:21 PM
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Dorrie you never cease to amaze with your knowledger about all things Australia.
I think YOUR mind is beginning to wander a tad;

1. There have been no reports of extensive damage from Hamish to ANY islands along the Qld. coast.
2. Which island resorts have little capital & small cash flow? No guessing now, name some names.
3. No matter the size of the resort you don't need to repair something that isn't broken. Which resorts have received substantial damage?

Perhaps you should have read what BOM Regional Director Jim Davidson said this morning;
Queenslanders have been very fortunate that it has been about 150km off the coast," Mr Davidson said.

"It would only have to have been another 50 or so kilometres closer to the coast for there to have been quite significant damage."

"It's a very small cyclone, very compact, so the very destructive core might only extend out 70 or 80km from its centre."

An Oracle you are not dear Dorrie, however good to see you can count!
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Mar 8th, 2009, 04:42 PM
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Hm-mm...Brings up the question: When is "Cyclone Season" over?? What will the weather be like late August into September?

Details about the islands are most useful. I appreciate any information. (By the way, I did see on the web that Heron and Great Keppel were temporarily closed due to C. Hamish).

Webboe, please tell me a bit about what you liked about Daydream Is. Thanks.
Also, any details about South Molle? Brampton? Others?
Or daytours?
elnap29 is offline  
Mar 8th, 2009, 05:31 PM
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The cyclone or monsoon season runs from November to early April. August & September in the Whitsunday's should see warm sunny weather, with average max temps from 24C - 26C & minimums from 17C - 20C. August & Sept have the 2 lowest average rainfall levels with about 20mm.
I enjoyed the close proximity of Daydream to the mainland departure point Airlie Beach (Shute Harbour), the pool area, the water sports, restaurants etc. As I said though it has been some time since I have been there though so would hope that you can receive some more updated comments.
South Molle was more budget orientated but a much larger island than Daydream with good hiking tracks, secluded beaches & a golf course.
Long Island was the most budget of the lot but with a nice beach & relaxed atmosphere. All depends on your budget I guess.
Yes some of the islands were evacuated as a cautionary measure but the danger appears to have passed.
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Mar 8th, 2009, 06:51 PM
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Ducky,
I'll send you a calendar in braile if you like for it damm seems as if your eyesight is failing
I posted:
" As to islands generally we've got TC Hamish cruising down the Queensland coast, already passed to ocean side of islands with strong winds, high seas etc. but no reports yet on any particular islands damages but again the smaller resorts with cash flow could take longer to have any damage fixed - bit like the old corner store Vs shopping malls. http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDQ65002.shtml "

Now I have not stated that there has been any damge reported or what level could have been sustained.

Now, so you expect Long Island to have as much cash flow as Daydream or Daydream as much as Hayman or Hayman as much as Hamilton etc., just Economics101 on size.

Sorry!, you can't read!

And of course the danger has subsided Billdill for the cyclone has gone south!, about where your brains are.
Bushranger is offline  
Mar 8th, 2009, 07:25 PM
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Dorrie,
On a seperate thread regarding the GBR islands you recently stated


"Some may have some recovery to get over as there's a cyclone just finishing its meander down the Queensland Coast - http://www.bom.gov.au/products/IDQ65002.shtml , already passed on seaward side of most islands but still strong winds and seas and damage unknown at this stage".

Now forgive me for questioning your twisted logic, but your comments above & the previous comments you have made, would indicate that there has been substantial damage on island resorts along the coast. If you are suggesting that now there hasn't been any damage why would you state on more than one occassion that, "some may have some recovery to get over" to both posters requesting assistance for GBR island stays in August & September!! Which as you so nicely advised was 5 months away! You would think any repairs that take 5 months would be substantial, wouldn't you?
You said
"Now I have not stated that there has been any damage reported or what level could have been sustained".

No but you have certainly implied it.

You are scaremongering and as always feel the need to be important & the font of all knowledge.
But don't let us stop you we all get a good giggle!
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Mar 8th, 2009, 09:50 PM
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De Ducky de Dummie
Yes, anybody would forgive you, well most people anyway who are prepared to suffer fools.

If you read "no reports on any damage" and "some may have recovery to get over" I think they are comments consistent with the possibility of damage, be it structural, beach erosion or the island environment.

You may want to jump to conclusions but I have nowhere stated anything about what the extent of the damage may be.

