When it comes to private islands Australia has something for every budget, writes Taylah Darnell.
Do you ever catch yourself, as you mindlessly work or slave away at the gym, dreaming of a holiday?
Not just any holiday, but a holiday surrounded by your best mates on your very own private island? Nobody around to bother you, to take your spot beside the pool. Just you, the ones you love most and an entire island to do with what you wish.
We’ve researched some of the best private islands Australia has to offer and compiled a list for you, ranging between budget and luxury.
For a quick getaway, Makepeace Island is only a short drive from the slow-paced streets of Noosa’s main drag.
Or perhaps you want to take some time out of your schedule to reset your mind on Orpheus Island, with its waterfront infinity pool. Maybe you’ll choose to pack your snorkel for Wilson Island, situated in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.
These are just a few of the private islands Australia boasts. Check out our pick of the top 12 below, in no particular order, and see which one suits your budget.
1. Makepeace Island, Queensland
Across from the lush bushland of Noosa’s North Shore and a quick drive from the main drag of town, the heart-shaped Makepeace Island is one of Australia’s hidden gems. And just a two-hour drive from Brisbane.
Covered in rich green foliage, interspersed with Balinese-inspired architecture, it’s one of the best private islands Australia has to rent. Once here, you’ll struggle to find a reason to leave.
While away the afternoon with a delectable cocktail from the on-site bar and restaurant. Then catch a movie at the outdoor cinema or head to the spa for a remedial massage.
After a spot of kayaking, a quick session in the island’s gym or a round of island side tennis, enjoy the resort-style swimming pool with its view across the river. You might even drift off to sleep listening to the lapping of the river and the chirping of crickets.
No traffic noise. No people. Just you on one of the most glorious private islands Australia has to offer. If you fancy, catch a boat over to Noosa to surf any one of the Sunshine Coast’s stunning beaches.
This Australian private island falls in the luxury range. In total, Makepeace Island can host up to 20 guests, yet the price per night for up to eight adults starts from $10,000 plus $500 for each additional guest. That breaks down to $1,250 per person per night and includes all food and activities.
2. Orpheus Island, Queensland
Orpheus Island on the Great Barrier Reef is as a tropical paradise, and well-known as one of the best private islands in Australia. Expect resort-style accommodation with uninterrupted views of the ocean.
Orpheus Island can host up to 28 people in its beachfront rooms, suites and villas. Each room has sleek, clean and modern decor, as well as air-conditioning for those hot summer days. Upgrade to the suite to add a spacious lounge room to your king-sized bed and bathroom. Or opt for the villa for all that and more including an extra bathroom and bed.
While you’re there, you’ll have unlimited access to all watersports equipment, such as dinghies, paddleboards, kayaks, catamarans as well as snorkelling and fishing gear.
If you pick the romantic XOXO package, you can even enjoy a private island beach drop off, accompanied by a packed picnic hamper, champagne and choccie covered strawberries on arrival. With extra touches like this, it’s not hard to fall in love with Orpheus Island. They even offer a signature ‘Dining with the Tides’ experience, available on the evening of your choice.
Most days will likely be spent by the glorious infinity pool, looking out over the crystal-clear waters of the Coral Sea. If you can manage to pull yourself away from the 180-degree ocean views, try the on-site spa which has award-winning services such as massages and manicures.
Then try the library. The island boutique. One of the many walking tracks. A helicopter ride over the island and its surrounds… should we continue?
Orpheus Island‘s all-inclusive luxury XOXO Package starts from $6,910 for two guests. It includes four-nights accommodation, gourmet meals and your choice of beer, wine or soft drink, plus daily activities.
To book the whole island, sleeping 28 guests in 14 retreats, prices start from $25,350 per night. That works out at $906 per person per night.
3. Wilson Island, Queensland
Yes, we know. Queensland again. But honestly, several of the best luxury private islands Australia has to offer ARE in Queensland. We promise the other states will get a look in soon.
