Edmund James Banfield, easily the island’s most notable resident, settled on the island in 1897 and remained there until his death in 1923. Banfield came to the island after his doctor told him he had only months to live, believing the island lifestyle would aid his health. He lived for a further 26 years! Banfield, an author and what today we would probably call an “alternative lifestyler”, described the island as his Isle of Dreams—this unkempt, unrestrained garden where the centuries gaze upon perpetual summer. Banfield wrote several books whilst on the island, including Confessions of a Beachcomber, and he wrote regular articles for the press on Dunk Island, establishing it as a very early tourism attraction on the Queensland Coast.
By 1934 Banfield’s Cottage was being operated as a resort, with tourism taking a break during WWII as the Royal Australian Air Force occupied the island as a radar and radio station. Avis Rent-a-car built the first real resort in 1956, which eventually led to the resort that exists on the island today.
Part of the Family Island’s National Park, the beautifully landscaped resort facilities and swimming pools complement the natural beauty and lush rainforest of the island. Walking trails take you through the resort and the National Park and all the way to the top of Mt Kootaloo if desired.
Orion guests will enjoy full access to the beautifully landscaped resort facilities and swimming pools of the Dunk Island Resort. For the more energetic guests, the walking trails will take you through the resort and the National Park and all the way to the top of Mt Kootaloo.
Optional Excursions: Sea Kayak Tour ($45), Mountain Bike Tour ($40), Horse Riding ($65)
You’ll enjoy complimentary and exclusive access to the Reef World pontoon at the best time of day. There is an underwater viewing chamber built into the platform and snorkelling on the reef is as simple as putting on your masks and fins and slipping off the side of the platform where you will be surrounded by fish in their natural reef environment. The Reef World semi-submersible will also conduct complimentary tours throughout the morning so those who would like to see more of the reef whilst keeping their feet dry are able to do so.
An exceptional helicopter ride over the reef for a great view of all its spectacular formations is available at an additional cost, as is certified SCUBA diving for those with the appropriate experience and qualifications.
Transfer by Orion’s Zodiacs to the Hardy Reef pontoon. Orion guests will have exclusive use of the pontoon and the underwater viewing chamber. Tours on the semi-submersible are also included in today’s activities.
Optional Excursions: Hardy Reef Scuba Dive ($120), Reef Appreciation Scenic Flight ($280)
This afternoon take advantage of the complimentary facilities including non-motorized water sports. Why not go sailing in this most beautiful part of the world? Other activities available to Orion guests include tennis, squash and use of the magnificent resort pool and guided resort tours.
Guests will be transferred by Zodiac to the Hayman Island marina. The island’s staff will greet the boats and transport guests to the resort. Guests may make full use of Hayman’s resort facilities, the magnificent pool and non-motorized water sports. Self-guided walks are also available.
Access to the beach, the famous A-Frame Hut and island walking tracks are included today. A beach BBQ will be provided.
Our sea kayaks will be available, tide and weather permitting, and swimming from the beach is available throughout the day.