The lushness of Hayman Resort.
David strolls along the beach.
Hayman Island has been voted as one of the top resorts in the world. And with a short trip to Heart Reef, you'll be in paradise before you know it.
Conde Nast Traveller, the luxury holiday bible, has voted Hayman Island one of the top three resorts in the world. To make it even more appealing, the owners of Hayman are in the throes of spending $15 million to celebrate its 50th anniversary.
Phase one, the West Wing, has re-opened. Two hundred workers spent weeks creating new beauty with materials barged in from Shute Harbour. The pool was drained of its 7,000,000 litres of water, relined and new lighting installed. Refilling it took a week.
This elegant jewel in the Whitsundays has had quite a varied history. In 1933 a biological research laboratory was built here and in 1935 a couple of local fishermen opened the Great Barrier Reef Game Fish Angling Club. Enthusiasts arrived by coastal steamer.
American western writer Zane Grey was an early visitor and planted the island's first coconut palm. In 1947 Reginald Ansett, pioneer in Australian aviation, fell in love with Hayman Island and bought the lease for Ã‚Â£10,000. The first resort, the Royal Hayman, opened in 1950 and until 1985 enjoyed great popularity, particularly with honeymooners.
Then began the conversion of Hayman Island into a luxurious destination, with a village housing 600 on-site workers receiving barges laden with everything necessary to make the transformation. One thousand palms were taken there from the north Queensland coast. Date palms from a convent in Swan Hill, antiques, hand-crafted furniture and fabrics, a hectare of marble, old Grecian urns and superb works of art were all part of the jigsaw.
Hayman Island has 13.5ha of gardens. There are formal and informal gardens, a rainforest and an oriental garden featuring an exquisite Japanese teahouse. The Swan Pond, with a rainforest backdrop, is home to a community of swans and ducks and the whole resort has a background of rugged natural landscape, with marked walking tracks through palms and eucalypts and breathtaking views. The area is home to a colony of endangered Proserpine rock wallabies. Everything possible is being done to ensure their survival.
There is an impressive shopping arcade, a jewellery shop and art gallery to tempt shoppers. And if you fancy taking a few cooking classes in the resorts amazing kitchens, you can do that too. The Stella Maris chapel is there if the romantic mood sweeps you away and you wish to tie the knot in paradise. Children are also catered for, with a creche for tiny ones and an activity centre for older children.
There are six restaurants, two bars and you can order food and drink at both pools and on the beach or enjoy a candlelit dinner on your private balcony.
Watersports abound. You can rent beautifully-appointed yachts for journeys to the reef, other islands, fishing and diving trips or sunset cruises.
A very special trip from Hayman Island is a 40-minute Helireef flight to Heart Reef, where you will wonder at the pristine coral gardens and colourful coral reef fish. The helicopter lands on a floating helipad, then you go by glass-bottomed boat around the heart-shaped reef. Snorkelling equipment is supplied. Helireef is the only tour operator allowed entry to this part of the Great Barrier Reef.
The Whitsundays, off the Queensland coast, one hour by launch from Hamilton Island.
Three nights' accommodation and buffet breakfast in the Coffee House starts at $512 per person twin share. This is valid until December 23, 2000.
A three-hour Helireef tour costs $429 per person for a minimum of two people, including all equipment.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.
Hayman Island Resort
Ph: (07) 4940 1234
F: (07) 4940 1567
Toll-free reservations: 1800 075 firstname.lastname@example.org://www.whitsundays.com.auhttp://www.heliaust.com.au
Helireef: Ph: (07) 4940 1397