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“Like having your own private island” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Wilson Island

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Wilson Island
4.0 of 5 Specialty Resort   |   72 kms north east of Gladstone, Wilson Island, Queensland QLD 474, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Vancouver
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
75 helpful votes 75 helpful votes
“Like having your own private island”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

Our family toured Australia this past Dec/January and stayed two nights at Wilson Island. We had just spent two nights at Heron Island and they couldn't have been more different! We were very happy to land on Wilson! ( I have reviewed Heron Island in a different posting). We are a family of four and our sons are aged 11 and 16.

The boat ride between Heron and Wilson takes roughly 40 minutes and was fairly calm when we went over to Wilson and a bit rougher, although fun, when we returned to Heron. The Captain was lovely and let my sons and I steer the boat.

Our first glance of Wilson was heaven. The colours are simply amazing. The entire beach is made of coral and is glistening white against brilliant blue water. It is so peaceful. There are some scattered beach chairs but otherwise you are immersed in nature.

We were met by Marg who is warm and friendly. She takes care of the tents and the guests while her husband, Lindsay, does the cooking. There are 6 tents on the Island for a maximum of 12 guests. My husband and I were assigned "Rapture" tent and our sons got "Tranquility". The tents are lovely, especially when you consider the remoteness of the Island. They have decks with a hammock and chair. They are fully screened and have a King bed, a chest for placing things, a hanging area and side tables with clip on lamps (battery operated) There is no electricity. I preferred our sons' tent as it had the most lovely breeze and was a lot cooler than the other tents. It was set on the other side of the dining hall but had good access to the dining hall and the bathrooms. It also had some lovely stone "chairs" set into the beach which I spent hours sitting on. They were remarkably comfortable.

The bathhouse is also nice. Each tent has its own shower and dressing area. They are nicely done. Then there are 3 bathrooms to share. We never had a problem having to wait. The one thing to remember is that you are in the middle of nature and we shared our shower with a Huntsman spider that I named "Helen". Each time I went to the bathroom, I made a point of banging around to alert any wildlife that I was entering. I took very quick showers as I am not fond of insects.

The food was great, especially after Heron!! Lindsay does an amazing job, as most of the reviews will attest. We had tenderloin, we had lamb (sooooo good!) we had fish, prawns, etc. For breakfast he would make you whatever you wanted. The bacon was fabulous. The bbq gives it a great flavour! He also pulled off amazing desserts. I loved the fact that it was casual and felt like your own home. There was a variety of snacks out at all times, including chocolate bars in the fridge. Cold chocolate is very good in the heat! There was a nice variety of wines and champagne, etc. It was very relaxing and comfortable. Every evening, Marg would set up canapes and drinks at the beach and then after we would wander up for a 3 course dinner. I was full the entire time!

We spent our days being lazy. We walked around the island (10 minutes), we snorkled and we suntanned. The days flew by. The highlight, by far, was the turtles. We had been very sad to not see the turtles on Heron, whereas all our dreams were satisfied on Wilson. Lindsay and Marg will advise you the best times to go and look and then go out with you to help you find them. Mind you, you could almost trip over the turtles there were so many of them. The first night we watched a Mother dig her hole and lay her eggs on the path where we'd had cocktails 1 hour before. Later that evening we saw another turtle in the process of covering her hole. The next day, at about 7 am, Marg informed me that Lindsay had just returned from a walk and seen turtles still on the beach. We rushed down and had the pleasure of seeing 2 turtles returning to the ocean. It was so magical. It was the highlight of the trip. You were literally 2 feet away from a turtle laying her eggs. Unlike Heron, Marg and Lindsay taught us how to respect the turtles and what the appropriate distance to keep was, etc.

The other guests were all lovely. The first night we were a "full house" of a total of 12 guests. The second night we were down to just 6; our family and another couple. Everyone was relaxed and interesting. In the evenings we shared travel experiences and played board games. Usually I wouldn't chose to linger at the end of the evening with strangers but it was a lovely group of people.

