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BNE March/April 2017 |

21

volunteers at a time, so I’m generally training a new group every two

weeks. They come from all over the world: France, Germany, Spain,

Finland, Sweden, Britain and across Australia and New Zealand.

For Alain Codino, 30, a taxi driver fromMarseille, France, Lisa

Marie Jousellin, 32, a mechanic from Bretagne, also in France, and

Mariella Tusino, 33, a ‘Jill of all trades’ from San Severo in Italy, the

experience has proved life-changing. They have discovered the wonders

of the Great Barrier Reef and a new-found passion to pursue careers in

tourism and hospitality.

“I am learning a lot about myself and I have found a certain

serenity on the island. The calm and authenticity; bungalows right

at the ocean; no shops; no cars… just the sound of the birds and the

ocean,” says Lisa Marie.

Around 40 per cent of Palm Bay Resort guests also flock from

overseas, with many from Asia, Europe, South America and most

recently America and Canada.

Long Island’s ‘local celebrities’ are the resident wildlife, from bush

stone-curlews to tawny frogmouths, rock wallabies and goannas and

marine life is similarly abundant around the island.

The resort is located on the neck of Long Island (which is about 9km

long and 2km across its widest point) sitting at the narrowest point, just

400 metres wide.

“It’s brilliant because you can walk from one side to the other and

see dolphins, turtles, rays, dugongs and, in winter months, whales

breaching out the front and back of the resort,” Caroline says.

“You can also watch the sun rise on the eastern side of the island

and set on the western side while you’re sitting having a cocktail. Just

in front of the resort there’s 300 metres of beautiful coral which is

unspoiled. The colours are amazing and there is lots of marine life there.

“You can swim out from the beach or take one of the resort’s kayaks

and tie it to a buoy, jump off and snorkel or take a paddle boat which

people often use for fishing.” Fantasy Island found!

You can watch the sun rise on

the eastern side of the island and

watch it set on the western side

while you’re sipping a cocktail

STAY AND PLAY

There’s plenty to do on Long Island (catering to all traveller

types), from spa treatments to snorkelling and use of the

resort’s paddle boats and kayaks; fishing, hikes along 13km

of graded walking trails within the island’s National Park;

tennis; or simply catching up on some sleep. Caroline and

her staff can also book add-on tours and adventures such

as a day cruise aboard a rare Australian heritage yacht

(‘Lady Enid’) or a seaplane/helicopter flight over iconic

Heart Reef. See

www.palmbayresort.com.au

Whitsunday Paradise Explorer

has teamed up with the

resort to provide intimate day trips for a maximum of eight

passengers. Locals John and Jacqui Henderson launched

the business last year, using a rigid inflatable boat to easily

access ‘hidden gem’ locations, including just the place

to witness a sunset in view of 27 of the Whitsundays’ 74

islands, or, in winter months, be surrounded by whales.

See

www.whitsundayparadiseexplorer.com

Fly direct between Brisbane andWhitsunday

Coast with Jetstar, Tigerair and Virgin Australia.

Images: Tourism and Events Queensland