Wilson Island is another Great Barrier Reef beauty. It’s a romantic and adults-only island with Bohemian, safari-style vibes.
Just off the coast of Gladstone in Queensland, Wilson Island invites guests to stay in one of nine large reef safari tents spread out over five acres.
This is the place to disconnect. The island has a no phone and no television policy, so it’s perfect if you want to reset your mind, recharge your body and rejuvenate your soul.
To get to Wilson Island you will need to catch a ferry to Heron Island. From there, it’s a scenic 25-minute boat ride to your private island paradise.
When you arrive, you’ll find an activity schedule focused on holistic experiences. Expect a little bit of adventure and a whole lot of detoxing. You can try self-guided nature walks, stargazing, bird watching, snorkelling, kayaking and paddleboarding. Or just laze around in the sunshine. The island is littered with hammocks perfect for doing just that or devouring a book from the on-site library.
If you’re lucky, you might even witness the laying or hatching of baby turtles.
There’s no need to worry about food, with your own personal chef on the island to meet all your dietary needs. Sunset drinks are also essential.
With a particular focus on sustainability, your mind will be at ease throughout the duration of your stay on Wilson Island, one of the most unique private islands Australia has to offer.
Wilson Island falls in the luxury category with prices starting from $1,100 per couple per night. To book the island exclusively, prices start from about $8500 for up to 18 guests.
4. Bedarra Island, Queensland
Another incredible private island in Australia is the beautiful Bedarra Island. This secret getaway, halfway between Cairns and Townsville, is covered in dense rainforest; the rich and deep green foliage contrasting magnificently against the blue water of the Coral Sea.
Bedarra Island sells itself as one branch of a family tree. Each branch represents other islands in the chain, the most-famous being Dunk and Timana. That means you’ll have a copious amount of day trip options, including the Great Barrier Reef, just a stone’s throw away.
Guests can explore the underwater world with catamaran and charter yachts available daily. Or, if you’d like something more fast-paced, the area offers action-packed adventures such as tandem skydiving and whitewater rafting.
Bedarra Island fits a maximum of 20 guests at any time and you can expect to pay prices from $1,390 for each villa. So this really is a luxury getaway.
5. Haggerstone Island, Queensland
If you want seclusion, look no further than Haggerstone Island.
Haggerstone is unlike any of the islands we’ve mentioned because it’s the furthest away from any large or well-known city. If you look on Google maps, Haggerstone and the tip of Australia are within the same vicinity. We’re talking seven clicks, max. This proximity means a whole new side of the Australian coastline to explore.
In Far North Queensland, the water is warmer. The sun is closer. Yet you couldn’t be more far away.
Haggerstone Island’s accommodation matches the uniqueness of its location. It has five Papua New Guinea/African inspired villas to choose from, housing up to 12 people. Each one has a private deck, tropical garden, and uninterrupted views of oceanic bliss.
House Mawu is the biggest and most luxurious villa on offer at Haggerstone. It boasts two queen beds and two bathrooms. It also has an open-plan eating and lounge area, a two-bed loft and a fireplace for ambience. Let’s not forget the guests’ personal library.
The smaller Lagoon Hut commands a view of the lapping lagoon. Kwilla Hut is hidden away in the coastal canopy and the Beach Hut has a private pathway to the shore. The Lighthouse Hut is also on its way soon.
Haggerstone offers all your favourite island activities and more.
Yes, you can opt for fishing and kayaking, but what about the privately chartered helicopter tour to secret waterfalls? Zooming around crystal clear waters on a 45 foot jet boat? Wake-boarding? Water-skiing? Panoramic views from a mountainous hilltop climb? Snorkelling over ancient shipwrecks? There’s plenty to choose from.
Haggerstone Island‘s huts can be booked from $700 per night. Alternatively, you can rent the entire Island for around $6,800 per night for groups of up to 10, and from $7,200 for larger groups.
