Australia is a continent that pulls visitors back time and time again. But it also has its own series of islands, each with a separate personality, that you may want to include as a special side trip if Australia is your honeymoon destination.
A string of islands, not far apart, follow the northern shoreline of Australia. These include Lizard Island, Heron Island, Wilson Island, Brampton Island, Bedurra Island and Dunk Island, each with a specific flavour.
This is Australia’s northernmost island, located 240 kilometers north of Cairns (a northern city on the same coast as Australia’s southern cities of Sydney and Melbourne). The island is on the Great Barrier Reef, with both the inner and outer reef – which offers a rare experience. It is a National Park, with 24 sandy beaches and lagoon.
Although the entire island can welcome very few people and has only 40 hotel rooms, it has a suprising range of activities. Catamarans, bocce, paddle skis, sailboarding, fishing, glass bottom boats, motorized dinghies, snorkelling, tennis and nature trails are all provided. You can snorkel off a secluded beach and discover giant clams, many a meter long and some said to be more than 120 years old.
The island is famous for its diving. At the world famous Cod Hole, you’ll come face to face with the massive potato cod swimming right up to inspect you with child-like curiosity. As you explore, you’re bound to see a monitor lizard.
The restaurant on the island is Osprey’s, with an open terrace that overlooks the beach and ocean. It features a multicultural menu with an emphasis on local seafood. A gourmet picnic hamper can be requested for a beachside adventure.
There are regular flights from all major Australian cities to the island (via Cairns) with Quantas and Ansett, plus air charter options from Cairns. The flight takes 60 minutes with a luggage limit of 1 suitcase and one carry-on. All major credit cards are accepted. The island is owned by P&O Australian Resorts.
This is another of Australia’s hidden treasures. This tiny island is just off the northern coast, and has only 16 private freestanding guestrooms, every one luxurious. Two-storey villas are close to the beachfront and beach activities. Split-level villas are on a hillside, with stunning views. Another is accessed by walking through a private rainforest. And two are set high on a cliff, overlooking a bay.
There is so few people on the island and so much pampering! Gourmet meals plus ice and canapes are delivered to each guest at sundown, with turndown service, a complimentary bar stocked to your specifications, video and work desk with phone computer, laundry service, bathrobes and a private plunge pool.
Dunk Island is nearby, with a six-hole golf course, water skiing, parasailing, skydiving, horseback riding and extensive rainforest walks. There are snorkelling and scuba diving trips to the Great Barrier Reef and private reef fishing and sailing charters.
There is no charge for catamarans, fishing paddle skis and sailboats.
The villas on the island are all air-conditioned and all with a contemporary look with large verandas, polished timber floors, luxurious bathrooms, fully stocked refrigerators and entertainment facilities. Two new units sit high on a cliff overlooking the bay with floor to ceiling glass. The private plunge pool allows a view from the ocean; oversize sun lounges are on the decks.
Full payment is required one month prior to your date of arrival, with cancellation allowed 30 days before arrival. For cancellation within 30 days, there is a cancellation fee of one nights accommodation per person.
You fly to the city of Cairns, then take a scenic 40-minute flight to Dunk Island, where the Bedarra Island launch waits for you on the jetty for a 15-minute transfer to the private island, owned by P&O Australian Resorts.