Wilson Island, Great Barrier Reef

Wilson Island is located just north of the Tropic of Capricorn, about 72km north east of Gladstone and 15 kilometres from nearby Heron Island. For those that are looking for a secluded peaceful holiday on an unspoiled tropical island, Wilson Island is hard to beat. It is a tiny coral cay sitting right on the Great Barrier Reef surrounded by pristine reef and beaches. Wilson Island accommodates a maximum of 12 guests who can enjoy fantastic snorkeling, island walks, reef walks, bird watching, or just relaxing in the beautiful peaceful setting. With the island only 250m from one side to the other, you really enjoy the island castaway experience. This would be a fabulous place for a honeymoon couple, or for those who just want to get away from it all for a while. Children 12 years and under are not catered for on Wilson Island.

Accommodation is in luxury tents next to the beach. There are six permanent tents, all secluded with reef and ocean outlooks. All Tents feature raised timber floors, king size bed with bedding, bedside tables, storage chest, battery-operated bedside lights and clock, deck chairs, towels, insect screening, daily housekeeping service. Each tent has its own designated private shower and dressing area in the central amenities building. Solar power allows for hot showers. Toilets are located in this building.

Activities on the island include reef walking, self-guided nature walk, watching turtles nesting and baby turtle hatchlings emerge from their nests, fantastic snorkeling just metres from the beach (equipment is provided), bird watching, glass bottom kayaks. Meals are served in The Longhouse, a central dining area and seating area for relaxing and socializing with a long table and an open style kitchen. All meals are included in the. Breakfast is a tropical buffet, with hot breakfasts cooked to order. Lunch is a smorgasbord which can be enjoyed in The Longhouse, or taken for a beach picnic. Dinner is served in The Longhouse and the dinner menu changes daily. Guests are free to make themselves at home in the Longhouse, and help themselves to the drinks , snacks and library. There are also board games and a library of educational books, novels, magazines and CDs. There is an open-sided Community Tent, with large day beds, magazines and binoculars . This is a great place to relax and take in the peaceful views.

The main attraction of Wilson Island is the reef with its clear waters and amazing variety of marine life, including colourful fish and coral and fish, with some of the best snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef. You walk down from your tent to the beach, and with metres from the edge of the water you are swimming amongst coral and fish. Within a short distance from the shore the water gets deeper and coral landscape is spectacular, with brightly coloured fish like parrotfish, clownfish and butterfly fish.

Throughout the year, there is always other interesting wildlife to see. The bird breeding season starts in July when the Eastern Reef Egrets start nesting. By the end of August the Black Noddies start arriving on island, growing in numbers through September. The Wedge-tailed Shearwaters (Mutton birds) return to the island and can be seen digging and repairing their nesting burrows in November. By the end of the year, the Noddies have chicks in their nests, and the Wedge-tailed Shearwaters have eggs. The bird breeding season peaks in January and February. By April, most of the Black Noddies leave the island and the last of the young Wedge-tail Shearwaters leave their burrows. The adult Wedge-tail Shearwaters depart, leaving behind the young birds which are still in the process of learning to fly. The young Shearwaters depart by the end of May. Wilson Island is closed between 26 January and February 28 for the bird nesting season. Black Noddies arrive on the island each year around September and start nesting. The Wedge-tailed Shearwaters (Mutton birds) arrive in October. The bird breeding season peaks around January breeding season for sea birds such as the Black Noddies, Wedge-tail Shearwater (Mutton Birds) and Eastern Reef Egrets.

Green Turtles and Loggerhead Turtles breed on Wilson Island. The breeding season begins in October with first eggs being laid in November. Egg laying continues through to March, and the first young turtle hatchlings emerge from the sand and make their way to the sea in January, with last hatchlings emerging by May.

Humpback Whales migrate from the Antarctic in winter, and can often be seen around the island in June, with July to September the peak period for whale sightings. In October the whales start migrating back to the Antarctic.

The only access to Wilson Island is via Heron Island. Return transfers from Heron Island over to Wilson Island are included in your package. Transfers from Gladstone to Heron Island are additional. The most popular way of getting to Heron Island is by boat from Gladstone. The boat trip is about 2 hours, departing from the Gladstone Marina at 11.00am daily. If you want to travel in style, you can take a 30 minute helicopter trip from Gladstone. Australian Helicopters operates scenic transfers between Gladstone Airport and Heron Island daily. Transfer between Heron Island and Wilson Island is by launch and takes about 45 minutes. There are no jetty facilities on Wilson Island; you are transferred ashore in a small boat.

Related posts:

  1. Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef
  2. Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef
  3. Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
  4. Orpheus Island, secluded Barrier Reef sanctuary
  5. Turtle Watching at Mon Repos Conservation Park

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