Things I liked: Nearly everything!!! It is such a beautiful island - it is a treasure. The tents and dining room are very attractive and the food and hospitality were fabulous! The turtles were simply amazing. It was the viewing of a lifetime. During the day, with only 12 people on the island, you felt like you were the only person there. The only time that everyone came together was at dinner, and then it was to share our adventures. Our kids really enjoyed their time there.

The mutton bird - OMG!!!!!! They are extraordinary!!!!! They don't come out until dark and then they just sit on the path and don't move. Apparently they have very poor eyesight and they are extremely clumsy. They live in burrows in the ground and they seem to stay up all night making their peculiar haunting sound. It sounded like "campy ghosts" combined with wailing babies. It really defies explanation. You certainly do hear it most of the night, but it is such a unique, intriguing, albeit slightly annoying sound, that you don't really mind. I did sleep with earplugs to a slight improvement. The mutton birds would fly into the dining hall and crash into cupboards. They are so clumsy!! I went to the bathroom in the middle of the night and walked through the dining hall. They were a pile of broken wine glasses on the sand floor that they'd flown into. They were extraordinary! I loved them!

Things I didn't like: There are bugs. Fact of life. I only saw my spider once, but there was an awareness that she was there. I awoke one morning to find about 27 mini ants on my toothbrush. Easily remedied by a wash in the sink. It was a bit warm at night - again, you are in the tropics!

I would absolutely recommend Wilson as a relaxing break from reality and stress. The nature is incredible and if you are lucky enough to be there during turtle laying and/or hatching - it will be the memory of a lifetime!!!

Room Tip: I liked my sons' room - Tranquility. It had a gorgeous breeze all day and while being set apart...
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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53 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (10)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne
Senior Contributor
42 reviews 42 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

As soon as we arrived on the island we were welcomed by our hosts, Gerri and Lyndsey, who made us feel comfortable and relaxed immediately. This tiny island is beautiful. The snorkelling just of the beach is great. There is an abundance of marine life and bird life around the island. The tents are lovely. We had a beautiful view of the ocean and it was so relaxing to fall asleep listening to the sound of the waves. The shower and toilet block is not far from the tents and is very clean. We really enjoyed the communal dining experience. It was great to get to know the other guests and as there is maximum of only 12 guests at a time you never felt surrounded by too many people. Most of the time we felt we had the whole island to ourselves. The food that Lyndsey cooked for us each day was spectacular. We looked forward to each meal. He can do such amazing things with a BBQ and a gas burner. I can honestly say that Wilson Island is the most relaxing holiday I’ve ever had. It was paradise and will definitely return. I hope it never changes!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 15, 2012

What an amazing place; you are spoilt with the attention from the staff.

The chef does great things with first class ingredients and is 5 star level food that would be available at a 'plated' restaurant.

But the highlight is the reef and thousands of fish that lie just 2 metres off the beach

The tents are very comfortable and surprising cool.....

Don't tell too many people, but this is the best snorkelling location I've ever seen

Room Tip: There is a pool - the clean blue ocean and for fitness, if you aren't getting a work out fro...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Southampton, United Kingdom
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 17, 2012

We feel absolutely privelaged to have had 4 nights on Wilson Island towards the end of our Australia trip for our honeymoon. The island truly is a unique experience that if at all within your means and something you think you may like we couldnt recommend enough. On our first night there was 9 guests, who were all lovely people, the island seems to attract a certain person because of the type of experience they are providing. The next 3 nights, we had the island all to ourselves, apart from our lovely hosts ofcourse! Which was amazing. Amazing food, views, animals, snorkelling, sunsets, sunrises and hosts make this island truly special. Some people may think that the lack of electricity/phone service etc is a problem, but it really made us appreciate that the best things in life are all around us, and whilst my new wife would normally hate to be away from her hair straigheners and hair dryer she enjoyed being able to just shower, tie it up, and go and enjoy the island. We had incredibly good weather whilst we were there, so I couldnt comment on the experience if it rained, but I am sure the hosts would have made it special no matter what the weather. I really hope they are reading this and know that they absolutely made our honeymoon a trip of a lifetime, thanks guys!