6. Pumpkin Island, Queensland
If the name Pumpkin Island doesn’t draw you in, wait until you see what this private island has to offer, along with its incredible price tag.
The small island – just six hectares in total – offers accommodation for up to 34 guests in seven eco-friendly cottages. All offer private decks and barbecues.
The island boasts activities such as kite and windsurfing, stand-up paddle boarding, glass-bottomed kayaking, evening bonfires, scuba diving and jet-ski tours. A quick trip across to Yeppoon will allow for even more holiday fun, with the likes of horse-riding, sailing, golfing and whale watching.
Hungry? The island is self-catering meaning you’ll have to take all your favourite treats with you or simply order your meals prior to arrival. Alternatively, you can arrange to have them delivered to you via ferry transfer. If you’re looking for something more fancy, Yeppoon offers numerous award-winning restaurants and pubs.
Pumpkin Island is one of the best-priced private islands in Australia. The whole island can be yours for a measly $2,715 for 34 guests. Do the maths on that one. If you can’t, that’s $64 a head.
7. Fraser Island Retreat, Victoria
See, we told you they weren’t all Queensland private islands. Glad you made it this far.
Fraser Island Retreat is in Lakes Entrance, Victoria. To get here you need to catch the privately operated ferry, which costs about $200 per return trip.
Guests stay in a 100-year-old homestead that boasts 11 bedrooms, with beds for up to 38 guests. If 38 just won’t fit you all, the bunkhouse outside will accommodate up to 10 more.
So, what can you do on this 100-year-old island?
So much. You will have your own nine-hole golf course, two fully-equipped tennis courts, a swimming pool and a games room. Take a dip at the private beach, you know, if you feel like it.
All essential amenities are accounted for: toiletries, television, washing machine, gym, indoor fireplace, central heating and dryer. And the kitchen is fully-equipped for self-catering.
So, how much does this one cost? You can rent the whole island for $2,500 a night on Airbnb. That’s just $65 per person for an island all to yourself.
8. Marble Island, Queensland
Marble Island is another one of the well-priced private islands Australia boasts. Mid-way between Rockhampton and Mackay, Marble Island is one of the three in the Duke Island group. This secret gem is often referred to as the crown jewel of the trio.
The cool thing about Marble Island is its farm-style feel. Despite being surrounded by ocean, the combination of grassy plains and cottage/shed style accommodation make for a home away from home.
Marble Island is all about rural-style rest and relaxation. Think guided nature walks, bird watching, star gazing, collecting farm eggs, shucking oysters and beach fossicking.
Cook up a feast in the covered outdoor dining area, just don’t forget to bring your barbecuing goodies.
One of the island’s most unique characteristics is its 450 metre grass airstrip with two runways. Apart from being a super cool island feature that allows guests to watch planes come and go, it means you can arrive in style.
Marble Island is one of Australia’s more affordable options, with four guests paying a total of $640 per night, $50 per extra head. Only one party can book the island at a time.
9. The Eagle’s Nest Island, NSW
Now this is an offer too good to pass up. For all of you in New South Wales, your island retreat awaits in the idyllic waters of the Hawkesbury.
Eagle’s Nest is a 30 minute drive from Sydney’s city centre. This stunning Airbnb can only be accessed via private boat.
The private boat is operated by the owner, who will pick you up upon arrival. It can also be hired out for a quick fee of $100 a day, putting the extensive river system in the palm of your hands.
Spend your evening watching the sun go down across the rolling hills, covered in Aussie scrub and teeming with wildlife.
The house sits right on the riverfront, with views across the water and beyond. Take to the river with the surf skis, canoes and boats, all supplied by the owner who is happy to teach you the basics.
The house is open-plan and spacious, with floor to ceiling glass windows in many rooms. A fully-equipped kitchen and fireplace give the place a homely and cosy feel. Yet the Ibiza-inspired outdoor entertaining area brings the house to life at night.
