All about Long Island
Long Island is a national park which offers some good walking trails with scenic views over The Narrows (the passage between Long Island and the mainland) and also seaward towards Whitsunday Island. Long Island is home to two resorts, Club Crocodile Long Island Resort at Happy Bay and Peppers Palm Bay Resort which, not surprisingly, is located at Palm Bay.
Club Crocodile, formally known as Happy Bay Resort, is a great “value for money” option for resort accommodation in the Whitsundays. It particularly suits families with good day care options and suitable room types. If you pay for a mooring at Club Crocodile you will have access to many of the activities as well. There are two swimming pools, tennis courts, barbeques and nightly entertainment. Happy Bay itself has some good snorkelling and diving straight off the beach but keep the reefs in mind if you are anchoring as there are a few isolated bommies that may be hazardous.
Basic facilities including a nurse, a dive shop, a restaurant and a laundry are available to guests. You can radio ahead on VHF channel 16/09 to get a mooring and expect to pay $55.00 for your first night and $35.00 per night thereafter. Also, keep in mind that the jetty at Happy Bay is for use only by the resort. Permission may be granted to load or unload passengers only by the watersports manager who is contactable by radio.
Peppers Palm Bay
Peppers Palm Bay is very welcoming to bareboat guests and is an ideal stop off point.
Set on the secluded beach of Palm Bay, house guests can enjoy the pure serenity that only this resort can offer. Private bungalows nestled amongst the palms are television and radio free so that you can immerse yourself in the sounds and atmosphere of this truly unique resort. Bookings are essential for a mooring as there are only six available and they are very popular.
Access is only permitted prior to 1500 hours. The cost of a mooring at Peppers Palm Bay is $120.00 + $25.00 per person (regardless of age) and you are also required to dine at the exquisite resort restaurant which is $60.00 per guest (again regardless of age and not including beverages).
The two main features of Long Island to watch for when sailing is The Narrows and East Rock. The Narrows is a passage between Long Island and the mainland, which bottleneck currents up to five knots so keep this in mind especially if approaching from the South. East Rock is on the eastern side of Long Island near Pelican Island and has no beach access year round. East Rock is a significant bird site with a six knot speed limit within 200 metres and a Boat-free zone within 200 metres between the 1st of October and the 31st of December.