BNE March/April 2017 |
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. Seewww.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.
Fly direct between Brisbane andWhitsunday
Coast with Jetstar, Tigerair and Virgin Australia.
Images: Tourism and Events Queensland