It was less than 5 hours from our front door in Sydney to the world's best ever welcome drink at Orpheus Island. That included the 2.5 hour scheduled flight and the 25 minute spectacular helicopter flight out to this lovely little National Park island on the Great Barrier Reef. My daughter and I flew up just for a weekend, wondering if the time and money was worth it .... well YES it TOTALLY IS!!
The lodge is lovely, stand out features are the huge swimming pool that sits right on the beach. They have a boat for every occassion - dinghys for novice sailors such as me, speedy ribs for snorkelling trips, a glass bottom option and another for fishing and outer reef trips. The rooms are simple, but fresh and comfortable, they are well equipped with mini-bar, coffee maker and thoughtful extras.
The three things that I loved most about Orpheus were -
1. Tony, Baraka, Chrissy, Steph, Jen, Joel, Kevin and the rest of the incredibly friendly team who looked after us so well. I noticed that they looked after a family with young children equally well too - so bring the kids!!
2. The variety of activities - this is a great island for those that are not desperate to be in the water all the time, there are lots of options - island walks, visits to nearby Phantom Island historic site, research station visits and my favourite of all - Dining with the Tides! The most amazing meal at the end of the little jetty, by lantern light - while I was there with my daughter this would be a great spot to say Happy Anything or to Pop THE Question!!
3. The food - OMG, chef Arie and his team cook up a feast for every meal and much of it is the island equivalent of 'paddock to plate' dining. They catch fresh fish and lobster, they pluck oysters from the rocks, they have chickens and a vegie patch too. Their food is inspired, Arie is Indonesian but classically French trained and his creations are a wonderful mix of his experience. I tried Kaya Toast for breakfast (kind of like the Asian equivalent of vegemite & peanut butter on toast) and the tapas style lunches were a feast of little tastings. My favourite dish was a mushroom risotto with crispy skinned barramundi topped with Indonesian fish sambal!! While my daughters was the chocolate souffle.
Two nights / 2 days is too short - I admit, but it was still a fantastic way to enjoy another world in a weekend!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Orpheus is very much a secret to the outside world, a rare island hideaway of exceptional beauty!Located just 80km north of Townsville, amidst the magical waters of the Great Barrier Reef, the island stretches across 11km of immaculate turquoise coastline, and comprises of a pristine National Park and surrounding World Heritage-listed Marine Park. Access is either via a 25 minute helicopter journey from Townsville, or an hour journey from Cairns. The newly renovated lodge accommodates just 34 indulged guests at any one time, ensuring absolute seclusion and serenity! Offering the ultimate romantic escape, a luxurious family getaway, unique outdoorsy experiences, or booked in its entirety for exclusive use, Orpheus is emerging as the ‘new’ undiscovered tropical destination on Australia’s doorstep. Orpheus boasts a plethora of once in a lifetime experiences! Its principal dive sites boast 1,100 of the 1,500 species of fish on the reef; the local waters are a fisherman's playground and home to the most sought after reef and game fish species in the world; and guests can take the helm of a dingy and discover the many pristine coves and reefs that fringe Orpheus. Alternatively, Orpheus provides the perfect backdrop for a more private interlude if guests wish to simply shut off from the outside world and succumb to the pleasure of a unique aboriginal-inspired massage. Accommodation rates are inclusive of all gourmet meals, celebrating a bounty of locally-sourced, wholesome and freshly caught and grown seasonal delights, a selection of regional wines and beers, a daily nature-based experience, and the island’s signature ‘Dining with the Tides’ experience which allows guests to enjoy an intimate dinner for two under a starlit canopy. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Orpheus Island Hotel Orpheus Island
- Orpheus Island Resort All Inclusive