Whitsunday advice November 05

Old Apr 16th, 2005, 02:51 PM
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Whitsunday advice November 05

We are traveling to the area then and want to stay 3-4 nights on an island with good snorkeling from the beach, not too many kids (that is summer vacation time, correct?) at around $200 USD per night. Is there such a place? Daydream and South Molle might work, but sound as if they could be overrun with kids that time of year. Hayman and Lizard also sound nice but fairly expensive on first glance. Suggestions? (There will be two of us and our adult daughter who will be finishing up her semester of study in Melbourne)
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Old Apr 16th, 2005, 07:38 PM
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You probably don't realise it, but the Whitsunday area is quite touristy, (not saying that the islands are not nice, but plenty of people, especially Hamilton Island). My favourite is a bit further south, just out from Mackay....Brampton Island. You can snorkel out from the beach on Brampton, to view coral in the channel between Brampton & Carlisle Island, not the best coral to be found, but then neither is the coral around most continental islands in that region. Another island is Keswick Island, again off Mackay, and apparently has very good fringing coral reefs.
Now if you want a truly memorable coral reef island trip...why not try Heron Island, on the southern great barrier reef. Plenty of coral to view, from off the beach, in fact the whole island sits on a coral platform. Then whilst at Heron Island, do the Wilson Island 2 day stay, for something really interesting. Of course, one really has to enjoy coral, abundant birdlife, turtles laying eggs on the beach, to get the best out of Heron. Heron is really for the "lovers" of nature, and not for the nightlife.
Last week I again returned to Lady Musgrave Island (just off Agnes Waters/1770 townships - or 1.5 hrs drive north of Bundaberg), and was still a wonderful island. The americans & brits on our day trip, were simply blown away from the experience.
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Old Apr 17th, 2005, 07:21 AM
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Actually, Heron is one we had seriously considered, and Brampton as well. Please tell me which you'd choose if you had to make a decision. We really love to snorkel, do not crave late night nightlife, and simply love quiet beaches and tranquility.
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Old Apr 17th, 2005, 09:24 AM
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On more investigation, it looks like Brampton might suit our needs - can you tell me how rough the crossing is from Mackay out to the island?
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Old Apr 17th, 2005, 05:56 PM
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Really hard to choose between both islands, as they are different in so many ways. You wouldn't be disappointed with either island.
To give you an idea of both islands, firstly BRAMPTON is a continental island with fringing coral reefs, and one in the channel between Carlisle (this coral was brought in from the reef years ago). There are a lot of activiites, including bbqs, seafood nights, wine & cheese cruises, catamaran hire, boat hire, trips to the outer barrier reef, etc, etc. Because Brampton is off the beaten track, when compared with the Whitsundays, it doesn't get the daytripper crowds, or hordes of boaties visiting. The whole island, including nearby Carlisle Island is National park, and there are some wonderful walks around the island, and also to the peak. Its easy to walk & find a deserted beach.
Heron Island is more concentrated on wildlife, eg. turtles, birdlife, and coral reefs/diving, etc.
In regard to your question, about reaching Brampton island, you can either fly from Mackay to the island, or there is a boat from mackay over to the island. There is also a courtesy coach, which meets morning flights coming into Mackay, then transfers you to either the smaller plane, or to the marina, for the boat service.
I have never found the boat crossing to be rough.
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Old Apr 17th, 2005, 06:40 PM
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Thank you tropo. We are very much leaning towards Brampton and your input is helpful! My husband and daughter love hiking and beach walks and that is a big draw for them. I am pleased to hear that the island is off the beaten track. And finally, good to hear the crossing wasn't too bad for you. My husband tends towards motion sickness but has found ginger to work well in that instance so figuring a one-hour crossing will be fine. Thanks for all your help.
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Old Apr 18th, 2005, 12:06 PM
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Been to Brampton and Heron...both are wonderful, but very different. Snorkeling on Brampton doesn't hold a candle to Heron Island. But Brampton is bigger, offers more to do if underwater life isn't your main thing. Excellent (!) walks on Brampton to pristine secluded beaches. I thought accommodation and food on Heron were slightly more up-market, but still middle of the road compared with other Queensland islands, expense-wise. Boat ride to either island can be rough at times, similar duration.
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Old Apr 18th, 2005, 02:44 PM
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While I am content to do nothing but loll on a beach with a good book and beverage, either snorkeling or not snorkeling, husband and daughter love nature hikes and exploring. So Brampton sounds as if it will fit our needs. We have found that ginger tablets work wonders (on alaska cruise going through Queen Charlotte Islands, very rough! and in Western Caribbean during a ferocious storm! Both times did very well with our ginger tabs.)
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Old Apr 18th, 2005, 04:13 PM
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One more question regarding Brampton - when we make our decision, where best to book the resort? Through it's own website? Or is there a good agency that specializes in stays there? Thanks.
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Old Apr 18th, 2005, 09:42 PM
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Generally, the seas across to Brampton Island are not rough. I usually take 1-2 tablets (travelcalm) which work for hours. Last week my wife & I revisted Lady Musgrave Island. We left on the Spirit of 1770, out of the village of 1770, and because of strong winds 25 knots from the south west, and swell to 2.5 metres, they were advising all their passengers to take motion sickness tablets. A few decided not to, and guess what, they were sick as old sea dogs. At times the bow of the catamaran was nearly airborne. The captain said, had the swell been higher, he would cancelled the trip over.
As for Brampton Island, I would book the holiday through their website, or perhaps the Queensland Government Tourist Bureau, or even the Australian airline your travelling with, can do that also.
Have a great holiday
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Old May 17th, 2005, 06:07 AM
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Another question about this island - what is the jellyfish situation in late November? Are we going to have to stay out of the water, or wear suits when we want to snorkel?
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Old May 17th, 2005, 01:51 PM
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Many years since I've been to Brampton and can't remember box jelly fish situation. They are found in coastal waters, about north of the town of 1770 - season starts in Far North Qld 1st November, slightly later as you go further south. Brampton may be far enough off-shore not to be bothered by them at all, check with your resort and if there's any danger they'll supply stinger suits.
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