Turtle Cove Resort


OMG ! Why didn’t I ever get to this place sooner ?

This must be one of Australia’s most best kept secrets ….. A number of my clients keep telling me that Turtle Cove is a place that everyone should experience at least once in their lives, even though they said it’d was really run down and they heard that not many people go there anymore, but still something I should experience.

Yeah, yeah, I’d seen the brochures one of these clients had given me and personally, the images didn’t make me want to take the time, effort or expense of heading up there. A couple of twinks looking ‘lovingly’ into each other’s eyes didn’t really do it for me, I assumed that that the image of the ‘gym bunny’, early 20’s guys, would be running around everywhere mincing and giggling. On the other side of the brochure was a couple of girls, also looking happily in love, hand in hand walking down the beach  …… As I saw it, along with the 2 guys on the front, it was a place for young love birds at the height of their relationship which was probably the first 3 or 4 weeks after having met each other and still in ‘honeymoon’ mode ha-ha

I had 4 days off from my usual 17hr work day and was at my wits end and just HAD to get away or run the risk of spontaneously combusting, you know when you get to that melting point ? Turtle Cove had come to mind several times, but, don’t let anyone else tell you differently, I’m a very shy guy at heart. Heading to a place that, already from the brochures I wasn’t overly impressed with, was a daunting thought and made me question why I would spend that amount of money when there may be somewhere else I could go to closer and also where I could achieve the same results to unwind. What was I going to do ? Am I going to stand out like dogs balls being the only one there by myself and not in a loving relationship? Am I going to be reminded that I won’t be strolling along the beach hand in hand, or laying in the arms of a partner I don’t have ? Will people stare at me whilst I sit on my own ? Is it going to be full of 6 packed guys with attitudes and egos all competing for the ‘who’s the most popular’ award ? So many questions, so many insecurities, but these were all playing out in my head even before I booked the accommodation. I just wanted to unwind, relax, gather my thoughts and just refresh myself totally, life is incredibly busy these days and sometimes you just need to get away from it all and ‘cleanse’ all that stressful shit out of your head.

F*#k it ! Just book the damn thing and see the resort for yourself and be my own judge about what everyone was telling me that I should experience.

Well, I’m SO glad I did !

My god what an amazing place, so much so that I was trying to get back up there 3 weeks later for my birthday and spend 8 days up there …. Heaven, except that because of prior commitments and work load I couldn’t get out of it didn’t happen, much to my disappointment can I say.

I’m so hopeless at names so forgive me not remembering them but they probably change staff all the time anyhow.

Because of my procrastination at making the decision to go anywhere, my flights were ridiculously expensive but at the time I didn’t care, I just wanted to get away from it all …... to give you an idea of my state of mind and it’s haste to get out of the city, I even forked out the $80 for a one way cab fare to the airport.

I booked a hire car for the 4 days that I was there and I suggest to anyone else to do the same. By having your own transport it gives you the freedom to come and go at your will, to explore where ever you want and comes in handy should you want to dash up to Port Douglas for a look. The other thing really was if I’d opted for them coming to pick you up from the airport then the transfer fees are something like $50 each way so $100 return … I got a hire car for $140 for the 4 days and had my independence. In hindsight I’m glad I did as I discovered several ‘interesting’ distractions such as beaches, mountain views and walks etc.

It was a beautiful drive from Cairns, I’d never been there before ….. the first and only stop I had in Cairns was at the bottle shop which the hire car guy so kindly directed me to, god bless him. I had the co-ordinates of Turtle Cove logged into my phone to guide me and enjoyed a very scenic drive to my destination. I sat on the speed limit pretty well all the way, much to the disgruntlement of other local drivers I’m sure, for the road was constant ‘S’ bends most of the way and I didn’t really want to be a road statistic ….. besides, the landscapes and views of the countryside and ocean were beautiful and I was like a Dyson vacuum cleaner in sucking in all that my eyes could take in.

At my driving pace it took maybe 45min from the airport and I eventually got to Turtle Cove, actually I missed the driveway as it just appeared out of nowhere around an ‘S’ bend and then took another 10 min before I found a spot to be able to do a ‘U’ turn and come back.

I found a very warm and friendly guy behind the reception desk who, after asking if I’d been there before, gave me a 10 minute orientation of the resort and what it had to offer and if there were any rules / restrictions (none, apart from enjoy). Visions of Bali came to mind, whether or not that was because of the humidity and heat, the lush vegetation or that almost everything was open to the elements with the sound of the surf crashing in the background, I don’t know but it already had me relaxing.


