We were lucky enough to spend 5 days on Orpheus Island. It started off impressivley with a 25 minute helicopter transfer over the clear blue waters of the Coral Sea. We were greeted by Shaun (the island's new GM) and with sparkling wine in hand we quickly realsied that nothing was too much trouble, we could do as much or as little as we wanted. The service by everone on the island was unparralleled, such lovely, warm people that we enjoyed lots of laughs with.
The island had so many great outdoor activites - Dave was keen to take anyone snorkeling or scubadiving, out on the boat for a spot of fishing, grab a kayak, go swimming, or make your own adventure by taking the boat out for a picnic lunch on a secluded beach. If sun is not your thing, opt indoor activites - grab a book or magazine, play pool, head to the spa.
Jen, the resort's horticulturalist, was so excited to take us on a tour of her vegetable garden, her enthusiasm and knowledge was palpable. She is understandably proud of her impessive garden and adores the chooks that supply eggs daily to the kitchen. She has a strong focus on making the island sustainable and organic insisting on not using sprays or presicides, instead opting for companion planting to promote "good bugs" and encourage pollination.
Head chef Ari artfully combines Jen's produce to create a some of the most sublime culinary experiences. He's come from working with Cheong Liew at The Botanical in Melbourne, so it's not surprising he's become a master of fusion food.
But the star of the event - Maggie Beer - joined us with her lovely husband Colin at the event the resort hosted "A Weekend with Maggie Beer". Maggie and Colin mingled with us all, talking and laughing. Then came pièce de résistance - dinner time and this is what this little foodie lives for! Maggie prepared two dinners for us over the 3 days, the most memorable dishes being pesto with burrata, gocci, squid ink risotto, eaton mess - in fact all of them :) but it was agreed that the standout was her buttermilk chicken and eggplant pickle. Each afternoon, she performed master classes (without Colin because he makes her nervous, she joked) and taught us her little tricks, like smoking tomatoes and using whatever you have to hand - don't follow a recipe blindly.
Despite Maggie being the draw card for us to go to Orpheus, we will most certainly be back. We had a wonderful holiday and delighted in the company of fellow foodies, but alos in each and every Orpheus staff member. Thank you for a wonderful trip and fabulous memories, we'll see you next year!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Orpheus Island Lodge is the Barrier Reef‘s most secluded tropical island. Catering for just 28 indulged guests at one time, Orpheus truly epitomizes service and luxury. Located just a 30 minute scenic flight from Townsville or a 90 minute flight from Cairns, the picture perfect luxury hideaway stretches across 11km of immaculate turquoise coastline, and comprises a pristine National Park and surrounding World Heritage-listed Marine Park. With its unique location, Orpheus has access to the largest range of activities set amongst some of the most preserved areas of the reef. You will not be short of things to see and do on and around the island. The ultimate culinary escape is a foodies paradise. The Orpheus rate is all inclusive of artfully prepared gourmet meals tailored to your individual taste, selected Australia wines and beers, as well as unlimited use of the islands kayaks, stand up paddleboards, catamarans, motorised dinghies, and snorkeling equipment. Perfect as a holiday destination, a picturesque wedding setting, or booked in its entirety for exclusive use, Orpheus is a secret to the outside world and offers guests the ultimate tropical haven. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Orpheus Island Hotel Orpheus Island
- Orpheus Island Resort All Inclusive