9 Private Islands In Australia You Can Hire Out for Your Next Holiday Splurge

Without bars, restaurants, retail and beauty spaces to treat ourselves to for the majority of 2020, we feel we’re really overdue for a splurge. We got through a difficult year, and you better believe we deserve to do something nice for ourselves.

Now that we’re back living in a semi-normal world in Australia, it’s pretty exciting to be able to splurge on ourselves again, especially when it comes to travel. With so many incredible flight deals, why not really go for it and hire yourself a private island to holiday on? It’d be very LA, darling.

In the open ocean, just off the coast, in the middle of a lake or on a river, Australia is home to some of the world’s most enviable island experiences – and many of them can be hired exclusively. If your instinctive reaction is “Wow, that must be expensive”, we totally get it, but it’s actually super affordable. Averaging at around $2,000 per night, take 10 or so friends with you and it’s the same price as a nice hotel.

With over 3,000 coral reefs to snorkel, countless sunsets to witness and almost 35,876 kilometres (22,292 miles) of coastline, Australia can offer an unforgettable experience no matter what type of island holiday you’re after.

private island australia

Satellite Island, Tasmania 

Those seeking a rugged private island escape should visit Satellite Island, located just off the south coast of Tasmania near Bruny Island. Enjoy exclusive access to the island’s 34 hectares of native bush, sea cliffs, pebble beaches and sunny coves, only sharing with the island’s resident deer and a pair of rare white-breasted sea eagles.

Getting there: Take a scenic hour-and-a-half drive south of Hobart to the coastal town of Kettering, catch the ferry across to Bruny Island before hopping on a private boat to Satellite Island. Or arrive in style with a magical 20-minute helicopter journey from Hobart to the top of the island.

Cost: Available for exclusive hire only, prices start from $2,420 per night for two guests (with a minimum two-night stay). Extra guests are $440 per person per night. The island can accommodate up to eight guests in the island’s Summer House, the Boathouse and the luxury bell tent.

Must see/do: This is the kind of place where you can do all the things, or truly sit back, relax and do nothing at all. From kayaks to snorkels, stand-up paddleboards, fishing rods and board games, island guests have access to loads of equipment to fill their days. But if you prefer to truly disconnect with a good book on the water’s edge, while watching the sunset over nearby Bruny Island, then Satellite is the island for you.

Where to eat: Exclusive hire of the island includes breakfast provisions, a stocked pantry with gourmet essentials, an endless supply of wild oysters plus a kitchen garden and orchard produce. Those keen to head out for a meal can take the private boat across to Bruny to experience bay-to-bar dining at Get Shucked with a plate of fresh oysters and a glass of Tassie’s finest wine, or visit the Bruny Island Cheese Company cellar door for a taste of the locally crafted beers and cheese.

Picnic Island, Tasmania

Located in Coles Bay, which is just around the corner from Wineglass Bay in Tasmania’s Freycinet National Park, the small private Picnic Island is a wild nature experience that offers the adventure retreat of a lifetime. The island’s stunning copper-clad lodge sleeps 10 guests, making it perfect for hosted adventure retreats, or a group escape. Throughout the year, the lodge also offers endless adventures, with both day trip and overnight experiences available too.

Getting there: Guests can fly into either Launceston or Hobart and drive just over two hours to Coles Bay, where Freycinet Adventures will transport guests for the 10-minute trip out to the island. Alternatively, you can fly a seaplane from Hobart direct to the island.

Cost: Exclusive hire starts from $2,200 per night, including water taxi return, for up to 10 guests (king double or twin in five bedrooms). They also offer discounted stays for off-peak times and for shorter notice bookings, which can be as much as 50% of the standard rate.

Must see/do: With the majestic backdrop of the pink granite Hazards mountain range, Picnic Island is surrounded by coves and beaches just a short distance away. Kayak to the shoreline and go for a hike, or wake up for sunrise yoga on the deck. Head off on a day trip to go fishing or swimming, or for the wildlife lovers, head off on an overnight trip to view penguins returning to their burrows at night.

Where to eat: As the ultimate adventure retreat, visitors need to supply their own food. Bring your groceries over with you, or have a go at catching your own fresh seafood or book a ferry back to the mainland to visit the local pub.

