Orpheus Island Resort: Ten reasons why this is the perfect Queensland island resort

Now Queensland's open, it's time to find the ultimate Queensland island resort. Here are 10 reasons why Orpheus Island might just be it.

1. IT SHOULD BE ISOLATED, BUT NOT TOO ISOLATED

Orpheus Island's closest neighbour (Fantome Island) was a leper colony right up until Gough Whitlam was running the country, while the RAAF used to bomb the bejesus out of another neighbour for target practice (Rattlesnake Island).

2. THERE SHOULD BE MORE BEACHES THAN GUESTS

There's a lot more than 28 beaches (which is the number of guests); the trick's in finding them, there's no roads, just hiking trails, spread throughout 1300 hectares of national park. Spare your feet, take a boat.

3. IT SHOULD BE HARD TO GET TO, BUT NOT TOO HARD TO GET TO

It's too far out for motor launches – who wants lots of guests? Guests arrive by helicopter (the trip takes 35 minutes each way). When you leave everyone comes out to wave you off. Each time a new guest arrives, you feel like pointing at the chopper like the little bloke from Fantasy Island.

4. THERE MUST BE FISH

Orpheus Island is part of the Great Barrier Reef. There are lots of fish. James Cook University have a marine research station around the corner – there they study the 1100 fish species (of 1500 found on the reef) that swim around you. That's just the start. There's Australia's biggest clam nursery. And tiny reef sharks cruise the shallows in front of the lodge (relax, they're 50 centimetres long). I see 19 stingrays in a half-hour paddleboard, and manta rays and humpback whales take turns throughout the year to visit.

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5. CELEBS MUST HAVE DISCOVERED IT, BUT THEY WON'T SPEAK OF IT

Orpheus Island has had some sort of lodge on it since 1931; everyone from Vivien Leigh to Prince Charles and Elton John have stayed here. Chris Hemsworth too, but he put it on Instagram to his 21 million followers … not cool Chris. That's why when someone tells you they've been to Orpheus Island, you say: "ah, lucky you". But you actually have no idea where it is.

6. THERE CAN BE NO JET SKIS

Your 140 horse-power Kawasaki Wave-Runner will be waiting for you in Thailand. Here they just scare the turtles. Take a dinghy with a six horsepower outboard instead and find your own private beach for a picnic (it comes with your room). If you need the smell of diesel, take a deep sea fishing charter or a dive trip to the outer Great Barrier Reef.

7. YOU SHOULD FEEL GOOD ABOUT STAYING HERE

Not only did the current owner ditch the jet skis that were here, he ripped up the tennis courts and replaced them with veggie gardens. Power comes from the sun, waste water is recycled and there are chickens running around. Yes, that's where your omelettes come from.

8. EVERYONE MUST BE YOUR FRIEND

With room for just 28 guests, Orpheus Island Lodge feels more like a private beach club than a resort. Guests will be your new best mates. You'll all congregate at the open bar (drinks are included) beside the infinity pool, though the fire-pit on the beach at sunset is like a backpacker hang-out for wealthy people. If you can't make friends with guests – there's 28 staff, and they're paid to be your friends (even if you're annoying).

9. THE FOOD SHOULD MAKE YOU WANT TO MOVE TO QUEENSLAND

Dinners often come served on a flare-lit pier: lobster, prawns and fish mostly, sourced hours earlier from trawlers. Menus change daily, depending on what's caught (maybe you caught it yourself?) or what's good for harvest in the lodge's veggie gardens.

10. THE BLUE OF THE WATER MUST BE IMPOSSIBLE TO DESCRIBE TO FRIENDS

Buggered if I can do it … just look at the photos.

Rooms from $1600 per night, and include all meals, alcohol, water sports and some activities, or book a "pay four, stay five" package, see orpheus.com.au

The writer travelled courtesy of Orpheus Island Lodge.

See also: Going 'overseas'? Why Australia's island paradise is the best destination

See also: Reliably sexy: The world's 10 most amazing lagoons

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