More than 600km north of Cairns, if you’ve made it this far, your Marine Park voyage is regrettably almost over.
Deep into Cape York country, Haggerstone Island (www.haggerstoneisland.com.au) is less than 10km offshore, and a million miles from life as most of us know it. The only passing traffic here is fishing trawlers and long distance ocean voyagers. However, relief is at hand for adventurous travellers who tackle the arduous journey.
Created from the jungle at the hands of two passionate adventurers, Haggerstone is a wilderness retreat promising a unique castaway experience. Roy Turner was a frustrated shearer with a love of hunting, fishing and music before he followed his heart deep into the New Guinea wilds, hunting crocs and playing the guitar. Disappointingly for Roy, he “had to leave the piano at home.” An Englishwoman, Anna, had visited Haggerstone on an earlier shipwreck-hunting voyage with her father. They landed together on the uninhabited island in the mid 1980s with a barge-load of materials to create their island paradise.
Guests are welcome to join Roy and Anna and their family in one of four handcrafted huts. Switch your watch onto island time (or better still leave it at home) and allow your inner Robinson Crusoe to escape. “We love families to come and visit,” says Roy. “It’s a wonderful place for kids to run wild and barefoot.” The subtle sophistication of crystal glassware and exquisite cuisine are an added drawcard for parents.
And finally, tiny Poruma Island is around 100km northeast from the very tip of mainland Australia at Cape York. Known as Coconut Island by local residents, Poruma Island Resort in Torres Strait is scheduled to re-open in April ’09 after a lengthy closure (www.poruma.com).
Getting There: Light plane from Cairns to Hicks Island, then a boat transfer to Haggerstone. To Poruma, you’ll need a private charter from Horn Island or Cairns.