This is the ultimate seclusion. There are only a few structures on this property – four huts, a beach house, pavilion and a jetty. Anna Turner first anchored off Haggerstone Island at the age of 18 while looking for treasure with her film-maker dad. It took another decade or so for her to return to carve out a life for her now grown-up family and a few lucky guests.
Fitzroy Island flies under the radar compared to many other Great Barrier Reef islands, but once you visit, you wonder how on earth you’d never heard of it sooner. Accommodation comes in the form of a 4.5-star resort and camping ground.
Most of this island is National Park, with unique tracts of rainforests, pristine beaches and abundant species of wildlife. There are plenty of walking trails on the island, so you can fully experience the beauty.
If you’re after barefoot luxury then Bedarra delivers in spades and the world’s celebrities know it. Fergie, Elton John and Kieren Perkins have called it their ‘mini’ home in the past. Today, the owners’ commitment to sustainable tourism and to keeping the numbers on island to no more than 16 guests at a time, makes this an exclusive choice.
Plonked in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and separated from the mainland town of Cardwell by a narrow mangrove-lined channel, Hinchinbrook Island is the largest island in the Great Barrier Reef and the largest Island National Park in Australia.
The island is largely uninhabited, there are no vehicles and there’s a limit of only 40 visitors per day on the Thorsborne Trail.
Orpheus Island is renowned for its exclusivity, beauty and spectacular fringing reefs. The majority of the Island is comprised of pristine National Park set amongst the turquoise waters of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef.
Stay in the self-contained beach house or retreat to the glamping suites where you’ll find screened safari-style tents atop timber decks. The abundant nature here has contributed to Keswick being nicknamed the “treasured island” - there’s birds, bees and bushwalking, as well as diving, snorkelling and coral walks.
Pumpkin Island has remained relatively untouched, save for a number of beach-shack style bungalows and the odd hammock strung languorously between supportive palms.
If high flying is your game, the entire island can be booked for between 25 and 34 people. If you prefer your island escapes on the more budget friendly end, then the bungalows are also for hire individually.
Kids will love the kids program and parents will love kid-free time to dive or relax by the pool. This island escape is perfect for holidaymakers wanting to see the true beauty of the reef with the creature comforts included. If you time it right, you might be lucky enough to see some Green Sea Turtles hatching.
Surrounded by 3000 acres of living reef, this coral cay is another gem hiding in plain sight in the middle of the Southern Great Barrier Reef.
This is truly unspoiled, authentic island living at its best and with a maximum of 40 people allowed to camp at any one time, you will have an uncrowded Barrier Reef adventure to boot
Shipwreck snorkelling, dolphin feeding and more. The caretaker of Queensland’s oldest lighthouse knows it; Moreton Island is one of the most epic island escapes you can take within a couple of hours of Brisbane.
There aren’t many islands that please surfers as well as divers, hikers, and bona fide beach bums, but North Stradbroke Island delivers on all fronts, and then hits you with freshwater creeks and great food options, too.