Now I've been following the BOM tracking and so do you want to be a little more specific on where you feel that Davidsons claim of it being 150 km. off the coast was and do you expect he has been out to check on the island resorts?
Have there been any reports yet on what levels of damage may have been sustained?
I do know that a long way further from the cyclone path than what the islands were we've had winds building in strength for 24 hours and they'll likely be with us for another 24 hours and not too much stronger and they could get to damaging stage.
Do you have experience in the logistics of materials and trades resources for the islands? or even detailed knowledge on their finances?
and on
""Now I have not stated that there has been any damage reported or what level could have been sustained".

No but you have certainly implied it."
No DdeD, you are stating I imply it.

I am more than happy to await information on what has happened at any island locations, this cyclone at times having being rated as higher in strength than Cyclone Larry three years ago and how long did they have recovery teams around Innisfail DdeD?, that being the mainland!

I would hardly be scaremongering about a cyclone now for someone 5 months away from travelling there but I do believe it is pertinent for people to be aware and if they want to seek knowledge from any locations that may be intended to visit - that to me is a reasonable approach, whether it is to you or not and I am not really concerned on how you feel about it.

Anybody who views your posts will see a very common trait in them and that again is of no concern to me for I am quite happy for them to assess you on your posts just as they can me on mine.

People are ROTFLTCAO about you DdeD.
Bushranger is offline  
Mar 8th, 2009, 10:26 PM
  #11  
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Hey, Guys...this forum is supposed to be FUN! (and helpful) so I'll just decipher your info as best I can, OK? Please, no more head-bashing and one-up-manship. It's all OK, really, and I do appreciate all the info you each provide.
Thanks.
elnap29 is offline  
Mar 8th, 2009, 11:57 PM
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Cash flow problems, well Vaughn Bullivant didn't seem to worried about his islands woes (Daydream when lat saw him although he was concerned about all the money he has in the bank despite his penchant for wasting it.

Bob Oatley certainly doesn't seem to have any cash flow problems either and his island seems to be coping and unfortunately expanding to another.

Craig Ross from South Molle didn't seem to have to many money hassle4s when I saw him in Airlie the other day and his cruise boats are all full so he must be doing alright.

The only island here that has cash flow problems is Hook Island resort which funnily enough seems to be Dorries favortite. It is owned by David mariner and is shonky and dirty and in bad need of maintenance,but I would never recommend it, not even to Bushranger.

Bushranger if you don't know, don't say, you talk to much crap, but it is slightly amusing.

Elnap why stay on one island when you can see them all. cruise for a couple of days and you'll love it. You won't go near the resort islands you'll dsee the best ones, the pristine islands with no buildings and that is the best that we have to offer. Plenty of boats to suit all budgets and styles of travel. Come and see the real Whitsundays, not the resorts, it is amazing. cheers airlian
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Mar 9th, 2009, 01:37 PM
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Could anyone suggest some tours/cruises as Airlian suggested? Which companies? Any recommended websites?
elnap29 is offline  
Mar 10th, 2009, 03:33 PM
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elnap29 I hope you got to read airlian's last post before it was taken off. It offered some excellent advice on your best options for more information on cruising/sailing around the islands.
Perhaps airlian could repost the links just in case you didn't see them.


To the Moderator; I do not understand why airlian's comments were deleted & some of the nasty & at times personal comments from Bushranger remain. An explanantion & some consistency would be appreciated.
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Mar 10th, 2009, 09:07 PM
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The Whitsundays is arguably the mecca of Australian liesure sailing though there is plenty done further south too, but more with private owners whereas Whitsundays caters to the tourist/holiday maker market.
www.australiantallships.com.au "Solway Lass" if still operating there was rebuilt from an old Coal Barge, all but a burnt shell remnant on the Yarra River, a bit basic and once catered to backpackers for cheap cruises.
www.ozsail.com.au , www.soxsail.com.au and www.classicsailingwhitsundays.com have similar vessels, some more upmarket.

www.whitsundaysailing.com.au , www.sailing-whitsundays.com , whitsundayholidays.com.au and www.blueparadisesailing.com.au are other sites.

