It’s well-known around the world that the Great Barrier Reef is currently under threat from factors such as climate change, coastal development, poor water quality, and overfishing. The best thing visitors can do when exploring this UNESCO World Heritage Site is to focus on ecotourism. From eco resorts to eco tour companies, these are the best ecotourism options you can experience on the Great Barrier Reef.
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An aerial view of Pumpkin Island | © Pumpkin Island
Located 14 kilometres (9 miles) off the coast of Yeppoon in the Southern Great Barrier Reef, Pumpkin Island is a remote eco-friendly island resort surrounded by brilliant marine life. The island is privately-owned and has five self-contained beach cottages. Its eco initiatives include solar and wind power for electricity, filtered rainwater for drinking, and solar-powered gas hot water systems. Pumpkin Island is Australia’s first and only carbon positive inhabited island, and amazingly offsets 150% of its annual carbon emissions. If you want to live like a celebrity for a weekend, there’s the option of renting the entire island too.
on March 28, 2018 at 9:23 pmYep, you read right. You can now bag yourself an entire island on the Southern Great Barrier Reef for less than the cost of an average night’s stay in a penthouse.
Perfect for weddings, parties or family holiday escapes, Pumpkin Island can accommodate 10 guests at a mere $2,220 per night (or $222 per person, per night if you split it with 10 of your closest mates). #BargainOfTheCentury
Located just 14 kilometres off the coast of Yeppoon, the six-hectare island is regarded as the first and only carbon positive (inhabited) island in Australia. Each of the seven self-catering units are powered by wind and solar panels, and are scattered around the island to offer plenty of space for the kids to run wild as you relax in peace with bae.
Being able to walk around barefoot and carefree is a childhood memory I cherish. Pumpkin Island is no exception – I didn’t hesitate kicking off my thongs (flip flops to our international readers) as soon as we arrived.
Hammocks, swinging chairs and lounges are dotted around the isle for you to discover and enjoy. Best of all, there’s no need to dress up and rush out at dawn to cheekily reserve your spot with a beach towel as you’re guaranteed to bag the best seat in the house (or the beach in this instance) when you have an entire island to yourself.
Yes I may have spied a hammock and told myself I’d just lay there for five minutes with my book… An hour later I woke to the gentle calls of a bird and realised I had drifted off to sleep.
Island time is a rare sensation I experience, but my golly gosh there’s nothing like waking in a hammock without a care in the world and a stretch of sand all to yourself.
It’s not all snooze time in paradise. No matter the weather (or wind direction) there’s always a protected beach for you and your little ones to enjoy.
The main beach has perfect soft sand ideal for sandcastles and safe shallow water for your tribe to splash and play in. Pumpkin Island also has a great collection of kayaks, SUPs, paddle boats, giant inflatable swans, boogie boards and snorkel gear for you to enjoy. Best of all, they’re all FREE to use!
Hot tip: Speak to the island owners and caretakers, Wayne and Laureth, and ask for their glass kayak for a truly cool way of spotting fish and corals without getting your hair wet.
If you’re getting Bear Grylls urges you can fossick for wild oysters; at low tide, head for the rocks on the North West area of the island to try your luck at shucking your very own.
Photo by @_markfitz
Win extra brownie points with your plus one and opt to stay at Pebble Point. Nestled on the northern point of the island overlooking a protected beach, this luxury cottage has its very own plunge pool looking out to the ocean.
If you’re feeling social, fire up the family sized BBQ on the deck for the ultimate sunset soiree. Don’t forget, Pumpkin Island is self-catering – there’s no nasty surprises or expensive food bills at the end of your trip. Simply order your groceries online prior to arrival or have the local mainland restaurant, The Waterline, prepare food packs for you.
Photo by @_markfitz
I looked like a cooking pro as I proudly presented my hungry tribe with seafood platters, fruit platters, and a killer BBQ without raising a sweat. (I may not have told them how easy it was to simply heat and arrange the pre-made food packs.)
Important stuffGetting there:
There are two easy options to access the island. Make your way to Yeppoon and take the 45-minute, aptly-named Pumpkin Express (boat) or opt for the rock star arrival and chopper to the island.
Self-contained villas start from $280 per night through to renting the entire island like a king (or queen) for $2,220 per night.
Pumpkin Island is self-catering. Food can easily be ordered online prior to arrival and delivered to your ferry transfer. Speak to Pumpkin Island when booking for more information.
Do you like the idea of marooning yourself on your own private tropical island?
From unwinding on a private island to whale watching on the 'Humpback Highway': Discovering Queensland's many jaw-dropping hidden delights
By Emily Pidgeon For Daily Mail Australia
Warm tropical water, white sandy shores, hammocks between palm trees and the tranquility of your own private island seems like something exclusively for the rich and famous.
An entire boutique island off the Southern Great Barrier Reef can be rented out at a price that hardly breaks the bank.
Pumpkin Island is a picturesque paradise off the coast of Queensland, giving beach lovers a taste of luxury.
The entire Pumpkin Island can be rented out for about $250 per person per night (pictured) giving you exclusive access.