Tiwi Island Retreat, Northern Territory 

The Tiwi Islands, often referred to as the ‘Island of smiles’ is an off-the-beaten-track destination with a rich Indigenous culture. The two main islands are Bathurst and Melville, which sit alongside nine smaller, uninhabited islands, 100km (62 miles) north of Darwin. Stay on the remote South West coast of Bathurst Island with Tiwi Island Resort, offering some of the Northern Territory’s best fishing, adventure and Indigenous arts and cultural experiences.

Getting there: A 20-minute scenic flight from Darwin International Airport will take you directly to Tiwi Islands, flying over the Beagle Gulf and Bathurst Island. Air Frontier is the recommended light plane providers who land at the Tiwi Island Retreat airstrip.

Cost: Double rooms start from $500 per night (with a minimum two-night stay). Featuring 18 rooms in total, exclusive use of the entire retreat is available, and prices are available on request.

Must see/do: Tiwi Island Retreat offers a variety of experiences to excite guests; choose from a beach buggy cruise, go mud crabbing and fishing, fly to remote swimming holes on a helicopter or enjoy a private Indigenous arts and cultural tour.

Where to eat: Wander down to the Great Northern Bar for an afternoon drink and enjoy a selection of Australian beer and wine. Dine at The Retreat and indulge in a regionally focused menu.

Makepeace Island, Queensland 

Makepeace Island is as blissful as it sounds. Located on the Noosa River on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Makepeace is described as a ‘sanctuary of seclusion’. Sir Richard Branson’s private hideaway hosts up to 20 guests and focuses on relaxation and rejuvenation. Guests are encouraged to take advantage of the extensive range of onsite facilities including tennis courts, swimming pools, water sports and yoga.

Getting there: Enjoy a private boat transfer from Noosa Heads to the island, which is just minutes away.

Cost: Exclusive island rental which includes three luxury villas, four rooms in the Island House and the unique Boathouse, starts from $18,000 per night, for up to 20 guests. The price includes airport transfers, limitless river transfers, all meals, beverages and full access to the island facilities.

Must see/do: For those looking to explore or venture further afield, Makepeace Island offers a range of unique experiences and activities, including walks through the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island and Great Sandy National Park, beach horse riding on North Shore’s white sand dunes, circumnavigating the island on board scenic flights or heli-rides.

Where to eat: The Executive Chef will create culinary adventures in collaboration with you that will become a high point of your stay. It’s your restaurant and the menus will be designed specifically for you and your guests. With the food coming from local organic producers across the region, the Makepeace Island team can also organise masterclass experiences.

Fraser Island Retreat, Victoria 

One of Victoria’s best-kept secrets, Fraser Island Retreat is hidden away in the beautiful Gippsland Lakes near Lakes Entrance, approximately four hours drive from Melbourne. The retreat offers 11 rooms to house up to 38 people in the 100-year-old homestead “Kawar”, and the option of additional accommodation for 10 in private cabins with an exclusive booking, making it one of the most premium, secluded group accommodation options in the state.

Getting there: Just a short drive from Gippsland and within close proximity of Lakes Entrance, the accommodation team will pick you up at Kalimna or Lakes Entrance jetty in the retreat’s own ferry for the short trip to the Island. For those looking to arrive in style, there is also an airstrip available for light aircrafts.

Cost: The island is available for exclusive hire from $2,500 per night. The homestead has 11 bedrooms, with accommodation for up to 38 people (and extra accommodation for 10 people in cabins).

Must see/do: Tucked away in the stunning Gippsland Lakes, the island has a number of great outdoor experiences for you to enjoy during your stay. Play a round of golf on the nine-hole course surrounding the homestead or stroll through picturesque countryside amongst native animals, blooming flora and abundant birdlife. You can also fish, water ski or enjoy a game of tennis on the two flood-lit tennis courts, or head to the small private beach for a swim.

Where to eat: The large kitchen in the homestead has excellent facilities for a fully self-catered holiday, otherwise catering is also available for one or all of your meals during your stay on the island. There is also a ferry that can carry 30 passengers for $200 per return trip and takes approximately 30 minutes from North Arm Jetty in Lakes Entrance, if you’d like to explore any of the local seafood restaurants or bars in Lakes Entrance, such as Sodafish, and Albert & Co.


Orpheus Island Lodge, Queensland

Accommodating just 28 guests, Orpheus is an all-inclusive, private island lodge located in the Great Barrier Reef, and one of only a few secluded islands on the Reef that can be booked in its entirety for private use. With only 14 rooms, suites and villas, it is the ultimate secluded tropical paradise, surrounded by pristine fringing reef accessible on the doorstep of your accommodation.

