Long Island is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful islands in the Whitsunday group. The island offers three distinct resorts to island guests.
Archaeological evidence demonstrates that the aboriginal Ngaro people inhabited Long Island for as long as 8,000 years.
The first European settlers were shipwrecked onto the island in the 1820s after their boat was damaged on a reef offshore. Unable to fix the ship, the crew of almost 60 lived on the island for three months before being rescued by another boat.
The island remained uninhabited until Carl Alderman moved onto the island in 1921 to grow bananas.
Long Island has hilly terrain and is about nine kilometers long. The island is covered by dense vine and eucalyptus forest. The island, along with a couple of neighbouring islands, together make up the Molle Islands National Park.
Activities (Nature and Wildlife Interest)
- Walking: With 13 kilometers of graded walking trails within the island’s National Park, hikers can see stunning vistas, secluded beaches, and dense vegetation, and find hikes to match their fitness level, from easy 30-minute jaunts to more challenging trails.
- Water sports: swimming, snorkeling (with a fringing reef just 150 meters from the beach), diving, water skiing, parasailing, cruising, kayaking, paddle-boating, game fishing, tube riding, dinghy hire
- Land sports: tennis, mini putt, basketball, beach volleyball, fishing off the jetty with a hard line (for an added cost the chef will cook any catch!)
- Viewing wildlife: Many opportunities exist to see wildlife, including sea turtles, dolphins, hundreds of species of birds and tropical fish, wallabies, goannas, bush turkeys, curlews, among many others
- Scenic seaplane or helicopter tours
Long Island has three major resorts, two of which have recently been refurbished.
Ocean Hotels Long Island Resort is a couples- and family-oriented resort that overlooks Happy Bay.
- Accommodation: All rooms are air-conditioned and have a balcony, with either garden- or beachfront views. Additionally, the lodge rooms offer a budget accommodation option.
- Facilities: swim-up pool bar, restaurant, café, two pools, spa, live evening entertainment, kids club, games room, sauna, gym
Peppers Palm Bay is a boutique resort which has the capacity for just 42 guests. This hotel focuses on guests taking a break from the outside world, and the resort does not have telephones, televisions, or internet access.
- Accommodation: Guests can choose from 24 secluded air-conditioned cabins, bungalows, bures and suites, almost all of which lead directly to the resort’s private beach and all of which have a private balcony.
- Facilities: outdoor swimming pool, spa, restaurant, kayaks, tennis court, DVD room, library, business services, five inner and two outer moorings
Paradise Bay Eco Resort is located on the island’s southern shore, and it is open to just twenty guests at a time (and no day visitors). This secluded luxury resort can only be reached by boat, helicopter, or seaplane. This resort pampers its satisfied guests. The resort has been placed on Frommers Travel Guide’s top 10 list for best “alternative accommodations” every year for the past seven years.
- Accommodation: Guests stay in waterfront bungalows.
- Facilities: Restaurant; daily island explorations aboard the resort’s catamaran dedicated exclusively for guest use, kayaks, sail boat, library
As well, yachties can safely anchor offshore at Palm Bay and Happy Bay. In fact these bays offer the closest safe anchorages to nearby Shute Harbour.
A camp ground is located on Sandy Bay on the western shore of the island.
Travelers can reach Long Island via Hamilton Airport (Hamilton Island) or Proserpine Airport (mainland).
Daily flights operate from major cities to both Hamilton Airport and Proserpine.
Chartered seaplane trips can be arranged for a scenic entrance to the island.
Water taxis and ferries transport passengers from Hamilton Island to Long Island in 30 minutes.
From the mainland, a 30-minute coach or taxi drops travelers off at Shute Harbour or Abel Point Marina for a 20-minute ferry to the island.