Toscana Village Resort, Airlie Beach, Whitsundays
Sun 12 May 2013
Located on the hill behind the centre of the Airlie Beach main street, Toscana is an excellent choice for accommodation in the Whitsundays and Airlie Beach. ChannelWhitsundays.com recently spent two nights at Toscana and compiled this report.
Knowing the Whitsundays very well, we were only too pleased to be invited to stay at Toscana. While March weather can be changing, we arrived at Toscana on a sunny day, late afternoon. Jo Mathews, manager of Toscana greeted us at reception and organized the paper work – at the time she also suggested that we review the options for island tours, so essential to a Whitsundays visit. We agreed to settle in and return for a chat and make a tour booking.
As it turns out, Jo has been involved in managing resorts previously at the Gold Coast and Cairns for many years, and her professional, courteous manner is clearly apparent in dealings makes her a specialist at Airlie Beach Accommodation. As Toscana is not part of a hotel or resort chain, there is a definite friendly family feel to the complex.
We find our car park easily and a short stair climb later, we let ourselves into our room. The “Tuscan” qualities add a nice theme, as does the immediate impact of the view over the bay in front of Airlie Beach. Dotted with boats at anchor it’s framed by a number of islands beyond. Another point of note is the lovely gardens that surround the buildings of the complex.
While Robyn makes gestures about heading for a swim in one of the resort pools, it becomes clear that organising an island tour is going to fall upon my shoulders... Resigned to the fact, I make way back to reception, while “my dear” changes into her swimsuit and mutters something about missing her surfboard back home in Noosa.
Back at reception, I regard the “wall” of island tour offerings. The Whitsundays has three points of interest that make it such an inviting destination, the 74 islands of the Whitsunday island group, the coral and marine life of central Great Barrier Reef and world renowned Whitehaven Beach. Turns out we can fly, helicopter, sail or ride with a number of different day trip operators. To make a day of it, I make the executive decision in favour of Reefjet that departs Abel Point Marina each morning. Reefjet is operated by Mantaray Charters. It travels to Hill Inlet, Whitehaven beach and a snorkel location in the afternoon. A “mid-sized” vessel, it has a max of about 60 people.
Jo is only too happy to organize us to travel on Reefjet the following day and informs me about the courtesy bus pick up just before 8am.
Off in pursuit of Robyn, I head to Toscana's back pool area with the cascading waterfall over three tiers. Rob's had a dip and working on her tan lazing beside the kiddies wading pool… and only too happy to accept the fait-accompli for island touring. The balance of the day is used to settle into some serious relaxation before dinner at KC's, located in the centre of the main street. A delicious eye fillet and local live entertainment complete day 1.
Up early the next day, showers wash off any after effects of the bottle of red and we make our way to the street for the Reefjet pick up. John, the bus driver is a laugh, friendly and wearing a gruff smile, he trundles us off to the nearby marina. The day out is magnificent – Reefjet is large enough to be comfortable despite some wind and wave action, but small enough that you don't feel that you are part of a touring pack. The Hill inlet look out is my favourite stop of the day – and avid shutter bug, the look out at Tongue Point is a place to linger as you try and frame one more snap of the extensive estuary that disappears into the island and Whitehaven Beach that curves off to the top left of frame. The tide is near high our guide informs, which makes for the range of blue greens that swirl in the waters in front, along with feeding stingrays by the dozen a prime appearance.
Along with this, Whitehaven Beach was very nice to step onto – Robyn, the always-swimmer can't be removed from the water and seems to have forgotten about her surf board for the minute. She demonstrates the same when we hit the water later for a snorkel where the level of conservation is clear during our swim over the coral. Thousands of fish and wall-to-wall coral feature in a way that I have not seen elsewhere. The Whitsundays is right in the centre of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, declared some time ago. The commitment to protection is evident when comparing to Reef destinations elsewhere in the world where the effects of dynamite fishing and lack-of-care result in little to see.
All too soon, we are on the way home. The islands are only about 30 kilometres from Airlie, so the trip home is a short one.
Almost out of energy, its an early dinner at Mangrove Jack's for a wood fired pizza which is a delicious preparation for settling in front of the tele back at the apartment as the last of evening light ebbs. There will be plenty of sleep tonight.
In all, the visit to Toscana and experience of Airlie Beach accomodationis a fine one. Airlie Beach is a clearly relaxed destination, more a Eumundi than a Noosa. I have no problem recommending Toscana as a great option for island view accommodation in Airlie Beach which is superbly complimented by quality service.
Airlie Beach accommodation
|Story by: |
John Nayler is a long time visitor to the Whitsundays and Airlie Beach and former resident.
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