The Queensland island can fit up to 34 people at once, making the thousand dollar price tag cheaper for everyone
The entire boutique island (pictured) off the Southern Great Barrier Reef can be rented at a price that hardly breaks the bank
Rolling white sand and warm turquoise water are some of the luxuries of your own island, perfect for holiday photos
The island can hold 34 people, meaning it would only set each person back about $220 per night.
Perfect for a huge birthday celebration, wedding or a family getaway, renting the whole island includes five cottages, two beach bungalows and exclusive panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.
One of Queensland's best kept secrets allows for lounging out under the sun with turquoise waters perfect for a snorkle, stand up paddle board or swim.
The tropical retreat is just a 45 minute boat ride from Yeppoon, about 650km north of Brisbane.
The 6.1 hectare island was first won by a man in the '60s who established the tourist destination, however in 2003 it was bought by its current owners.
Once the sixth-most expensive island in the world, according to The Morning Bulletin, Pumpkin Island is a popular destination for honeymooners, giving people a slice of paradise.
Everything from dolphins, turtles and whales will make for a pretty picture as will being able to harvest your own oysters off the rocks.
Perfect for huge milestone celebrations or weddings, the island's warming sunsets don't disappoint (pictured)
Island is about a 45 minute boat ride from Yeppoon, central Queensland (pictured), located about 650km north of Brisbane
One of Queensland's best kept secrets, Pumpkin Island lies near the Southern Great Barrier Reef (pictured) with marine life
The 6.1 hectare island was first won by a man in the '60s who established the tourist icon, which can be accessed by boat
Bought by the current owners in 2003, the island is reserved as a private tropical retreat giving everyone a taste of luxury.
Pumpkin Island was once the sixth-most expensive island in the world (pictured) but is now available for everyone to enjoy
Without breaking the bank, a private getaway gives you a taste of the rich and famous lifestyle without leaving the country
Secret seaside gems: From a hideaway in the Philippines to a nature reserve in New Zealand, the world's best HIDDEN beaches revealed
Published: 01:37 +11:00, 25 February 2017 | Updated: 04:09 +11:00, 25 February 2017
The trouble with finding a seaside paradise is that you often have to share it with other holidaymakers.
However, for beach-goers keen to castaway at under-the-radar locations, there are several hidden stretches of sands and rocky shorelines that only the privileged few head to.
From a luxury hideaway in the Philippines to a nature reserve in New Zealand, tourism company Kuoni has surveyed 303 experts and 2,000 travellers to reveal the world’s best secret beaches.
One of Queensland’s best kept secrets, Pumpkin Island's sandy beach is ideal for sun-drenched lounging and its turquoise waters offer a chance to paddle board, snorkel or swim
For the ultimate castaway experience, the golden sands of Pumpkin Island – a picturesque private paradise in the Southern Great Barrier Reef’s Keppel islands – has everything the discerning beach bum could ask for.
One of Queensland’s best kept secrets, its sandy beach is ideal for sun-drenched lounging and its turquoise waters offer a chance to paddle board, snorkel or swim.
Only guests of Pumpkin Island’s resort have access to the beach. To get there you'll need to take a boat transfer from Yeppoon’s Keppel Bay Marina.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-4256216/The-world-s-best-HIDDEN-beaches-revealed.html#ixzz4nudvKYZB
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El Nido Pangulasian Island, Philippines
Guests of the eco resort on El Nido Pangulasian Island have access to a pristine, uncrowded beach framed by palm trees
Hidden off the coast of Palawan in the western Philippines is El Nido Pangulasian Island, which is home to a luxury eco resort.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/travel/travel_news/article-4256216/The-world-s-best-HIDDEN-beaches-revealed.html#ixzz4nudYwNMe
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Celeste Mitchell, Escape
January 22, 2017 10:42pmNothing says rock star like renting your own island for the weekend.
And while the world of exclusive-use islands where you can live out your Robinson Crusoe fantasies seem the realm of reality show stars and oil tycoons, Australia’s private islands span the budget spectrum from supermarket snags to lobster ceviche, cured seconds after being caught.
Of all the options available to wannabe castaways, TravelManagers personal travel manager Darren Christensen, representative for Narre Warren South in Victoria, believes family-owned and run Pumpkin, Satellite and Haggerstone islands each have a distinctly Australian personality.
“The personal touches and experiences – by people who love and care about the lifestyles they have created – makes all the difference,” he says. “Clients truly feel that they have their own piece of paradise.
“This is why I believe they are becoming more popular year after year, especially for well-travelled clients who want something unique and different to experience.
“[And] shorter flying times mean there is more time to enjoy your exclusive island getaway.”
Go large at one of these islands for all budgets. (Rates quoted are for hire of entire island.)
The award-winning Satellite Island.AFFORDABLE
Overnight Rate: $1200 (2 guests, minimum 2 night stay)
Think islands are all liquid turquoise and swaying palm trees? The cliche is blissfully shattered at Satellite Island, a blip in the D’Entrecasteaux Channel between the mainland of southern Tasmania and Bruny Island.
