Ever since English writer Daniel Defoe created the character of Robinson Crusoe in 1719 the world has been infatuated with the notion of “escaping” to a tropical island. Thousands of books, movies and documentaries have been devoted to this subject. Indeed, it was Confessions of a Beachcomber, a 1908 bestseller about life on Dunk Island by E.J Banfield, a latter day Crusoe, that first generated global interest in the Great Barrier Reef – now one of Australia’s premier tourist attractions.
Three hundred years after Robinson Crusoe first strode into our consciousness, along with the ever-loyal Man Friday, we find it hard to shake off our fascination with desert islands – a theme memorably brought to the big screen by Tom Hanks in the 2000 movie Cast Away.
Today’s beachcombers naturally require a few more luxuries than those enjoyed by Robinson Crusoe, who was forced to build his own shack and hunt for food. Freshly prepared gourmet meals, a world-class wine list, indulgent spa treatments and elegant, air-conditioned villas are now standard offerings at Australia’s best island resorts – a category which now extends from the tip of Queensland to Lord Howe Island, a far flung outpost in Pacific Ocean.
What constitutes a dream island getaway naturally depends on who you ask. A palm fringed beach seems to be a prerequisite, along a balmy tropical climate and a wide range of outdoor adventures, such as scuba diving, snorkeling, tennis, yachting, fishing and maybe golf – there’s an 18-hole championship golf course on Dent Island, a short boat ride from qualia resort. This selection illustrates the range and variety of Australia’s top end island resorts – from the laid-back rustic charms of Haggerstone Island to the glamour of Lizard Island and the cosmopolitan chic of qualia. Can’t decide which one to choose? That’s not a problem. Let our travel designers create an itinerary which combines two or more island getaways. Afterall, they all have their own individual charm, beauty and allure.