Week 4: Woody Island


“If you build it…They will come!”
The current of our journey is about word of mouth, and we stick to the road less travelled. We love experiencing what the locals love and do. We were fortunate enough to get a recommendation to go to Woody Island. We tracked down information on Woody and booking proved to be a bit difficult as it took us 5 days to get a Ferry across. They do not do a run until there are 10 people on the Ferry.

Fortunately, just before we were leaving Esperance, we got a call they had more than 10 people so we decided to jump on the opportunity to spend several days at Woody Island. We really had no idea what Woody Island was all about or what to pack, but we were excited to go explore an island. I booked a “glamping” tent where there are real beds, linen and warm showers to keep things very simple and have a great night’s sleep! I’ve been spoiled in a hotel for 2 nights and then 4 nights “glamping” on a real bed!

The skipper showed us Black Rock Island first on the way to Woody Island. We saw a white-bellied sea eagle soaring and a pod of 6-7 dolphins. It’s always an eye-popping treat to see dolphins gracefully dipping in and out of the surf. They are such a social group with a lot of personality and beauty.

Woody Island is 8 nautical miles off the coast of Esperance. It is certainly right up our alley! Very remote, family oriented, eco-friendly island and just off the beaten trail. What I have learned is it …jjjjjust… opened in November! We had no idea. We rocked up with just 14 people on our boat and we were the ONLY ones’ staying the night. We had the entire island to ourselves (until the next day when over 100 were showing up). Meanwhile….it’s our island to explore for one night with the upmost peace and quite.

Pete May, the owner, had a vision…to resurrect the island back to hosting guests. I have heard all the locals who are staying on the island refer to Woody Island as their best childhood memories and most haven’t been here since the mid 80’s. They are most grateful for the resurrection and the new Woody Island. After visiting and staying on the island… I totally believe… like the movie Bull Run…”If you build it…they will come.”

It is magical… here at Woody Island. You arrive on the jetty, you leave all your belongings, worries and rat-race behind.  And if you have your own yacht sailing across, Pete graciously “Ubers” you from yacht to dock! A nice tea, coffee and cake selection greets you in the visitor centre. Then a guided tour of the island, it’s history, and natural beauty at every stop.

Upon return, the kitchen is open for lunch serving yummy barramundi, steak sandwiches and the bar is open for a cold beer to wash it down. You can just be a “day-tripper” or pack an overnight bag for some “glamping.” You can get away with just an overnight bag, but if you’d like to bring your own gear there’s a camp-kitchen with all the “stuff” to cook and eat. The comfort awaits as well as the simple, quietness, peacefulness of island life.

Island life starts very early here at Woody. There’s no sleeping as the birds start chirping very early around 5:45 a.m. I’m not talking about just a few birds but more like hundreds of noisy Honey Eaters and little yellow bellied Golden Whispers . Early to rise means early to bed which is quite opposite for us Hibbles!

We spent our days, hiking the island finding barking geckos, Roos, skinks, lizards, even spotted the native cute, ash, grey mouse. The wild life is bountiful from seas to shore. We went on a night hike at sunset trying to catch the Ferry penguin come home at night but they stayed out later than we could last. Instead we found crabs scurry when the headlamp hit, sea snails clinging to the rocks and even a starfish who got trapped on a rock and dried out.

We enjoyed the waters with swimming, jumping off the jetty, snorkelling and fishing at sunset in the rich waters catching Skippy, Herring, Leather Jacket (which Stella refers to as the “Unicorn fish” due to it’s protruding horn.) We caught so much fish we ate it nightly and gave it away to others as Stella just enjoyed fishing so much! Aboriginal visitors even spent time showing Stella how to fish as well.  The fisherman beside us was fishing for squid and managed to pull up 3 squid in 3 minutes whilst the fellas below were diving for abalone under the jetty. So much sea life and plenty of rich waters to eat nightly off the day’s catch.

We enjoyed this alluring island to its fullest. I am very thankful it all worked out that we were able to get a spot to ferry over as it was well worth the wait. To the locals of Esperance, you’re very lucky to have this yesteryear playground in your own back yard. Well done Pete for following your vision and hopes for Woody Island…I feel very confident in saying …”you’ve built it, Pete, ….and…they will come!”



{I’d like to give thanks to the staff: Pete, Lisa, Heidi, Jen & Steve, and the wonderful people, who became friends, that we met at Woody Island. Each of you made our experience at Woody Island so personable. I’d like to thank Natasha and Andrew for taking us snorkelling on their tender. The friendly people you meet along the way make our journey so memorable. And a big thank you to my friend Chris who’s following along ….your recommendation to
Woody Island was spot on! ?}


9 thoughts on “Week 4: Woody Island

  1. Hello Hibbles, we’ve just been sent your blog details so will be really happy to keep in touch and follow your adventure. Lillian says a big hi to Stella. X

    • Fancy meeting you here, Soph!:) Great to hear from you and glad you are following along. Big hugs to Lils from Stella. Xoxo ~r

  2. Hi Robin, Lillian says she’d love to keep in touch with Stella if there’s a way. She can post her a message I guess?

    X Sophie

  3. Evening you wonderful people,
    I must say it was very lonely without the Hibbles at Woody today! Deeply missed by all the staff and we think of you often with many memories we’ll keep with us for life. I enjoyed readying your blog! I do hope our paths cross again one day. But until then I wish you all the very best and safe travels.
    I miss my little mermaid Stella very much.
    Lots of hugs and love ..Gen xox

    • Well hello there Gen. Stella can’t stop talking about you and misses you too. Even weeks later she says, That person looks like Gen from Woody island. We most enjoyed your company and Woody island. Thanks for tuning in.X0x0 Cheers, Robin

  4. Hi Guys

    I am loving your posts! Kyra misses a Stella so much. Take care and keeping having those amazing adventures! Keep it real ❤️

  5. Loved your video! I watched with Nigel 🙂 He loved the dolphins and seeing Stella go swimming.
    You ALL are amazing! Miss you – XOXO

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