6 island escapes that will take your breath away

Posted by Casey Warrener on Wednesday, January 14, 2015

If, like us, you dream of getting away to a private island, of leaving land behind for empty stretches of sand, crystal clear waters and palm-shaded villas, you’re in luck. With no crowds, no smog or city lights, no emails or social media updates (note: these are not work holiday appropriate), these remote atolls come with nothing to stand in the way of complete relaxation.

We know what you’re thinking – an exclusive island retreat sounds expensive, right? Well, not necessarily so. With prices starting from less than $200 a night, it turns out island hopping isn’t just for the super wealthy. Buying your own may be out of reach (one with more than standing room, anyway), but that’s not to say you can’t treat yourself to a holiday on one ultra luxe private isle. So pack your book, bathers and SPF, and prepare yourself for deserted beaches, incredible sunsets and starlit night skies. It doesn’t get much better than these nine island escapes.

Flinders Island, TAS – West End Beach House

Nothing says ‘getting-away-from-it-all’ like boarding a plane to a remote atoll, which is the only way to access the wild and beautiful Flinders Island. This is one of the few places on earth where you can enjoy secluded beaches, sapphire-coloured bays perfect for swimming, and skies with no pollution or city lights to obscure the stars. In a quiet corner of the island you’ll find West End Beach House and Cabin – these architect designed beauties are each set on 25-acres of coastal reserve, with spectacular views of the ocean, surrounding islands and mountains. The cabin boasts direct access to West End Beach, and the house has luxuries like a roman style bathhouse that looks out to the sea, decks and terraces attached to every room, and a wood-fire oven for cooking up your daily catch.

Bedarra Island, QLD – East Bedarra Island Retreat

Bedarra Island sits midway between Townsville and Cairns, the closest town on the mainland being Mission Beach. The isle’s giant granite boulders have formed a series of secluded coves, and sparsely placed around its perimeter is a handful of boutique accommodation. East Bedarra Island Retreat is one of these luxurious few, a romantic getaway that’s on travel wish lists around Australia. Here the beachfront is all yours – no resort crowds, no sharing the reef with boatloads of travellers. The stunning showpiece of the villa is a deck suspended over the Great Barrier Reef, housing a saltwater plunge pool that imitates its natural sea-stack surrounds. There’s a gourmet kitchen for hosting eats, or you can arrange for the fridge to be stocked with chef-prepared organic meals. And did we mention it has its own moonlight cinema? A starlit sky over a string of islands makes for a pretty spectacular backdrop to your movie night.

Kangaroo Island, SA – Tammar Ridge

The aptly named Kangaroo Island is a place of intrigue for nature lovers and gourmet food enthusiasts alike. One-third of the island is conservation land, making it one of the best places in the world to spot wildlife. The flourishing landscape and pure waters also mean some of the freshest, tastiest produce in the country. Tammar Ridge is a hilltop home surrounded by 35-acres, with shopfront windows capturing the rural and coastal scenery on every side – whether lounging, resting your head or bathing, the gorgeous views won’t escape you. And while it’s in a setting that feels totally secluded, you’re close enough to partake in all the offerings of this covetable destination.

Wilderness Island, WA – Wilderness Island

Wilderness Island, the name says it all. A far-flung atoll on the eastern fringe of the Exmouth Gulf, the only habitation in this rich marine environment is the retreat and its five cabins, which means total seclusion, and a near untouched landscape. This is one of Australia’s most unique remote experiences. Each of the safari-style lodges has been placed along the headland with enough surrounding space to feel isolated, and each is just a short stroll from the water’s edge. You’ll spend your days swimming, snorkelling, fishing and wandering the empty beach, and nights cooking up fresh seafood and dining under the stars. Bonus: This baby is all-inclusive, so once you’re here, you needn’t worry about a thing.

Fitzroy Island, QLD – Fitzroy Island Resort

One of the Great Barrier Reef’s most idyllic spots, Fitzroy Island is largely National Park, with walking trails, rewarding lookouts, and plenty of quiet coves to cool off after your treks. Jump on the Fitzroy Fast Cat in Cairns, and a refreshing 45-minutes later you’ll disembark at Fitzroy Island Resort. There’s a range of accommodation types, but if we were to choose just one, we’d choose an oceanfront cabin where we could wake to a view of the water and step out the door right onto the sand. Oh, and the resort’s spectacular pool and spa come complete with a swim-up bar. Nothing spells ‘ultimate beach getaway’ like having a cocktail delivered to you in a pool that overlooks the ocean.

Admiralty Gulf, WA – Kimberley Coastal Camp

Unspoiled by urban inhabitation, Kimberly Coastal Camp has no roads, no pollution, and no airstrip. You’ll be staying in beach huts but make no mistake; this isn’t your average kind of campsite. Your options for arrival are floatplane landing directly onto the waterfront, or light aircraft followed by helicopter transfer to the pristine beach. Either-way, you’ll be arriving in style – and that’s just the start. With cabins decked out in Sheridan linen overlooking the azure waters of the Admiralty Gulf, this is the ultimate in luxury camping. Better still, it’s all-inclusive; with meals and customised activities prepared for you each day.