Australian Traveller’s Alissa Jenkins has unearthed the must-do lux-periences of these stunning Queensland islands.
1. Sleep amongst five-star design
If ever there was a place to splurge for the night, this would have to be a hot contender. The DVF Penthouse on Hayman Island has been personally designed by world-acclaimed fashion designer, Diane Von Furstenberg. As well as harnessing Furstenberg’s bold style with striking fabrics and vibrant colours, the two-bedroom abode comes with a freestanding bath, four-poster bed and a wraparound balcony overlooking Hayman Beach. It sleeps up to four guests and includes butler service, of course. From $5000 a night.
2. Fly to Whitehaven Beach
It doesn’t get much dreamier than Air Whitsundays’ ‘Panorama’ flight. This private charter takes you (and your someone special) to the region’s most picturesque stretch of sand – Whitehaven Beach. After sinking your toes into silica white sand and crystal clear water, it’s back onboard the seaplane for a flight over iconic Heart Reef (you know the one, in every Whitsundays campaign). The tour also includes a ride on a private glass-bottom boat, and a snorkel at a private sheltered lagoon. Swoon… From $475 per person.
3. Cruise into the sunset
There are few better ways to farewell the daylight than on board a sunset cruise. Cruise Indigo, a Hamilton favourite, offers three packages: ‘Sail and Sunset’ with complimentary drinks and canapés, ‘Cruise and Dine’ including a four-course á la carte menu, and ‘Sunset and Seafood’, which is more family-friendly. For an especially memorable cruise, Cruise Whitsundays has the ‘Reef Sleep’, an overnight camping experience where guests sleep on the pontoon for the night. From $399 per person.
4. Experience the ultimate in spa pampering
We all know qualia for its view-hogging infinity pools and award-winning pavilions, but what many overlook is its unique (but utterly indulgent, no less) day spa. Situated in the heart of the resort on Hamilton’s northern tip, the spa has a menu of deliciously decadent treatments, from anti-stress to anti-ageing. Making it uniquely Australian is the use of Li’tya and Sodashi products – made from organic Australian ingredients, and treatments inspired by Indigenous therapies and native products. But the mother of treatments has to be the six-hour Day Spa Experience. Made up of your choice of spa treatments (say, a naturopath consultation, body exfoliation, massage, facial, manicure), it also includes a lunch designed especially for you. From $1000 per person.
5. Eat like royalty
The Chef’s Bench dining experience at Hayman is an exclusive 12-course feast for couples only. Held at the resort’s Fontaine Restaurant, the degustation is made up of carefully curated modern Australian dishes – many of which draw on local produce. But it’s not your usual sit-down dinner – the experience also includes a tour of the resort’s wine cellar and the Hayman Chocolate Room, with a walk through the kitchen, chocolate sculptures and purchasable melt-in-your-mouth morsels. From $320 per person, including matching wines with each course.