This rustic private island villa is an incredibly remote and unspoiled Robinson Crusoe retreat. Situated 600 kms north of Cairns it lays within the northern Great Barrier Reef and alongside a wild stretch of Cape York Peninsula.
Within a radius of 60 km are thousands of reefs, from singular coral bommies to immense plateaus of living coral.
The largest protected marine park in the world stretches from the coastline to beyond the outer barrier. Within its boundaries is Raine Island, nesting place for tens of thousands of turtles and sea birds.
Northwest along the coast the white sand hills of Shellbourne Bay plummet into the sea, concealing a moonscape of white sand hills, black lakes and intermittent jungle patches.
To the northeast, sun drenched extrusion of granite rise out of the sea. Called the Charles Hardy's Islands, they are covered with intermittent patches of grass, shrubs and ancient palms. In the mid 1800's a major sailing route ran through this area. Shipwrecks were common and their survivors were drawn to the Hardy's, where they waited and hoped for rescue. We have located an 1840's shipwreck complete with giant anchors, bronze keel bolts and other intriguing relics.
Nor west meandering waterways on Bird Island are sanctuary to rays, turtles, crocodiles, fish and innumerable sea and land birds. These shallows, lined with tall mangrove forest, come to life with the rising tide.
The underwater sea cliffs of the outer barrier reef east of Haggerstone drop 1000 to 2000 feet to the sea floor. It is not easy to describe this underwater experience. Those that get to see it, never forget it.
Wild life was first studied in the late 1800's. McGilvray found in excess of 50 bird species on and around the island. The Island and its two sand cays have attracted a population of both sea and land birds. The lush tropical forest and lowland palm jungle has always stood out from its somewhat drier companion islands. The orchard is on a small delta of a creek, which runs in the wet. The rich loam, leaf compost and tropical climate make this area ideal for growing. The wet season from Xmas to March transforms the island into wetland jungle. As the rains ease the island retains its tropical appearance through until August when the deciduous trees begin their leaf shedding. By November the Island forest is thinking only of the approaching wet and early rains are always a blessing. Two lagoons lie directly off the beach and both have prolific marine life
We have three hand crafted guest houses, each with shower and toilet, kitchenette, fridge and sink plus sundecks with spectacular views out to sea. Two of the huts are self contained and one is a more rustic hut with outside shower and toilet. Each guest house can accommodate up to four people. We cater for just 6-8 guests at any one time. There is daily room and laundry service.
Today the garden is a pleasure to walk through. Passion fruit compete with guado and snake beans. The vines of tropical butternut and squashes have to be coaxed away from beds of rocket salad and bokchoy. Basil, coriander and parsley compete for space with lemongrass and ginger. Kaffir lime, mango and curry trees grow randomly along the paths.
For breakfast, papaya or banana are picked fresh off a tree and served with lime juice or passion fruit. The home made muesli has the dominant flavor of fresh toasted coconut. The rich yellow yolks of our eggs are from free roaming fowls fed largely on coconut, fish and garden surplus.
Lunch might begin with oysters steamed in the shell with sliced ginger and lemon grass, squid, simmered quickly in sea water and then placed on a bed of rocket and drizzled with lime juice, olive oil and crushed garlic. Following, a whole lobster thrown in the coals and served with lime and crushed pepper.
For dinner, fresh slices of coral trout, marinated in lime and then cast into a bowl of freshly squeezed coconut cream, followed by red emperor steamed with sesame oil, soy, ginger and garlic. We love wine and do our best to complement the meals prepared with suitable wines. We carry a good range of red and white wines. Our love of food and commitment to simplicity and freshness has made our food what it is today. We welcome you to enjoy it with us!
The Main Building is a large, spacious native style open house. Its raw but functional design features sun bleached poles and open sides to take advantage of cooling island breezes. Drift wood, collected on the island shores, is used to support heavy polished benches and an intriguing array of relics, from the husk of a canoe from Papua New Guinea to an ancient wooden dinner gong and Balinese bed, just adds to the atmosphere. It contains a main kitchen, 2 bathrooms, an extensive library, a dining area and an open fire on the front decks.
The beach hut, featured in Marie Claire, is a very rustic, extensive driftwood construction, with a Robinson Crusoe feel; includes an outside shower and toilet, kitchenette and solar fridge. Two round hand crafted huts similar in style to the main building containing ensuites, kitchenette, solar fridge and sundeck.
We have 3 boats; a 9 meter diesel jet boat capable of 40 knots in 6inches of water. Is highly maneuverable for accessing shallow reef areas and mangrove rivers. Delicious meals of fresh cooked seafood can be prepared in minutes on the boat. This boat is fully surveyed, very stable and carries all diving and fishing equipment on board.
There are 6 meter and 7 meter long boats powered by 50 horsepower Yamahas. These boats are fast and stable and ideal for personal exploration.
We carry a complete range of rods, reels and hand-lines to suit both river and open sea. We also carry extensive support tackle. i.e. traces, lures, swivels, hooks, sinkers and bait nets.
Diving - Snorkeling
We carry a wide range of masks, snorkels, wetsuits, spear guns and associated dive gear.