Long Island is close to the mainland and one of the prettiest of the
Whitsunday Islands. A narrow island which is 9km long and 2 km wide
although at points (like Fish Bay and Palm Bay) the distance between
the western and eastern shores is probably no more than 200-300 metres.
The Island is a national park with 20 kilometres of graded walking
tracks leading to beautiful secluded beaches and dense bush areas.
Originally refered to as Port Molle, it was unromantically renamed by
explorer Matthew Flinders. Over the years, Long Island has been used as
a sheep run and a banana and paw paw plantation. The island's first
resort, at Happy Bay, was opened in 1934, but closed during World War
II. Today there are three established resorts on the island.
Long Island, with the exception of Whitsunday Wilderness Lodge, is
regarded as a budget destination. It has a number of resorts which
promote themselves as 'getting away from it all' locations. For example
the Palm Bay Resort proudly announces 'you won't find loud bands, large
groups of people or discotheques.' Located in a tropical wilderness it
promotes its smallness and its secluded location as its major
attractions. Equally Whitsunday Wilderness Lodge boasts that it is the
most secluded resort in the Whitsundays.
Paradise Bay, located at the southern end of Long Island is
inaccessible to day visitors and it caters for a maximum of twenty
guests only. Guests have the opportunity to explore the surrounds by
yacht, see dolphins, turtles, hundreds of species of birds and tropical
fish, goannas and wallabies.
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The Crocodile Club (previously known as Whitsunday 100 and Contiki
Resort) is a far cry from the old (and wild) 18-35 year olds resorts
which were famous for their all night dance parties. Palm and Happy Bay
are the nearest safe anchorages to Shute Harbour and therefore a
popular spot for yachties. The newest addition to the Whitsundays
islands resorts is Paradise Bay. Recently revitalised, Paradise Bay, on
the southern tip of Long Island, is a unique 'no phone/TV zone for the
ultimate back to nature holiday.
There is a nice myth (maybe it is fact) about a sunken Spanish
galleon off the coast of Long Island. The sternpost and prow of an old
timber ship has reputedly been sighted off the coast of the island and
this has given rise to speculation. The legend has been further fuelled
by stories of an Aboriginal tale about the crew of a ship being wrecked
near the island and a local farmer claiming that he had found coins
washed up on a beach.