Aldesta Hotels Australia sales and marketing manager Karen Sweeney and vice president Tony Barradale officially launched the reopened Wilson Island on October 31.
Aldesta Hotels Australia sales and marketing manager Karen Sweeney and vice president Tony Barradale officially launched the reopened Wilson Island on October 31.

Bookings coming in fast for exclusive island getaway

EVEN before the first guests set foot on the white sand at Wilson Island, bookings for the reopened resort have exceeded expectations.

After being closed for six years, the Southern Great Barrier Reef island was officially relaunched this week by owners Aldesta Hotels Australia.

The nine beachfront tents that add to the "reef safari" experience are filling up with bookings three times higher than expected.

Wilson Island will reopen on November 1. Images on and around the island.
Wilson Island will reopen on November 1. Images on and around the island.

Sales and marketing manager Karen Sweeney said the island was heavily booked until January 27 when it will close until March 31 for the bird breeding season.

"It's such a unique product where you're fully immersed into the Great Barrier Reef experience," she said.

"We've had very strong inquiries ... before it was even open we had a waiting list."

She said a big drawcard was the exclusivity of only having 18 guests at once, and the snorkelling off the beach.

Two options of travel to Heron Island from Gladstone include the seaplane from Australia by Seaplane and the Heron Islander catamaran.
Two options of travel to Heron Island from Gladstone include the seaplane from Australia by Seaplane and the Heron Islander catamaran.

"At Wilson Island the water quality is next level, it's about 18m.

"The best snorkelling is at low tide when you can really see the incredible 5m wide Wilson bommie."

The recently reopened Wilson Island in the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
The recently reopened Wilson Island in the Southern Great Barrier Reef.

Aldesta Hotels Australia vice president and Heron and Wilson Island general manager Tony Barradale said they also hoped to encourage more tourists to explore the reef.

"People will see that (the reef) is alive and well," he said."Tourism is an essential part of getting people to the Great Barrier Reef.

"While some say too much tourism could be a bad thing, I disagree, I think when done right ... it will only benefit the reef for the long-term."

This journalist attended the opening as a guest of Aldesta.