is the online portfolio and journal of Australian travel writer Nina Karnikowski.

Australia’s Best Island Getaways: MASTERCARD

Craving an escape from the madding crowd? Here are some of the best remote and luxurious Australian islands, including Lord Howe Island and Hayman Island, to make you feel like you’re a million miles away.


Lord Howe
Step onto World Heritage-listed Lord Howe Island and you’ll immediately feel marooned, in the best possible way. With a limit of 400 visitors at a time, you can hike through the pristine forests, snorkel over the stunning coral reef, and kayak through the translucent waters without seeing another soul, discovering hidden bays, and hand-feeding fish on Ned’s Beach along the way. At the end of each day, you’ll be able to hide away at Lord Howe Island’s boutique Arajilla Retreat, indulging in a blissful massage at the Ayurvedic spa under the canopy of palms and Banyan trees, digging into delicious meals, or simply relaxing with a glass of champagne in your spacious suite.


Just a 10-minute boat ride around the corner from Tasmania’s popular Bruny Island sits this undiscovered slice of paradise, which will be your own private island for the duration of your stay. Settle into your luxury boat shack overlooking the sea and the untamed Tasmanian wilderness as sea birds wheel overhead. Spend your days on Satellite kayaking, fishing, and exploring the island by foot, and when the sun dips below the horizon, light a fire on the pebble beach and shuck some fresh wild oysters to enjoy with a glass of Tasmanian wine.


From the moment you’re greeted by One&Only’s staff at Hayman Island’s private wharf, you’ll feel your heart rate slow and shoulders relax. Surrounded by rolling green mountains, dazzling Whitsunday waters, and waving palms, you’ll be tempted to simply laze by the ocean-side pool—glass of Perrier-Jouët in hand—for your entire stay. Keep in mind that helicopter rides to Whitehaven Beach, golfing on Dent Island, and remarkable bushwalks all await you.


Shh! Don’t tell anyone, but just a 30-minute helicopter ride away from Townsville is this secluded tropical escape that holds just 28 guests. As one of Orpheus Island’s visitors, you’ll be able to take your pick of the 30 beaches, 1400 hectares of pristine national park bushland, and 14 stylish resort rooms and suites on offer. Snorkel the magical waters of the outer Barrier Reef, unwind with an indigenous-inspired treatment at the Gwandalan day spa, or explore neighbouring Hinchinbrook Island, Australia’s largest island national park featuring waterfalls, private beaches, and lush rainforest.


Five kilometres from Tropical North Queensland’s popular Mission Beach sits this bucket list-worthy exclusive island. Bedarra Island Resort is as exclusive and sustainable as they come, where you’ll experience the epitome of barefoot luxury in its eight five-star, glass-walled villas (some with private plunge pools), set amidst 45 hectares of tropical rainforest. Peel yourself away from your villa and you’ll be rewarded with picnics on the nearby deserted islands, candlelit dinners on your own private beach, walks through the rainforest, or kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkelling through the turquoise waters of the Great Barrier Reef.


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