Orpheus Island Lodge, Orpheus Island, Queensland © Tourism and Events Queensland
7 luxurious island resorts on the Great Barrier Reef
Stay at a resort with an island all to itself.
By Leah Dobihal
The Great Barrier Reef is famous for its underwater adventures, but come ashore and you’ll find luxurious retreats with an entire island to explore. That’s right – these resorts don’t share the island with anyone else.
Green Island Resort
Nestled among tropical rainforest and surrounded by striking white sand, Green Island Resort is a place to breathe easy. A day here is pure paradise; wake up with the sun, snorkel straight from the beach, dine beneath a blanket of stars and rest your head in a luxury suite. It may be just a boat ride from Cairns, but you’ll feel a world away.
Bedarra Island Resort
Where: a 30-minute boat transfer from Mission Beach or a one-hour helicopter transfer from Cairns
An all-inclusive tropical haven, Bedarra Island Resort features just 11 guest villas. Each villa offers something unique, like a swoon-worthy infinity pool or a private sundeck. But what they all have in common is a true escape into nature; days are filled with strolls beneath rainforest palms and leisurely swims, and evenings come to a close in the open terrace restaurant.
Hayman Island Resort
One of the Whitsundays’ most iconic private island resorts, InterContinental Hayman Island Resort is a getaway that you’ll remember forever. Everything you could want is just steps away from your suite, including five distinct bars and restaurants (as well as an intimate dinner for two right on the beach), an infinity pool, a luxury spa and more. Plus, bespoke experiences will have you connecting with the island in new ways – think private helicopter tours and picnics atop white sand coves.
Orpheus Island Lodge
An all-inclusive luxury resort, Orpheus Island Lodge has it all – contemporary rooms on the water’s edge, an award-winning restaurant and nearby dive sites boasting more than 1,000 species of fish. Each day you’ll enjoy a curated island experience, three gourmet meals and unlimited use of the resort’s paddleboards, kayaks, catamarans and more.
Where: a two-hour flight from Cairns
What sets Haggerstone Island Resort apart is its super remote location. Just five open-plan villas are dotted along Haggerstone Island’s long beach, and while you may be tempted to spend an entire day enjoying your private deck and tropical garden, there are so many island adventures to be found. Take a helicopter to a private waterfall, try your hand at spearfishing and float over colourful coral gardens.
Where: a 30-minute boat transfer from Hamilton Island
Located among the azure waters of the Whitsundays region, Daydream Island boasts spacious rooms and three restaurants, but it also has something completely unique; the Living Reef is a coral lagoon that wraps around the resort’s central building. Gaze through the lagoon’s huge window to watch rays, sharks and fish, or go on a guided snorkel for guaranteed marine life spotting.
Lizard Island Resort
Where: a one-hour flight from Cairns
Imagine a luxury resort surrounded by crystal clear water, where your footprints are the only ones along a stretch of white sand. Those daydreams come to life at Lizard Island Resort, located right on the Great Barrier Reef north of Cairns. Guests will feel the solitude with amenities like private plunge pools and exclusive beach access. Coral gardens are right on your doorstep, so exploring this natural wonder is as easy as grabbing a snorkel.