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First impressions ? Warm and unpretentious ……. the staff had an ‘air’ about them that was down to earth, natural, very friendly and nothing seemed too much trouble for them.


The Room I had was the Ocean View and yes, you could view the ocean, plants do have a tendency to grow over time and I reckon these lovely palms were planted a loooong time ago. Even though the gardens and palm trees had grown considerably the view wasn’t blocked totally and listening to the breeze through the fronds was very relaxing with the rolling waves from the beach in the background.
The room itself was neat, tidy, and CLEAN. It had everything that I needed, a small bar fridge for my stash of vodka mixes, chocolates and other goodies I’d bought at that first stop off the plane. The ceiling fan kept the room cool and ventilated and even though the temperatures outside were still warm at night, I was still able to sleep comfortably with the help of the air conditioner, ceiling fan and several banana daiquiris. Out on the balcony there was plenty of room for several people but I was on my own so sprawling my stuff out, it was a nice place to relax with my morning coffee and do some light reading of my tech mags.
The décor was refreshing and cool, the bathroom a good size and the TV was a nice large flat screen offering the various free to air bullshit, crap reality programs that I refuse to watch even when at home. What I don’t have at home though, are a couple of porn channels, this resort has them like all hotels, BUT …. These are free to view and a little too easy to speed dial and as an viewing option were a lot more interesting than watching some lady on TV trying to coax you in to buying a Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner !


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So the rooms then ? Great ….. Clean, tidy, well maintained with nothing ‘old’ about them at all.

Without crapping on too much then … walking past reception from my room was an open area that had the bar, pool table, lounges, dining tables in.


Off from that was the pool that was available to use 24/7 ….. NO cut off point so you’re welcome to use it whenever you want at whatever time you want. Same goes for the large spa just off the pool area in a semi enclosed area of vegetation that gave it some privacy but still able to be part of the overall area. Like the pool the spa was also available 24/7 which was great the night I was too hung over to sleep and ended up soaking for hours in the spa at 3am


Pool and spa area then ? Fantastic especially at night with all the little lights and it’s so warm, refreshing in the shade of the trees so the hot sun isn’t glaring down on you.


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Hmmm …. I didn’t actually get into the gym and only stared through its windows from my balcony and as I walked past occasionally. Even though it was calling me to haul my sorry arse in there the range of equipment it offered from free weights to machines would satisfy any muscle Mary or person that was looking to continue their fitness regime whilst away on holiday. ….. another bonus.


Food ?

The menu was extensive and I really couldn’t fault any of it ….. I don’t know why but I didn’t expect it to be as good as it was but I was impressed by the menu selection and the quality of the food and speaking to others and from what they had to say, they all enjoyed the food and menu variety. The stuffed mushrooms were divine and just towards the end of my stay they had a menu change which unfortunately I didn’t get to experiment with.


The cocktail menu, now THAT was something I did experiment with but as usual I couldn’t go past the banana daiquiris ….. Because of its isolation to competition I’d have thought that the menu and alcohol prices would be a tad on the expensive side but again I was surprised at how reasonable they were, quite affordable allowing one to over indulge ……. and love every minute of it.


Staff ?

For a small resort the customer service and staff are really what can make or break it. Anybody’s idea of returning to a place or in fact devoting a web page to crap on about their experience can hinge on their experience of a resorts staff. Let’s just say that the staff were very interesting, a couple of them stand out such as the guy that had only just started working there having moved up from Melbourne, very chatty, friendly and down to earth. I met the owner whose name now embarrassingly escapes me, who introduced himself whilst I was sitting on my own at one of the smaller tables. I wish that I could have some of his people skills …… within a few minutes he had me up and off over to join what is called the ‘turtle table’ and begun introducing me to others that were seated at it. The ‘turtle table’ is a HUGE communal table that everyone is encouraged to use when eating as it then helps to introduce you to others and within a day over several sittings you get to meet a lot of other people ….. a great way to break the ice and make new acquaintances. I found it a great ice breaker and a way of getting to meet some very interesting people. Another bonus.

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Beaches ?

A short walk down from the main hub of the bar, dining and pool area you get to decide do I head right and on to that beach or do a bit of a walk up the other beach on my left that looks a little more interesting ?


If I turned left .....


On closer inspection of my left option ....


Or my turning right option .....


Turtle Cove have their own private beach which, because of the cliffs and rocks at either end, can’t be accessed from other areas. Private because the general public can’t get to it from anywhere else other than passing reception and through the bar area, but also private in the sense that it’s clothing optional so if getting naked feels the natural thing to do, go for it as the chances are that others will do as well …... you may just want to watch the midday sun, I doubt that anyone would want their balls turning into raisins ! ….


