RECENTLY I had a visit from a friend from Brisbane, and looked forward to showing her "the sights".
We checked out the Lagoon, it was wonderful, I showed her Shute Harbour, it is very scenic.
She loved Airlie, and thought the people to be very friendly and she loved the Sailing Club.
To show off our islands, and as time was limited, I booked a 2 Island trip.
Our first stop was South Molle Island, what a mistake? Even though it's been re-branded as Koala Adventure Island, or perhaps, because of it, I imagined we would be able to rent a hoby cat, have nine holes of golf, enjoy a coffee beside the pool. Nope, the cafe closed shortly after our arrival, and reopened shortly before we left. The golf course was, and looked abandoned, the water sports area was also closed, the activities notice board announced "fish feeding 10.30am" it didn't happen. We were trapped there for three and a half hours. Swatting marsh flies became our only entertainment.
The whole place looked deserted, except for a gardener, and a receptionist, who, noticeably, upon our departure, didn't ask us if we'd enjoyed our stay...I guess she'd heard it all before.
I believe the cruise company should have made us aware of the state of South Molle, we would have picked another destination. It was a waste of time and money.
The second island we visited was Daydream, wow, what a difference. The whole place was immaculate, staff were smiling, the gardens were beautiful. We walked the island, marvelled at the living reef, and checked out the Putt Putt course. Relaxing by one of the pools, we decided to have a light lunch. My friend suggested a pie and a small coke...thank goodness she didn't want anything more, 2 pies, and 2 small cokes were $22. I know people on holiday are prepared to pay higher prices, but $6 for a 600m coke is nothing short of exorbitant.
We often hear how times are tough for the island resort, and cruise boat industries, well, perhaps it's time they had a hard look at themselves?
What tourists want, and deserve, is honesty, accountability, and good value for their hard-earned money. Nobody likes feeling ripped-off.