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Green Island or Dunk Island

Sydney
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10 posts
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Green Island or Dunk Island

Hi there, I have been searching through the reviews and forums and would like some advice on islands in the GBR.

We were planning a trip to Fitzroy Island during the first week of August 2009. The new resort looked upmarket and the surrounding beaches and diving/snorkelling looked pristine. We booked our flights to Cairns (from Sydney) and read in the paper last week that the resort has gone into receivership. Lucky for us we had only put a deposit down ($200) for our 6 night stay but it was disappointing all the same.

So now we are stuck with flights to Cairns and I am looking for ideas. Could anyone reccommend Green Island or Dunk Island, having stayed in either resort recently?

We are a couple looking for a quiet beach holiday with snorkelling off the beach. I see there are disadvantages to both: Green Island - Day trippers and Dunk Island: Voyages Resort (tired)/overrun with kids. Our budget will not stretch to Lizard/Bedarra/Wilson which all look beautiful. I understand that the period in August is not during school holiday so may be quieter?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Lisa

Destination Expert
for Adelaide, South Australia, Kangaroo Island
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3,559 posts
93 reviews
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1. Re: Green Island or Dunk Island

I stayed at Dunk and the main building had just been rebuilt following a cyclone, a new bar/cafe near the jetty etc. We loved our time on Dunk, took walks , snorkelled and sailed happily. I would recommend though, that you book the new rooms in the wings that are on the beach to the left hand side (opposite end of the beach to the jetty) as they were much newer and looked nicer. The restaurant, bar, cafe etc were lovely and the service was adequate for an island - I wouldn't say "perfect" but adequate. I would have said that Dunk was "tired" before the buildings were upgraded but they seemed far from tired to me. Kids? well yes there were some but you can escape them !

Daintree
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349 posts
16 reviews
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2. Re: Green Island or Dunk Island

Hi Lisa,

Welcome to TA. What a disappointment for you! This is one of the best places to get ideas from locals and travellers alike and we will be sure to recommend some nice accomm.

I have been to Dunk Is and was extremley under-whelmed! Yes, totally overrun with kids (belonging to parents who were guests) as well as many staff who were only kids themselves running amuck. My adivise- steer clear of that one for a relaxing break. Dunk is about 2 hours south of Cairns (ex Mission Beach)

I have a firend who recently stayed at Green Island resort, she LOVED it. Re: The day trippers 3 ferries to island at 9.20, 11.20, 1.50 and leaving at 12.00, 2.30, 4.30. Snorkelling is available around the island. (its ok, but not great) Once everyone went home, she said the place was just magic. Hopefully aug will be a bit quieter- however it is during peak season so no guarantees there.

Next suggestion- take it or leave it, may not be what you are after.... Port Douglas is a small beachside community 1 hours drive north of Cairns. Really relaxed atmosphere, swimming ok at the beach in Aug, lots of activities to do and lots of nice accomm at good prices. Snorkelling at an island is a nice day trip out to Low Isles. you can get a boat/cruise to the island and the snorkelling/coral/fish is amazing (esp so on a clear, calm day). May be worth considering.

Good Luck, and being stuck with flights to Cairns is really ok- there are much worse places! cheers.

Destination Expert
for Adelaide, South Australia, Kangaroo Island
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3,559 posts
93 reviews
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3. Re: Green Island or Dunk Island

might be a good idea to check on QLD/NSW school holiday dates..... as posted said above, there were a lot of children when she was there however when I and my husband visited we didn't see too many kids or find that kids impacted on our time there at all. a few families with teenagers and the odd small toddler but that's all. could perhaps have been school holidays?

Sydney
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10 posts
3 reviews
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4. Re: Green Island or Dunk Island

Thanks guys. That sounded bad didnt it? "Stuck" with flights to Cairns was probably the wrong terminology!! I had heard that Port Douglas was lovely but was looking for that island experience! I will however take a look at it again. Thanks for the input - If anyone has any beach accommodation reccommendations in Port Douglas - that would be great. Such a pity about Fitzroy! oh well. I think I will have a fight on my hands with the travel company to get the deposit back.

Lisa

Sydney
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10 posts
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5. Re: Green Island or Dunk Island

p.s. checked school holidays in all states and there are none during August

Queensland
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36 posts
8 reviews
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6. Re: Green Island or Dunk Island

Haven't been to Green; IMHO Dunks strengths and weaknesses:

Strengths

Size of island; lots of nice walks, activities e.g. golf, horseriding etc

Accommodation - beachfront (was clean and generally well maintained)

Pools

Beauty Spa

Weaknesses

Snorkelling off the beach - if it was near the resort, we couldn't find it; you need to hire a dinghy to get to another beach on the other side of the island that had an OK fringing reef or I think there are walks to other beaches with snorkelling (we didn't do them so don't know for sure)

Restaurant food and service

Service in general

2+ hour trip from Cairns airport: strongly recommend flying in.

Buderim, Australia
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1,089 posts
15 reviews
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7. Re: Green Island or Dunk Island

Give them both a miss. Any accommodation with the word 'Island' in is generally more expensive than the equivalent on the mainland. Better still to head to a northern Cairns beach or Port Douglas where you can do trips to the outer reef where the good stuff is. Check wotif.com for accomm deals. See my other posts for reef tour tips.

Cairns, Australia
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2,838 posts
11 reviews
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8. Re: Green Island or Dunk Island

I will throw in another suggestion..

Stay Mission Beach and day trip to Dunk. For snorkelling take a outer reef cruise. On the island are some nice walks, on the mainland more beautiful walks. Elandra resort has better views than you will get on any of the islands and feel you are on one anyways. You can day trip to the southern tablelands or misty mountains if you are into waterfalls and/or hiking. The rainforest meets the reef so to speak at Clump Point or see the Licuala Forest that once dominated where sugar cane is now grown. You can white water raft on the Tully. You can sea kayak and you can relax. or spot a cassowary. Perhaps day trip to Paronella Park ( a ruin of a posh holiday destination from the 30's, has a nice waterfall and swim area)

Not much nightlife though.

Cannot figure out what is happening over at Fitzroy, only opened a few months..costs 100million..yikes. The previous owner was Raging Thunder who sold the Island to Hunt Resorts. They called in the administrators apparently as Hunt still owed some for land purchase. Shame they did that as all the bad reviews are from when they ran the island, so they have given bad "goodwill" and of course takes a long time to reverse that. So had they waited they may have found it easier to recoup. Anyways I digress, heard it was still operating though last week they have water/power failure..so sounds abit odd. best to wait on booking for this place. Shame, seemed so perfect in many ways.

Sydney
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10 posts
3 reviews
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9. Re: Green Island or Dunk Island

Hi everyone thanks for all your messages. For anyone that checks out this forum later - we have decided to go to Palm Cove (20 mins north of Cairns). We are staying at the Sea Temple Resort for a fraction of the price of Green Island (privately managed apartment). From here we can do trips to Daintree (waterfalls/treks) and the Great Barrier. I am currently in the process of looking into gbr operators and some adventure specialists to do white water rafting and a skydive. So much to do on the mainland! Also want to do a trip to the outer reef with a helicopter ride included one way and we are thinking of Osprey V. The numbers do not look too big on the boat and we would be happy to snorkel mostly and perhaps do an intro dive. Has anyone done this trip recently? Or could anyone recommend a similar excursion to outer reef with a heli trip included/optional add on?

10. Re: Green Island or Dunk Island

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