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!!!
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Wilson Island Hotel Wilson Island
- Voyages Hotel Wilson Island
- Voyages Resort Wilson Island