We left Melbourne and flew into Cairns, switched to a smaller airport and hopped on a puddle jumper off to Dunk Island. The short flight was beautiful. It took us about 35 minutes. We got our rooms and got into the island mentality. Dunk Island is one of the resorts owned by Voyages who has a bunch of resorts throughout Australia. We wanted to go to Lizard Island but due to age restrictions they wouldn’t take the family.
The rooms were screwed up but the resort was accommodating and it all worked out. We arrived on New Year’s Eve so there was festivities planned for the evening. Perhaps my first clue that this wasn’t exactly what we planned was the buffet dinner and the drinks we got. Alas.
The following day nothing was going on. We basically chilled by the beach, played games, read and Josh
and Jess did some jet skiing. We walked down to one of the four restaurants on the island. This one was a shack where they serve fried fish and beer while listening to a live band of four that doesn’t play any music that has been recorded in the past 30 years. It took about one and a half hours to get our food. Gotta get into the island thing.
One of the options for dinner was a big barbecue by the pool. Nobody ate a thing. You couldn’t. This, in the end, was the problem at Dunk Island.
The next day we got up and took an all day boat out to the Great Barrier Reef. This was fantastic. It took us about an hour and a half to get to the location where they moored. We were the only boat in that area. Some people went diving, others like ourselves, snorkeled. This adventure was worth the entire journey to Dunk Island. Beautiful fish, coral, colors, etc. It is a sight to see and we all really enjoyed it. We spent the day going back and forth from the boat to the water, lunch and games in between.
We have been very into playing a game called celebrity which my friend
taught me. Everyone writes down 10 celebrities, politicians or any people that all of you would know. Fold up the ten pieces of paper and put it in a bowl. It has to be played by an even amount of people because two people are partners. The first round goes like this. You and your partner get 60 seconds. Take a piece of paper out of the bowl, read it to yourself and attempt to describe the person written on the paper as long as you don’t use their name you can describe them any way you want. Continue through all the partners, then do it again where the other partner is the describer. Once every piece of paper is used, put them all back in the bowl and do the same thing again but this time you have to act out the person written on the piece of paper. It gets easier because you know everything in the bowl. Complete each piece and then put the papers back in the bowl again. Next round, you get to say one word to describe the piece of paper. For instance, Jamie Lynn Spears was one of the people on the piece of paper and the word pregnant was the description. Since you know all the people in the bowl at this point, the round goes pretty quick. It is fun and contagious. Keep score and only 60 seconds.
We made our way back to the island and the girls had massages while I attempted to get us off the island a day earlier. As much as we liked the place, the food was so god awful it made it tough. We were staying in Cairns the last night so we could grab a very early flight out to begin our journey home. They had something available for another night so I took it. We couldn’t get a seat on the small plane out so we got a water taxi to take us over to the other side and I found a guy with a van to pick us up and drive us down to Cairns. Yes!
The next morning we had breakfast and jumped into the water taxi. Really fantastic experience out on the reef but Dunk Island was a bust. As Emily put it "we attempted starvation and failed". What can I say, bad food just doesn’t cut it. This food
was up there with Rocking Horse Ranch which is one of those cheesey places we went with the kids when they were seriously young with groups of families. Totally fun but at least we could order in pizza from the neighboring town. Here, we were stuck.
Oy. What a mess. The natural beauty of the reef is so unreal that it makes you feel like you could tough anything out…but it sucks to feel trapped and uncomfortable. After visting Haymen and Hamilton Islands (need to get to Lizard) your view is pretty consistent what I found in both the other islands. Really amature service, bad food and accomodations that needed updating. Sad.