It was once hailed as a lavish paradise destination but one resort on a tropical Whitsundays island is now the scene of a derelict wasteland.
At least half of Queensland‘s Great Barrier Reef island resorts shut their doors after Cyclone Debbie battered shores in 2017 rendering them unviable.
Aussie traveller Jasmine Dyduła was holidaying in the Whitsundays with her family when they sailed to the deserted South Molle Island.
Ms Dyduła shared a video on TikTok on Friday showing the abandoned resort on the northern end of the island in Bauer Bay.
Exploring the island alongside her sister and mum, Ms Dydula said the entire island had an overwhelming ‘creepy vibe’.
South Molle Island was once one of Queensland’s most popular holiday spots, but after it was smashed by Cyclone Debbie in 2017 it has become a derelict wasteland
The video showed the resort’s empty eating hall with its missing ceiling, walls and windows, a green pool covered in debris and dilapidated rooms.
‘The pool is basically a breading ground for frogs. There are all cane toads in there and smells so bad,’ Ms Dydula said.
South Molle Island appears to be returning to nature with the resort strewn with debris and slowly becoming overgrown by tropical plant life.
Ms Dydula said her family holidayed at the island almost 30 years ago but the resort is now ‘completely overgrown with foliage’.
Her mum, Viv, explained the rooms at the resort were all double-storey, however, the powerful category four cyclone tore the top level off every room.
‘I think with the palm trees and the clear water it would have made for such a nice holiday,’ Ms Dydula said.
Viv is seen pointing to a ‘brand new’ pier she believes was constructed by ‘Chinese company’ that bought the island.
‘It’s very possible that they will rebuild the whole resort and it could be a fantastic new resort,’ Viv said.
Aussie traveller Jasmine Dyduła explored the deserted island with her mum and sister. Footage shows the abandoned resort’s green pool, which has become a breading ground for frogs
The resort’s 200 double-storey rooms were destroyed by the cyclone, with the entire top floor ripped off by the category four storm
The video received more than 200,700 views and around 300 comments, with many former guests claiming the state of the resort is ‘sad’.
‘So sad, I was the general manager just over 20 years ago. I lived in the upper level that is now missing. Used to have a Polynesian night every Friday,’ one person wrote.
Another commented: ‘Aww that’s so sad was the best place to stay.’
‘Omg, I’m gutted to see how bad this looks now. We use to go every year when my kids were young,’ a third chimed.
South Molle had a single resort with 200 rooms and boasted a nine-hole golf course when it was established in 1937.
The island has more than 16kilometres of walking tracks on the island and most are part of the protected Molle Islands National Park.
Category Category four Cyclone Debbie smashed the Island only a few months after CCIG purchased the resort, leaving the island in disrepair
In the 1980s the resort was owned by now defunct Australian airline Ansett, before Queensland businessman Craig Ross purchased the island out of receivership and set it up as a backpacker resort in the early 2000s.
Shanghai-based China Capital Investment Group (CCIG) took ownership in 2016.
The group snapped up South Molle Island for a reported $25 million, a little more than a year after buying the nearby Daydream Island Resort and Spa.
They planned to renovate the resort before a category four Cyclone Debbie smashed the island only a few months after the company purchased the resort.
While CCIG has begun an $86million refurbishment on nearby Daydream Island, which it also owns, as of 2019, South Molle remains closed and in disrepair with its redevelopment still ‘a few years away’.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Tourism Whitsundays for comment.