North Queensland is blessed with many five star luxury resort islands. Some are famous, some are only heard about in small circles of repeat customers. Orpheus Island Resort is definitely one of the latter.
With rooms starting at $1400 per night and no more than 30 guests at a time, Orpheus Island Resort is definitely high-end luxury. And, while they’ve had their fair share of celebrity guests, this is not a glitzy party crowd kind of place; this is where you go for simplicity, seclusion and to hide away from it all.
Orpheus Island is part of the Palm Island Group about 80kms north of Townsville. It is only accessible by helicopter from Cairns or Townsville, unless you are going to the research centre on the other side of the island.
Only accessible by helicopter – that sentence really sets the scene doesn’t it!
So, we were already excited as we were waiting to take off in Townsville but as we approached with aerial views of the island and surrounding Great Barrier Reef before touching down on a beachfront helipad, we knew this was going to be one of those trips we couldn’t wait to tell our friends about.
Stretching along the beachfront, this stunning resort features the main alfresco living areas of bar, lounge, restaurant and infinity pool in the centre, with spacious and contemporary guest suites branching out on both sides.
The rooms look out onto the manicured lawn and beach where hammocks hang from palm trees – the perfect spot for lazy afternoons or as you’re watching the sunset. Since the resort faces west, the sunsets are incredible and as the stars come out, the resort lanterns light up to add to the romantic glow.
Perfect for all the guests who come here on honeymoon or to celebrate a wedding anniversary.
Of course, Orpheus Island Resort is heavenly for romantics but families are also welcome.
On the weekend we visited there were only about 14 guests so we often felt like we were the only ones on the island.
things to do
We decided to take one of the boats out to go snorkeling and fishing and the chef prepared a delicious picnic hamper for us to take.
You can also go scuba diving, explore private beaches or check out the giant clam nursery on a motorised dinghy.
But don’t expect jet-skis. This is a quiet Garden of Eden rather than an adventure playground.
While I would defy anybody not to be completely relaxed as soon as you step off the helicopter, there is also a really nice Day Spa for those who think they need some pampering. Since I was there I thought I should give it a run just so I could write about it (!).
evenings on orpheus
In the evenings the resort offers a sunset cruise but if you don’t fancy that there’s plenty of entertainment to be had watching the local wildlife come out to play. We were lucky enough to see rabbits, echidnas and tree pythons around the resort.
The highlight of our first evening was being able to enjoy dinner at one of only two candlelit tables set up each night on the jetty. If you’re not already feeling the love by this stage, this ‘Dining with the Tides’ experience should do the trick.
Foodies will be delighted with the menu too. Our meal was deliciously tasty and with presentation that was good enough to post on social media (judging by our fellow diners).
Orpheus Island Resort has attracted many celebrities over the years because of its seclusion. The laid-back atmosphere, coupled with five-star treatment, leaves you wanting more. Much more.
travel nq fast facts:
- Orpheus Island Resort is a 30 minute helicopter flight from Townsville and a 60 minute helicopter flight from Cairns
- The resort only caters for up to 30 guests
- It has a no-key policy so guests are only able to lock rooms while they are occupied
- Meals, drinks, snorkelling, fishing and use of motorised dinghy are all included in the price of the room
- Large vegetable gardens and a chicken coup at the rear of the resort provide locally grown produce for the resort