Getting there: Access to Orpheus is via a 30-minute helicopter journey from Townsville over the picturesque coral-studded sea.

Cost: Individual rooms are priced from $1,600 per night, and exclusive use of the resort is priced from $25,350 for up to 28 guests.

Must see/do: Orpheus creates bespoke experiences for guests, from arranging private dives at the Museum of Underwater Art to Helicopter Adventures, and even a variety of eco-tours.

Where to eat: All stays include three gourmet meals prepared daily by chef Winston Fong and his team at the ‘chef hatted’ Orpheus restaurant, which was awarded a Chef’s Hat in 2019 by the Australian Good Food Guide. The culinary team at Orpheus delivers an innovative daily-changing menu that showcases the riches of the region across breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks.  

Haggerstone Island Resort, Queensland 

Located over 800km north of Cairns close to the northernmost tip of Queensland, Haggerstone is one of the most remote and private island resorts in Australia and offers an unparalleled adventure experience individually tailored to each guest. Uniquely designed lodges blend seamlessly along the island foreshore, with each private villa offering its own pristine beachfront and sea view. The island accommodates just twelve guests, meaning you can easily book the whole place out for you and a group.

Getting there: To access Haggerstone, fly to Cairns and then either catch a two-hour private charter flight directly to Haggerstone’s airstrip or a pre-organised flight to Weipa with Qantas, where you can board a private charter to Haggerstone.

Cost: Exclusive island hire for up to 10 guests starts from $6,800 per night, including all meals and non-alcoholic beverages and island excursions.

Must see/do: The island offers a range of tailored excursions on its 45ft jet boat, which is included in the accommodation cost and allows guests to experience activities such as fishing, snorkelling over coral gardens, and beach combing to name a few. You can also book chartered helicopter visits to private waterfalls, mountainous sand dunes and other nearby attractions.

Where to eat: All meals are included in the stay, with the cuisine focusing heavily on the abundance of first-class seafood fresh from the ocean. The seafood is almost always caught on the day and fruit and vegetables are organically grown in the orchard.


Bedarra, Queensland

Located on the Great Barrier Reef midway between Cairns and Townsville, Bedarra is an all-inclusive, private resort and the ultimate in barefoot luxury. With just ten private villas hidden amongst 45 hectares of tropical rainforest, the island offers solitude, privacy and sublime views over the reef. Accommodating a maximum of 20 guests, you are guaranteed a secluded, personalised island getaway like no other.

Getting there: Guests can arrive or depart from Bedarra with the following options: launch to/from Mission Beach, helicopter to/from Mission Beach, or helicopter to/from Cairns Airport.

Cost: Villa rates start from $1,390 per night, whilst exclusive use of the resort starts from $13,530 a night, including nine luxury villas, all meals and unlimited Jacquart Champagne.

Must see/do: All bookable via the resort, you can enjoy sea kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, motorised dinghies, massages and spa treatments, snorkelling, fishing, tennis courts, rainforest walks, outer Great Barrier Reef snorkelling and scuba diving trips, deep-sea fishing charters and scenic helicopter charters.

Where to eat: The open terrace restaurant, bar and lounge are the heart and soul of Bedarra, serving a delicious and ever-changing menu created by executive chef Heath Weber and his team.

Lizard Island, Queensland 

As the northernmost resort on the Great Barrier Reef, Lizard Island is truly secluded from the rest of the world. Located on a 1,013-hectare National Park surrounded by World-Heritage listed coral reefs, Lizard Island offers seclusion and natural privacy that guests will cherish, as well as easy access to one of the greatest natural wonders of the world.

Getting there: Depart from Cairns Airport on a charter plane and travel one hour over the breathtaking Great Barrier Reef to Lizard Island.

Cost: The 40 rooms and villas on the island are priced from $2,029 per night. Exclusive use of the entire resort is also available, prices available on request.

Must see/do: All bookable via the resort, guests can experience Lizard Island on the reef, on land or in the tranquillity of the spa. With guided and self-guided activities include snorkelling, diving, paddleboarding, kayaking, hiking, visits to the Research Centre, tennis under night lights, morning yoga on the beach and indulgent spa treatments.

Where to eat: Two private beach pavilions sit on Anchor Bay, each commanding spectacular views of the nightly sunsets and ready for guests to have their own private degustation dining experience on the beach, or for something less formal take a picnic for two to a private beach of your choice.

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