Although just a short drive and one-mile catamaran ride from Cairns International Airport, Double Island is best accessed by helicopter. The five-minute flight soars over the steep headlands of Australia’s northeast coast before hurtling across the tropical blue waters of Trinity Bay and setting down on this pristine private isle.
Named for the two distinct peaks that anchor it in the warm waters of the Coral Sea, Double Island is a 46-acre sanctuary that accommodates guests exclusively on a “whole-of-island” basis. The resort hosts as many as 50 visitors at a time in its 25 suites, but more intimate parties willing to pay the $16,000-per-night price are equally welcome to enjoy the island’s bounty.
As masters of this tropical domain, guests unwind in garden-view rooms with palm tree–shaded balconies or in opulent apartments with private plunge pools. Dense growths of fragrant frangipani and hibiscus provide an added element of seclusion, with only the wind and the occasional screech of a rainbow lorikeet breaking the silence. For the slightly more adventurous, exotic tentlike safari suites, mere feet from the water’s edge, offer unobstructed views of the nearest neighbors: the pelicans and dolphins feeding in Trinity Bay.
For a truly private experience as a Double Island guest, you can banish the staff to the nearby mainland. But make sure they leave behind the mounds of sugarcane prawns and steamed red-claw yabbies with rémoulade sauce delivered by local caterers. And you might also want to keep that helicopter parked nearby: The sandy cays of the Great Barrier Reef, lying just east of Double Island, make an idyllic setting for a picnic lunch.
Off the tropical northeast coast of Queensland, Australia, 1,100 miles north of Brisbane.
10 luxury, 10 garden, and five seaside safari suites.
Catamarans, kayaks and canoes, motorized dinghies, gymnasium, 25-meter pool, indoor/outdoor cinema.
Food and beverage service must be arranged. Private catering options range from casual to five-star; guests may also bring their own staff and chef.
Counting the wallabies hopping along the forest floor of the island’s two peaks (12 to 18 have been spotted so far).
From approximately $16,000 per night (entire island).
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