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Beach umbrellas and towels are available whenever you want them, just ask at the bar. At the time I was staying there, there wasn’t an issue with jelly fish so swimming in the warm sea was beautiful and stinger free ….. a few times I heard stories of crocodiles but after a few minutes they’d burst into laughter at the look on my face and ‘fess up to just pulling my leg.

Things to do ? Port Douglas was only a 20 minute drive, if that, further north and that’s where all the boats leave to take you out on to the Great Barrier Reef. I didn’t book and the morning that I’d decided to head out was the morning that I had a hangover and spent most of the wee hours in the spa enjoying the crazy sensations of thousands of bubbles blasting where bubbles have never blasted before ….. so I missed it. As it turns out they’re very busy and I wouldn’t have been able to just turn up and get on a boat anyway, it was school holiday season so they were packed to the rafters …. Note for next time …. Book in ASAP and stay away from the daiquiris. There’re quite a few other things to do as well, tours, walks, the Daintree National Park etc., but at reception they have a shit load of pamphlets and brochures to give you a wide choice of activities to do in the area and they’ll organise it all for you if you ask them.




I always had an eye out on this spot ! ……. I know they were just joking and enjoying my impersonation of a Japanese anime character with the size my eyes got as they were telling me of crocodiles, but I’ve seen one to many killer croc movies that allows my imagination take the better of me.

What else is there to say really ? My photos don’t really do it justice but I was rather impressed …. I found my initial research into staying at Turtle Cove confusing, why I can’t remember as its a few months now since I stayed up there and only just now getting my shit together to tell all. I think it had something to do with not being able to find much out there with regards to reviews or general stuff on the net other than the site itself. Trying to find out whether it was as bad as some of my clients had mentioned, whether there were other reviews out there mentioning its condition and state of repair too.

Well let me tell you it is certainly NOT run down and as for ‘tired’ well, that would be me from all the swimming and laying around I did.

Turtle Cove is nestled in the middle of a national park, originally it was built for Christopher Skase to house the workers that were building Port Douglas at the time. Since then it’s enjoyed from what I believe is a varied existence and was almost developed in to a residential estate but the current owners have in the past 5 years spent a lot of time, a shit load of money and an enormous effort on bringing it back to the resort that it now is and still continuing to develop …. Well done I say. There’s still a couple of tweaks here and there to do but as the only Adult Resort in Australia ….. all I can say is get up there.

The twinks from the brochure ? Nowhere to be seen. The type of people that get there I’m very happy to say were friendly and ‘normal’ people from all walks of life, all ages, shapes, sizes and from various industry backgrounds. I was quite surprised though that there weren’t more locals enjoying the facilities that the resort had to offer but apparently driving 25 minutes is a long way to them. I’m also from down south so the beautiful weather for me wasn’t normal but to the local it’s just another day I guess. The weekend sees a few locals come up to enjoy the resort and what it has to offer and I guess there’s always the ‘talent’ of those on holidays.



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Turtle Cove is a fantastic place to stay and unwind, get away from it all and just chill. You get to meet some very interesting people from diverse cultures and backgrounds from all over Australia and the world and form friendships that will hopefully last a long time. If you’re the type of person that is after the night club scene, then I guess this isn’t your place, I’d say Port Douglas or Cairns would have your closest club, although, if you had a disc, USB stick or whatever and wanted to play, there’s the sound system near the bar that is readily available.

Cons ?

  • Not staying there long enough.
  • Mobile phone reception varied greatly. At times it’d be there and other times I’d have to go down to the beach in order to get reception. I think it’s because of the geographical location of the cove itself, surrounded by hills and cliffs etc. doesn’t make for good phone reception. In a way this was great as it just added to me having time out from being connected constantly to something that just tires you out and when I did feel the need there was always a way to get connected.
  • Internet ? free Wi-Fi when at the bar, pool table area and dining areas but it doesn’t extend much further from there and no connection in my room …. I couldn’t get phone reception in my room and therefore my Samsung tablet was useless to skype from until I went down to the bar area.
  • It didn’t happen when I was there but certain times of the year they have jellyfish in the sea that makes swimming a bit dodgy, but that is all up and down the coast not just Turtle Cove.
  • I was also warned about sharks, rabid crabs, sting rays, wild pigs, drop bears oh and crocodiles ……. They really had me going for a while there ….. the worst thing I had to worry about was sand in my crack and wondering where I’d left my room keys.


Turtle Cove Beach Resort http://www.turtlecove.com/index.php

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