The only way to get to the romantic Great Barrier Reef enclave of Orpheus Island, an exclusive private island escape off Queensland, Australia, is a 25-minute flight on the island’s helicopter service. You’ll fly over Aboriginal islands’ shimmering blue seas and the pilot will take you down low to view passing minke whales, mantas and pods of dolphin. However, the true experience begins when you step off the helicopter and into a world that has been developed as an elite sanctuary. Before you arrive, the chef has been informed about your cuisine preferences. Your private beachside villa offers every amenity to complete your escape. All gourmet meals, regional wines and beers, and unlimited use of dinghies and other watercraft are all included. Best of all, only 34 guests at a time are allowed, so you will feel like a stowaway on your own island.
For me, the sensual breeze, quiet beaches and seclusion made every moment on the island a celebration. I enjoyed a private picnic, romantic candle-lit dinner at the end of the private dock, snorkeling and leisurely hiking around the island. Upon arrival, the staff had organized an afternoon tea on a platform atop the island with heart-stopping views of the coast and sea.
I don’t know if it’s aboriginal magic, the tingling air or something the owners will forever refuse to divulge, but there’s an ineffable moment that happens on arrival in Orpheus. It’s something that makes the clock stop and allows romance to infiltrate even simple daily moments, making life something impeccably unforgettable.
From $1,400 – $2,800 per night.