Australia’s top 5 luxury island resorts

Last Updated: 04 Jul 2024
Olivia Preston

With over 8,000 islands housing a mixture of rainforest, beaches, pristine waters and wildlife, a lifetime wouldn’t be long enough to explore everything Australia has to offer. Some of these islands remain virtually untouched, with few footprints left behind.  

From self-sailing the Great Barrier Reef, to mountain biking through Lord Howe Island, these lavish islands provide the perfect escape.

We’ve selected Australia’s top five island resorts that will have you living the life of luxury; so, grab your pen and paper, and add these to your bucket list.

Credit: Green Island Resort

Green Island Resort

Great Barrier Reef, Queensland

Green Island Resort lies in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Nestled away, this protected paradise island is 45 minutes from Cairns and is only accessible by boat or helicopter. The central rainforest is surrounded by crystal clear water and coral reefs. It’s like the Australian Maldives!

Included in the room rate are complimentary boat transfers (return) along with a glass-bottom boat tour, snorkel gear and a sunset drink, not to mention the additional guided activities that could have you feeding fish or star gazing. Why not take a kayak out and explore… an underwater world of tropical fish and turtles await you.

Choose to soak up the sun with a beach picnic or enjoy beach dining where you can sip ‘til the sun goes down (available on request). For a more casual option, grab a coffee from The Café or a light lunch from The Canopy Grill. Cocktails are served at Reflections Pool Bar, and there is award-winning Emerald Restaurant & Bar where local dishes are served and sourced throughout the day, served in or outdoor on the terrace.

With just 46 rooms, Green Island creates more of a boutique experience. The eco-friendly resort offers two room types, Island and Reef Suites. For getaways with family and friends, a Twin Suite (made up of two double beds) is recommended and this can hold up to two adults and two children (0-14 years). Couples are encouraged to unwind in a King Suite, complete with one king-size bed. For any honeymooners or romantics, 10 Reef Suites are available, offering the ultimate luxury, with 66 square metres split over two levels. All suites come with air-conditioning, a private balcony and separate bath and shower facilities.

Credit: Elysian Luxury Retreat on Facebook

Elysian Luxury Eco Island Retreat

Whitsundays, Queensland

If you like a taste of the finer things, step into luxury with this all-inclusive adult only retreat in the Whitsundays. Hidden away in a three-hectare cove on rocky shores, this idyllic island can only be reached by helicopter or boat. Accommodating up to 20 people, this exclusive island has 10 ocean-front villas, so you can fall asleep to the sound of the waves. If you’re looking for peace and quiet, tucked away from the world, this escape is perfect for you.

Elysian Luxury Eco Island Retreat take pride in protecting the natural environment. The resort is 100% solar powered, re-uses harvested rainwater, adopts zero-waste kitchen practices and they minimise their plastic use, to name a few of the conscious efforts made.

Room rates include three gourmet meals per day, unlimited beer and wine or non-alcoholic drinks, pre-dinner canapés, water sports equipment, snorkelling gear, daily yoga classes and a magnesium pool! Choose to paddle around the waters of The Great Barrier Reef or simply soak up the views of the captivating rainforest.

Enjoy fresh food from the garden for breakfast, paired with juice or coffee. Choose whether to dine al fresco or have a picnic hamper prepared for your adventurous day ahead. Be blown away by the sunset cocktails and complimentary canapés that await your return, served on the deck or around the firepit. Finally, relax and enjoy a three-course meal with a sea view.

The resort offers three villa options. First are the standard ocean front villas, with ocean and rainforest views from the front deck only; these are the most basic and there are five available. Then there are four villas with an outdoor rain shower, and these have spectacular views from both the front and rear deck. Lastly, there is one villa further away from the rest, with views from both the front and rear deck, plus its very own plunge pool and daybed!

Credit: Banubanu Beach Resort on Facebook

Banubanu Beach Retreat

Bremer Island, Northern Territory

For those who appreciate life’s simple pleasures. Banubanu Beach Retreat is an eco-friendly beachfront glamping experience on Bremer Island. Its remote location allows you to get close to nature and enjoy beach living for everything it is. East Arnhem Land is rich in indigenous art and culture. Hosts Helen and Trevor share stories with guests from 1803, so you’ll leave the retreat rested, and more knowledgeable!

You can reach Arnhem Land by boat, plane or if you’re feeling adventurous, the nearest town Nhulunbuy is 710km by car from Katherine in the Northern Territory (4WD are recommended and permits are required). The unique island experience was built in partnership with the Yolngu people, the traditional owners of Bremer Island, to ensure each stay is authentic. There is a tropical climate, with both a wet and a more favourable dry (“winter”) season which runs May-Oct.