With two main bedrooms and a share space, the house can accommodate up to six guests. The price? Just $614.29 a night on airbnb. That’s just over $100 each. Bargain.
Ease. Convenience. A delight to exist within. You won’t want to leave.
10. Picnic Island, Tasmania
Picnic Island is the place to go if you want to feel like you’re the only people in the world. You really are missing out if you don’t book a stay on this private island Australia is hiding away in the South.
Surrounded by looming mountain ranges and deep blue water, Picnic Island sits in the middle of Coles Bay, just inside the Freycinet Peninsula of Tasmania.
This former convict sandstone quarry is the Southern most island on our list. If you’re a nature-lover, this is the place for you. Come sundown, the native birds and penguins return to the island for nightfall, all right in front of your eyes.
Whales, dolphins and seals may also make an appearance. Head down to the water’s edge to look for them and while you’re down there, be sure to collect some mussels off of the rocks.
If you can peel yourself from this secluded Tassie paradise, the water taxi will take you across to the mainland within 10 minutes. If you choose to stay on the island, check out the walking tracks and waterside deck.
Stay warm at night by the suspended open fireplace with views across the bay and to the mountains beyond. The interior decor is sleek, modern and spacious, with everything you need right there on the island.
Up to 10 guests can stay on Picnic Island, making it perfect for a weekend away with family or a much needed getaway with mates.
At only $2,200 per night, one of the best private islands Australia has to offer can be yours. Just don’t forget to pack those winter woollies.
11. Wallis Island, NSW
If you’re after luxury, Wallis Island has your name written all over it.
This grand estate sits on the water in Forster, NSW, and is surrounded by palm trees, bushland and elegantly manicured lawns. Giving off Hollywood mansion vibes, you’ll feel like an absolute celeb throughout the duration of your stay.
Wallis Island may not be the most tropical of private islands Australia boasts, but it is definitely the most glamorous.
Both the interior and exterior will remind you of a French chateau. Elegant and regal furniture can be found in every room and crystal chandeliers hanging from ceilings. Draping curtains on the windows look straight out of a Jane Austen novel.
With five bedrooms and six bathrooms (not including en suite), privacy and space will not a problem. Single and bunk beds can be supplied for extra people at $150 per bed, per night.
Fear not, as the mansion also contains those modern necessities required for your island getaway. Flat-screen televisions, a bar and a stereo system promise many fun-filled nights.
The surrounding grounds of the house are sprinkled with statues and pillars for you to wander through at your leisure. If that’s not really your thing, check out the property’s forest or the jetty that juts out into the river.
Book your stay at Wallis Island, one of the most glamorous private islands Australia could provide, at only $2,314.29 a night. That’s about $385 each.
12. Camp Island, Queensland
Let’s end with a bang, shall we?
We’re finishing up this glorious journey through some of the most exquisite and exciting private islands Australia boasts with Camp Island, back in sunny Queensland.
Camp Island, in the Northern part of the Whitsundays, is surrounded by sandy beaches and coral reefs.
The ‘Queenslander-style’ architecture creates a real vacation ambience. Each villa, with private veranda, has been constructed with hardwood and styled with timber floor-boards.
All are connected via an undercover walkway, making visiting friends in nearby villas quick and easy.
The main lodge contains shared kitchen, dining and living areas, all fully equipped with the appropriate amenities.
The home has a stove, grill and oven in the kitchen, alongside a Nespresso machine, a kettle for tea, dishwasher and fridge.
Spend your day lazing in the pool or playing a spot of either tennis or outdoor cricket. All the equipment is included. You can hire powered watercraft vehicles or just go for a swim at the beach.
Camp Island is the perfect spot for a week of relaxation or a holiday jam-packed with fun.
At only $1,457.14 a night for eight guests, Camp Island is one of the more affordable options when considering a holiday on one of the top 12 private islands Australia has to offer.