I would not propose to point you in the direction of any one particular operator as no one will have in depth knowledge of the complete Whitsunday fleet despite what may be claimed/said and as you can see there is such an expansive range of options, most sites listing prices and so you are better to make a choice yourself.

http://ozadventuresailing.com.au/ is another and there was a general info site I used once that listed some boats and standby cruise rates, but August/September is within peak season and standby discounts could be few and far between, and to get what you want it'll be best to book ahead.
Bushranger is offline  
Mar 10th, 2009, 09:51 PM
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elnap29 the links listed above are links only with no back up or more in depth information offered. Follow these & I believe you will be creating confusion & unnecessary work for yourself.
As airlian lives in the region & is obviously involved in sailing around the Whitsunday's I would value his opinion above those who don't & aren't.
I wish I could help more but my knowledge about this region is limited pretty much to the islands, & unlike others I won't comment on subjects that I know little about.
Good luck with finding the best options available to you.
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Mar 12th, 2009, 02:51 AM
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Good one Bushranger.
ozadventuresailing.com.au ceases operation on the 1st April, so that is a great link. It is aq company that advertises it's own boats and noone elses. It is a coop for boat owners. I thought you'd know that considering that you continually push them even for GBR daytrips which they don't do.
Your other links are indvidual companies and I am sure you would get unbiased opinions from them. No doubt they would let you know if another company had the best optiion for you, yeah right.
www.whitsundaysailing.com.au is a state wide site that doesn't specialise in The Whitsundays so why would you use a company that is based 1000km's away and more than likely have never seen the boats let alone know them.
www.sailing-whitsundays.com owners also own around 5 boats so no guesses which boats they will recommend. He is also a director of the nearly defunct Ozadventure sailing group so I'm sure there would be unbiased advice there.
www.blueparadisesailing.com.au never heard of these guys and I notice they have no phone contact details so they aren't local. At least they seem to have a good range of cruises including the very bottom dwellers, but still doubting their knowledge.

Now I know you know everything but how do you know what sort of knowledge the agents I recommended have. Why can't anybody have in depth knowledge of the sailing market. I personally could rattle off the names of the entire fleet available here from all of the companies, are you telling me a local agent that makes their livelyhood out of these vessels can't have that same knowledge, sorry you are wrong.

Again for the best advice contact a LOCAL Whitsunday agent.
Libby & Bob www.whitsundayaccommodation.net
Kerry www.vacationsaustralia.com
Mike&Tina www.whitsundaybookings.com
All are LOCAL and know what they represent.
You will get the best advice from these guys. They don't own any boats and they represent all of the companies here, what more can you ask for. The best boat for your needs. cheers airlian
airlian is offline  
Mar 12th, 2009, 02:58 AM
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By the way Solway Lass is a Dutch built vessel mad of German Blue steel and served WW1 on the German side before serving WW11 on the allies side and being refirbed for the tall ship bicentennial celebrations in Sydney in 1988. She is a good old vessel and still does an excellent 3day/3night island trip. Probably more for the younger brigade although she can have a good mix of demographics on her. She is around 105 years old and still looking good. airlian
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Mar 12th, 2009, 05:30 AM
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Of the three sites you have there airlian
. first gives an address at Mt Julian
. second has that particular look about it
. and third comes up with "Oops it appears broken"

You do know do you not that a site gives an impression of professionalism just as a post here can and there's still something very fishy but Mt Julian! - its a long way from the beach - seems like you're promoting backyard home office organisations.

elnap29, I would be very wary of dealing with people on any of those sites that airlian mentions - like if someone is running a business from Mt Julian, that's rather odd!

If you want a more central, general booking agency
http://www.whitsundays.com.au/ is another and as for airlians knowledge, on another thread he opebly admits to never having heard of Daintree Air which is quite a prominent tourism as well as a flight organisation.

I posted above that there is a huge range of sailing options available, and I have not posted anywhere near what is available, a lot of those companies you can book with diectly yourself but do some searching yourself and you'll quickly pick up on what may be an organisation you want to deal with as against home operators looking to cash in on the tourism trade.
Bushranger is offline  
Mar 12th, 2009, 01:19 PM
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Mt Julian is a Whitsunday suburb on the main road from Proserpine into Airlie Beach. The only thing fishy about Mt. Julian is the barra we catch from Myrtle creek. Did you look at the site, unlike your links it actually has a shop and tourist info centre. None of your links do besides www.sailing-whitsundays.com which again is ownerd by someone that owns 5 boats here.

Who is recommending the backyard businesses. These guys are actual travel agents again unlike any or your links, so they are covered by the TCF, the travel compensation fund.

Your latest link is another Aust. wide site that does not specialise in The Whitsundays.

I will check those links and put them back up for you.

Bushranger if they follow your advice they will be talking to someone 1000km's away from here, what advice can they give?
Elnap29 asked for advice, I gave my answer, you give yours. I know mine is the best option but in the end Elnap can choose whatever they want. I know who will do better for them Your answers are just to be argumentative. I know who I am recommending I bet you can't say the same. airlian
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