Andy & Michelle Richardson

p.s. Lynsey if your reading this, I am watching sons of anarchy on your recommendation and its brilliant!!

p.p.s We are both still struggling to loose the weight we put on eating your amazing meals 1 month on!

Room Tip: We stayed in Rapture! Felt very private but close to amenities! Great view of the ocean.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Calgary, Canada
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
35 helpful votes 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 27, 2012

Stayed May 17/18 as part of Heron/Wilson trip. Wilson just fantastic all round. Stayed in the Rapture tent but can't imagine any better or worse. Yes the comments on communal bathroom, Longhouse single main eating table all correct but as long as you know that the approach to the island is great. We had us and 2 other couples first night and then just us and one other couple the other night. Great conversation and then rest of time all on your own. Snorkeling just off beach unbelievable. However, the last morning the cook got us up at 6am to see mother turtle laying eggs. Wow wow wow. Felt like a National Geographic event. Staff great and cook was super. Strongly recommend this. Boat ride only 30 min but for sure a tad bumpy so hang on.

Room Tip: Can't imagine it matters other than some are a little closer to the central washroom building th...
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  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NSW, Australia
Top Contributor
174 reviews 174 reviews
64 hotel reviews
Reviews in 84 cities Reviews in 84 cities
118 helpful votes 118 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 17, 2012

We spent four days/three nights at Wilson Island. We had debated a number of locations for this time and decided on Wilson for the isolation, the snorkling and the possibility of seeing baby turtles make their way to sea - we were not dissapointed on any account.

There is no phone reception, no internet, and a maximum of 12 people at any time. We had a maximum of 10 with us, and the only time you saw someone was in the longhouse at meal times, occassionally on the main beach and once we bumped into a couple on one of the paths.

The food was fantastic, you could help yourself to drinks and snacks through the day and the snorkling with turtles, reef sharks and schools of tropical fish was amazing. We had doubted that we would see the turtle hatchlings but were fortunate enough to see them on the first and final night.

If your looking at getting away from it all and want to spend some time chilling without being bored, then Wilson Island is the place to be.

Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 5, 2012

Wilsons is an absolute wild life paradise. Go there just for that - birds of all kinds rule the place, and those turtles are absolutely magical creatures - well worth it. A couple of things you need to be aware though. Do not expect luxury - tents are comfortable; you will have your own shower, but not your own toilet. Showers and toilets are located in a single building in the island, so depending on the location of your tent, it may take you a couple of minutes to actually get there... that's not very convenient, particularly not in the middle of the night. Food is good, without being great - the chef is a miracle worker though, because he cooks very decent meals on a couple of bbqs (this island has no professional kitchen facilities/equipment). Finally, and perhaps most importantly - despite this island being so isolated and despite that there are only 6 tents (hence max of 12 visitors), it is surprising just how much time you will spend in a 'communal' living and how little privacy you actually get. This is because there are no separate tables in the lunch room; there is only one big communal table. Whether you like it or not, you inevitably will be drawn into a conversation with other people. That's not necessarily a bad thing at all - I love a good joke with a group of friends - it just depends on what kind of expectations you had for your stay. If you look for some isolation and total privacy, Wilsons is not where you get to have it. On the other hand, you get to meet some interesting people. All depends on what you are after.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Wilson Island

Address: 72 kms north east of Gladstone, Wilson Island, Queensland QLD 474, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Wilson Island
Amenities:
Beach
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Specialty Lodging in Wilson Island
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Wilson Island 4*
Number of rooms: 6
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Also Known As:
Wilson Island Hotel Wilson Island
Voyages Hotel Wilson Island
Voyages Resort Wilson Island

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