Drive north of Airlie Beach towards Cape Gloucester and you’ll come to a little-known coastal area far off the regular tourist track, where the emphasis is eco-friendly. Dingo Beach and Hydeaway Bay are the small, very laidback beachfront communities here.
Dingo Beach Boat Hire (www.dingobeach.com.au) has dinghies to rent off the beach, plus they’ll transfer campers to one of the two campsites on nearby Gloucester Island, and nearby Hydeaway Bay has a caravan park nestled behind the beach in a peaceful bush setting (www.hydeawaybaycaravanpark.com.au).
A traditional yachties hangout, Montes Reef Resort is charmingly ramshackle. Leave the thongs behind so you don’t feel overdressed.
Cape Gloucester has long been on the itinerary for cruising sailors and is becoming popular with visitors by road. Overlooked by towering Gloucester Island, there are two unimposing resorts on the cape of markedly different standards.
A traditional yachties hangout, Montes Reef Resort (07 4945 7177) is charmingly ramshackle. Leave the thongs behind so you don’t feel overdressed. Nearby Cape Gloucester Eco Resort (www.capeg.com.au) is friendly and low key with an eco focus. Beachfront digs are in modern self-contained cabins tucked beneath the eucalypts and sheoaks. They also manage the boat moorings off the beach, at which boaties pay a modest fee to gain access to the resort facilities.
Everyone’s welcome to dine on the deck beneath the eucalypts at the open air Oar Restaurant with its contemporary seafood influenced menu. The beach is a magical location for watching the sun sink behindBowen across Edgecumbe Bay.