Perhaps not quite there yet, but this "resort" is a diamond in the rough. The owners are working tirelessly to bring the standard up and their friendliness and enthusiasm is to be admired. The location and outlook are very pretty and being right on the beach, its a beautiful walk along the sand to Diamond Island, with lovely views of the ocean and Bicheno across the bay.
The apartment was a bit rough around the edges, but clean and neat and perfectly adequate for our needs. The long, steep, narrow stairs up to the bedrooms were interesting to navigate in the middle of the night (the bathroom is downstairs - the bedrooms upstairs) but we managed without any broken legs. The restaurant was great with beautifully fresh seafood, and a very engaging manager/chef/part-time waiter/sommelier and probably also kitchen hand in one. Parking was right at the door.
Fairy penguins have their nests on the property, and every night after sunset they come up from the ocean to their burrows. There is a paid Penguin "experience" which gives up close and personal access to these cute little critters in a special fenced off area. This for about $25 for adults and $15 for kids (or thereabouts).
OR there is a platform at the bottom of the lawn where you are welcome to go and stand at no charge, and some of the penguins will walk right past you. There is subdued lighting so as not to scare off the penguins, and with decent camera you can get some great photos just a couple of feet away. Perhaps there were more penguins in the paid area - don't know ... we weren't there - but the half dozen or so that came past us were cute as buttons. There are apparently nests under bushes and rocks all over the property and in the right season there are hundreds of penguins coming home to roost each night. The flip side of which is that at 4:00am there are hundreds waking up and heading back to sea!!! Even in April it was quite cold out watching penguins so it was necessary to rug up.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Free Penguins viewing & Beach Resort, with large Conference area with Ocean beach views, Bar, Dining, Breakfast areas, Private Dining room, Beach Apartments, 6 one bedroom upper level, 6 ground level, Two Luxury beach front Double level one bedroom Apartments and 12 Beach Shacks. Some with spa units. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Diamond Island Hotel Bicheno
- Diamond Island Bicheno
- Diamond Island Resort Bicheno, Tasmania