Unwind in Paradise: Australia’s 7 Best Private Island Resorts

An image of an island resort in Australia

Island resorts are the ultimate in luxury and one of the most indulgent getaways you can manage, Fortunately, you don’t have to fly to Indonesia or the Pacific Islands to sample to delights of private island living.

Australia has dozens of island resorts dotting its vast coastline. Out of these, only a handful are true private island escapes offering the ultimate in luxury. Owing to local planning laws, conservation rules, and Indigenous ownership, many of these are situated around Western Australia and Queensland.

That is changing, however, with the opening of South Australia’s second private island resort last year. In NSW, you’ll have to fly as far as Lord Howe Island, or Norfolk Island, to get the same experience, and even then, those resorts share the land with other buildings.

So, for those looking for the ultimate in high-end holiday getaways in Australia, here’s where you should be eyeing up next.

Lizard Island Resort, QLD

An image of an island resort in Australia
Image: Lizard Island Resort

The only luxury resort located directly on the Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island Resort is the sole inhabitant of Lizard Island, a tiny triangle of land 240kms north of Cairns. This paradise in the Coral Sea boasts 24 white powdery beaches and 40 vast, airy beachfront luxury villas surrounded by 1000 acres of national park. With former guests including Kate Hudson, Tiger Woods, and Charlize Theron, this place is a once-in-a-lifetime and arguably the best Australia has to offer.

Rumi on Louth Island, SA

Rumi on Louth resort
Image: Rumi on Louth

Opened in October 2023, Rumi on Louth Island is South Australia’s first luxury eco-resort located on a private island. This $40 million dollar, off-the-grid haven offers an exclusive escape for a maximum of 20 guests in beautifully designed geodesic domes with panoramic ocean views. Guests can enjoy sustainable spa treatments, gourmet meals featuring local produce, and personalized experiences like diving the nearby reefs or exploring the island’s natural beauty.

Wilderness Island, WA

An image of an island resort in Australia
Image: Wilderness Island

Off the coast of Exmouth, Wilderness Island offers a rustic-luxe escape for up to 12 guests. Choose from cozy cabins with ocean views or a fully-equipped safari tent, explore secluded beaches, kayak through mangroves, and enjoy fresh seafood feasts under the stars. This intimate island retreat is perfect for those seeking a laid-back escape with a touch of adventure.

Orpheus Island Lodge, QLD

An image of an island resort in Australia

One of the few remaining privately owned island resorts, Orpheus Island Lodge was built in the early 2000s to cater exclusively to just 28 people. The eco-luxury resort is surrounded by the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef and offers beachfront suites and bungalows nestled amidst lush rainforests. Explore the coral reefs, spot marine life, or simply relax in your private haven.

Dirk Hartog Island Eco Lodge, WA

An image of an island resort in Australia
Image: Dirk Hartog Island Eco Lodge

For an off-the-beaten-path adventure, Dirk Hartog Island Island off the coast of central WA is about as rugged and remote as you can get. Situated in the pristine waters of Shark Bay Marine Park, the world heritage island is a haven for dugongs, whale sharks, turtles, and all kinds of sea life. Stay in an Island Lodge or a Private Ocean Villa, complete with the full package of full, locally sourced catering, and enjoy a sunset cocktail at The Inscription, the most remote bar in the world.

Tiwi Island Retreat, NT

An image of an island resort in Australia
Image: Tiwi Island Retreat

This former fishing lodge located on the southern tip of Bathurst Island in the Tiwi Islands offers a one-of-a-kind exclusive experience for up to 30 guests. It’s a barefoot luxury retreat kitted out with glamping tents, ocean-view rooms, and world-class fishing adventures. While the island isn’t entirely private, the limited guest capacity and the emphasis on immersion into the rich Indigenous culture of the region create a secluded and authentic ambience.

Makepeace Island, QLD

An image of an island resort in Australia
Image: Makepeace Island

Located a short boat ride from Noosa Heads, or, more fittingly, a short helicopter jaunt, Makepeace Island is a private sanctuary for up to 22 guests. It’s the home of none other than Australia’s own Richard Branson. The island boasts a stunning beachfront villa, a tennis court, a spa, and plenty of space to explore. Enjoy personalized service, gourmet meals, and unforgettable experiences tailored to your desires. Branson himself is often known to mingle with his guests so, who knows, this could be the time to pitch that big business idea.

Related: 15 Wellness Resorts in Australia Where You Can Recharge Both Your Body and Mind

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