Just under an hour from Airlie Beach an easy, pretty drive north through sugar cane fields takes you to Cape Gloucester. This area is almost devoid of tourists. It wasn’t hard to imagine yourself in total seclusion and become enveloped in calm.
We landed in Airlie Beach and decided to stay for one night before heading north. We chose Mantra Club Crocodile. Although slightly dated, it was comfortable and provided everything needed. The rooms overlooked the pool, as did the restaurant, which was a very pleasant outlook for breakfast. Breakfast was very good although the coffee was not so good. As it is out of Airlie Beach a little, you would have to walk a decent distance or drive to get into Airlie Beach proper.
The walk into Airlie Beach is a well defined track, with locals enjoying the space as much as the tourists.
Airlie Beach Market is on every Saturday. The Best Sausage Rolls in the world can be enjoyed along with a song and some great Ukulele playing. There is no shortage of places to eat in Airlie Beach and plenty of shops to pick up a summer frock, or a pair of shorts
The marina is huge and very well populated.
We enjoyed experiencing Airlie Beach, but were anxious to check out Cape Gloucester and hit the road early after a quick shop for food supplies.
Cape Gloucester filled all my expectations of a beach break. As each perfect day passed, I felt myself slow down and relax and couldn’t stop exclaiming about the blueness of the water. It is one of the most ideal places to relax and unwind I have ever been to. The stunning views of the Coral Sea, sandy beaches and beautiful sunsets are so amazing you get torn between keeping this destination a secret and telling everyone about it with much enthusiasm.
We were lucky to have had the opportunity to attend a family wedding at Cape Gloucester Eco Resort. Accommodation consists of cabins of different sizes, and a few motel style rooms, all set in the natural surroundings. It is quiet, private and very, very relaxed. All of the accomodation faces the beach. We stayed in one of the smaller rooms, but they still have a sink, small fridge, microwave and come with basic crockery, cutlery, toaster, kettle etc. there is no oven or cook top, but there are shared bbq’s dotted around.
The resort has a restaurant and bar overlooking the pool and beach. Tables are also set amongst the trees on the sand, giving you a brilliant view of the incredible sunset. You can virtually enjoy the fabulous view from wherever you choose to sit. Even when the resort is full, there is enough space that you are not tripping over strangers.
I spent my days swimming at high tide, walking along the beach looking at what had washed up on the sand at low tide, and at night, gazing at the sun setting over the sea.
I have been told Cape Gloucester is one of the few places in Queensland where you can watch the sun set over the sea due to its West facing beach, and the sunsets are awesome. Australia has many beautiful deserted beaches but it’s amazing to find one so undeveloped while so close to a major tourist destination like Airlie Beach. I was mesmerised by the calm turquoise and fine white sand. I still can’t stop talking about how beautiful it was. I was fascinated by the variety of beautiful plantlike and sea shells exposed at low tide.
And of course there is heaps of wildlife. We loved the scrub turkeys, but they were too fast for me to get a decent photo. Ducks and kanga’s were more inclined to pose for southern tourists.
Apart from the resort, there is not much else around. We had to drive back to Airlie Beach for food shopping. This is a place for serious chilling out. Don’t come here expecting shops, restaurants and tour buses. It is gloriously unspoilt. Dingo beach nearby has a swimming enclosure for stinger season. Hideaway Bay, is great for walking, very pretty but not so good for swimming. Worth a visit.
If the sign says ‘beware cattle crossing’ believe it! And there are snakes. We saw a huge bugger trying to cross the road. Sharks, and croc’s are whispered to be around, but fortunately we didn’t come across any of them, and i am still unsure if the locals were baiting us.
All of the surrounding beaches usually have low waves and calm conditions, (unless it is cyclone season) and are relatively safe for swimming, but they are best at high tide, as rocks and tidal flats are exposed at low tide. Take care of the numerous submerged rocks along many of the beaches. I scraped my knee on a submerged rock and it bled profusely. And really hurt.
Cape Gloucester is a lovely location for a wedding. The ambiance, pretty view, relaxed atmosphere and food combined to make a brilliant day.
If you are looking for a day trip, Bowen is under an hour away and hosts a Sunday market with beautiful fruit and vegetables.
Just before Bowan township is the ‘Big Mango’ and it’s a beauty. People were lined up waiting to take photo’s. I couldn’t resist.
And i must say, the food and cocktails at the resort are not bad!
I highly recommend Cape Gloucester and surrounds. I will return.