All meals are included in the price of the stay, including a standard alcohol range of wines and spirits, as well as juices and soft drinks. Reserve wines and cocktails are available at an extra cost. Beach excursions and fishing trip can be organised during your stay, if you’re lucky, you may catch a Tuna! If you prefer to fish off the rocks, just remember to bring your tackle. For any bird-lovers, don’t forget to pack your binoculars, as there are 65 identified birds on the island.

Guests will dine in an elevated pavilion overlooking the waters of the Western cove. Seabreeze Restaurant, Bar, Lounge and Pool have a large open deck, perfect to catch the sun setting while indulging in freshly caught fish. Highlights from the menu include King Prawns and Crispy Skin Duck. End your evening with a dip, taking in the panoramic views Bremer Island has to offer.

Banubanu offer ocean facing safari tents, equipped with king or single beds, dotted along the coast. Each tent comes equipped with an outdoor shower, a sundeck and complimentary tea and coffee. The perfect blend of luxury and tranquility. Please note a minimum of 2 nights is required.

Credit: Qualia on Facebook


Hamilton Island, Queensland

Qualia is located on the largest island in the Whitsundays, conveniently with its own airport, sitting on the edge of The Great Barrier Reef. The resort is so desirable, big names such as Johnny Depp have been spotted filming here, and it’s no wonder. It is a large resort, and golf buggies are provided for guests to get around and explore everything Hamilton has to offer. If understated luxury is your thing, this resort is for you.

There are two packages available, classic and gourmet. The classic package includes breakfast, and gourmet includes breakfast and dinner at their on-site restaurants. Both packages include all non-alcoholic beverages, use of an electric golf buggy for the duration of stay (licence required), VIP chauffeur service around Hamilton Island, VIP return airport/marina transfers, use of the gym, sauna and spa (treatments at an additional cost and must be pre-booked). The resort also provides non-motorised watercraft, such as kayaks, paddle boards, catamarans for self-sail and snorkel equipment for guests to use anytime during their stay. Helicopter tours and private sailing charters are also available to book online.

Breakfast starts in style, with a board of fresh fruit followed by the a-la carte menu, served high among the eucalyptus trees in Long Pavilion. Lunch is served in Pebble Beach restaurant where you can soak up the sun (and the sea) while enjoying contemporary Australian food. Taste the seasons with all produce being sustainably sourced from farmers and artisans around the country. In the evenings, Pebble Beach is transformed into a fine-dining restaurant where you can experience six-courses paired with fine wines. For a more laid-back setting, visit Long Pavilion as they serve simple, yet fine Australian-dishes, or opt to dine in with their all-day menu. All meals and reservations must be made in advance.

The resort offers two one-bedroom pavilion types, Leeward and Windward. Both pavilions are positioned in surrounding bushland, capturing the blissful sea view. Leeward pavilions feature a private terrace, a lounge area with polished wooden floors, high-end timber detailing and a sundeck. Windward pavilions have a private plunge pool and floor to ceiling glass, allowing you to take in the panoramic Whitsundays view from your king-size bed.

Credit: Capella Lodge, Lord Howe Island on Facebook

Capella Lodge

Lord Howe Island, New South Wales

Located on Australia’s most exclusive island, the only feasible way to visit Lord Howe is by air. The island is home to approximately 350 permanent residents and can only have a maximum of 400 visitors at one time. This unspoiled oasis is the only Lord Howe accommodation that provides mountain, lagoon and ocean views.

Included in every stay at Capella Lodge is unlimited use of lodge facilities such as adult mountain bikes, snorkelling equipment and a wet edge pool. Meals are also provided, expect gourmet breakfast, sunset drinks, canapes and a three-course dinner paired with wine (changes daily). Not to mention an open bar from 6pm with premium wines, spirits and non-alcoholic beverages. There is also an onsite spa where treatments can be made in advance at an extra cost.

All meals are served in the Capella Restaurant, where you can taste the pacific-inspired menu while looking out toward Mount Gower and Lidgbird. Choose from a daily smoothie or juice, followed by freshly baked pastries and fruit to fuel your morning. Lunch can be taken inside, or you can opt for a Walkers Lunch or Barbeque Pack, allowing you more freedom to explore the island. The dinner menu changes daily, with three-course paired meals to please every palette. During the day, artisan tea and coffee are available from the Capella Bar, or the comfort of your own room, equipped with an in-suite bar.

There are nine island-style suites available, each with their own flair, and sleeping between one and four guests. The more luxurious suites are set over two levels and include hot tubs, plunge pools and if you’re feeling fancy, a wraparound verandah. All suites feature king beds, a music system, TV, Wi-Fi, telephone, safe and room bar. The bathrooms are fitted with rain showers and Capella Spa amenities. Beach towels, bathrobes and a hairdryer are also provided.

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