Written by Nicole Lenoir-Jourdan
Photography by Tourism and Events Queensland
Break out the Cristal, Taittinger or Veuve because the Queensland borders are opening on 10 July.
For those that want to take social distancing to the next level, there are a number of islands that can be exclusively rented, or perhaps you would just like extra exclusive accommodation.
Arrive in style via your 30-minute helicopter ride from Townsville and step on to your own private beach that you don’t have to share with anyone (except your friends if you’ve brought them along.)
Orpheus is set on a thousand hectares of National park surrounded by hidden reefs and clear ocean where you can view some stunning marine life.
COST: Orpheus is open for individual stays, or for $25,000 a night (for a minimum three nights), all meals, an on-island chef, drinks and a daily Orpheus Island experience for you and 27 friends is included.
Bedarra is often referred to as the most exclusive island on the Great Barrier Reef. So, for the ultimate statement, why not rent the entire resort?
Set on 45 hectares of rainforest, this island offers many glamorous touches such as views of the Coral Sea, an infinity pool and the ever-popular day bed.
COST: For those who wish to own the island for a night, it will set you back $13,530 for the nine luxury villas, all meals, and unlimited Jacquart Champagne.
If you want to live like royalty, try Lizard Island – Prince Charles holidayed here as a young bachelor, and so have William and Kate. This place is a star magnet too, having attracted the likes of Demi Moore, Tiger Woods, Teri Hatcher, Greg Norman, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Russell Crowe, Orlando Bloom, Ellen de Generes and others.
The most far-flung island, you can’t get any closer to the Great Barrier Reef with its colourful underwater world fanning in front of you. There are 24 private beaches to explore, a tough four-kilometre hike to the summit, or an educational tour of the research station.
You can reach Lizard Island by an hour-long scenic flight from Cairns that flies over a 200-kilometre expanse of the Great Barrier Reef.
We love a refurb and Hayman has undergone a $135 million facelift, bringing the highest standards of luxury and service to guests visiting one of the world’s most desirable destinations.
There’s a new Three Bedroom Hayman Beach House, fronting Hayman Beach and offering 400 square metres of privacy. Each of the three suites has its own plunge pool, master ensuite and over-sized bathtub.
The social spaces offer luxury island living with open-plan dining and living room, alfresco entertaining, private sun loungers and unobstructed beach access.
Another large change to the resort is the introduction of the five distinct restaurants and bars.
Surrounded by mountains and, of course, beaches, Hayman is the most northerly of the Whitsundays. At 294 hectares and rising 250 metres at its highest point, the island features a sweeping expanse of beachfront and 14 hectares of tropical gardens with exotic flora and fauna including white cockatoos, painted lorikeets, kookaburras, kingfishers and rock wallabies.
If lazing around on the beach isn’t your thing, there’s plenty here to fill your day – choose from the squash or tennis courts to the golf simulator, spa and sauna, a pool seven times the size of an Olympic pool or a range of water sports such as catamaran sailing, windsurfing, fishing trips, private charters, diving and snorkelling.
Hayman is an hour’s ride from Hamilton Island via luxury boat with complimentary champagne.
Named the most luxurious resort in the world by Conde Nast Traveller in 2012, qualia is set on the northernmost tip of Hamilton Island. With a sun-drenched aspect, qualia offers a choice of sixty private pavilions for adults only; many have their own plunge pool and outdoor showers.
Indulge at Spa qualia with an Australian spa menu, swim, gym and read or eat at the private dining room or restaurants that are exclusive to in house guests.
There’s Australia’s only island championship golf course as well as spectacular snorkelling and diving. From unparalleled sailing through to picnics at a private beach, you will want for nothing here.
There’s also a great attraction in the Whitsundays – the Ngaro Underwater Marine Sculpture Trail. This trail consists of six large marine fauna and flora metal sculptures including a turtle, a Maori wrasse, and a manta. You can scuba-dive or snorkel to the sculptures, but as they are in shallow water, you can also spot them from a boat.