Here, the beautifully designed Summer House and Boathouse provide a dreamy escape for up to eight guests on one of Tasmania’s only privately-owned islands. A bell tent also provides an extra glamping touch during summer.
Rates include a stocked pantry, breakfast provisions, as many wild oysters as you can shuck, linen, fishing equipment, kayaks and snorkelling gear.
After a day spent exploring the island’s 34 hectares of ruggedness, catching your dinner and cooking it over a fire on the beach, cosy up beside the fire with a great book and thank your lucky stars for the fact you’ve got the whole place to yourself.
Satellite Island Summer House. Picture: SuppliedMID-RANGE
Overnight Rate: $2110 (10 adults, minimum 3 night stay)
In Queensland’s Keppel Group of islands, Pumpkin Island is the ultimate private island experience when you want to take your entire entourage, accommodating up to 34 guests.
You won’t escape mobile coverage but you can still fulfill your deserted island dreams from the hanging basket chair on the balcony of one of the seven solar and wind-powered cottages.
By day, explore Pumpkin’s tiny 450m footprint, venture out in glass-bottom kayaks to see the Southern Great Barrier Reef below you, go snorkelling and stand-up paddle boarding, and catch your fill of trevally, coral trout and red emperor.
Jump on the 45-minute transfer from Yeppoon’s Keppel Bay Marina and don’t forget to take some firewood so you can build a bonfire on the beach. If you’re not keen on self-catering, a private chef can be arranged, as can helicopter transfers.
Daydreaming at Pumpkin Island. Picture: SuppliedTOP END
Overnight Rate: $6800 (12 adults, all inclusive, minimum 4 night stay)
The price tag is definitely 5-star but luxury takes on an entirely new meaning at this rugged private island off the Cape York Peninsula.
Off the grid, remote and wild, Haggerstone Island is what would have happened if Gilligan had been as enterprising as Roy and Anna Turner who landed here 30 years ago and set about building four jungle huts that are the epitome of barefoot luxury.
Meals are a stream of freshly-shucked oysters, daily hauls of fish and crayfish, and fresh picks from the orchard and veggie patch. The all-inclusive nature means you set the itinerary, menu and drinks list and can opt to fill your days with waterfall chasing, fishing, snorkelling or doing absolutely nothing at all.
To get there, fly to Weipa then join a private charter flight to the island.
May 30, 2016
by MORAG KOBEZ, Writer
Nothing says romance like a tropical island paradise, right? Whether you’re into lazing in the sunshine or exploring coral reefs, there’s a Great Barrier Reef island for you.
Find blissful seclusion on Lizard IslandThe northernmost island on the reef, Lizard Island is blissfully remote and accessible only by charter flight from Cairns. Luxurious, secluded accommodation within the wilderness of a national park offers the ultimate in romantic experiences. By day, meander around the reef in your own little motorised boat; by night, indulge in a customised seven-course dégustation under the stars on your choice of private beach. Book now
Watch humpbacks from Heron IslandTwo hours by boat from Gladstone, Heron Island boasts dreamy sunrises and sunsets. Wander down to the jetty and spend a couple of lazy hours spotting humpback whales as they begin their northern migration in June. These majestic creatures, up to 16 metres long, can often be spotted passing through the waters around the island. Book now
Switch off on Long IslandA mere 20-minute boat ride from Shute Harbour, this national park isle has about 13 kilometres of graded walks, dramatic headlands and a plethora of birds, goannas and wallabies to spot. Hide away from it all at Paradise Bay Island Resort in the south of Long Island, where there are no TVs, phones, internet or children – and never more than 18 guests at a time.
SEE ALSO: Explore the Great Barrier Reef on the 10 Best Daytrips
Get stranded on Pumpkin IslandThis tiny, virtually unheard-of island is 14 kilometres off the coast from Yeppoon. If being a castaway on a deserted tropical island with your sweetheart is your dream, Pumpkin Island is about as close as it gets – without a shipwreck. There are no restaurants or shops and just a handful of humble wind- and solar-powered cottages amid pristine natural surroundings. You’re likely to spot more dolphins and turtles than you are other visitors.
Enjoy ultimate privacy on Bedarra Island
Accessible from Mission Beach, midway between Townsville and Cairns, this island paradise is sure to woo even the most fickle. With Bedarra Island’s eight very private villas hidden among lush rainforest – some boasting private plunge pools with spectacular views – why would you even need to venture out? Except perhaps for that intimate, once-in-a-lifetime picnic lunch for two on one of the nearby deserted isles.
Beach yourself on Whitsunday IslandThis is the largest of The Whitsunday Islands, accessible from the mainland ports of Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour. Sure, beautiful beaches are a dime a dozen in these parts, but Whitehaven Beach takes the cake. As the name suggests, it’s the longest, whitest, prettiest beach in the Whitsundays and, arguably, the entire South Pacific region.
Be pampered on Orpheus IslandA 30-minute helicopter ride from Townsville sets the scene for a spectacular laid-back luxe experience for a maximum of 28 guests. Orpheus Island is renowned for its rich marine life but the exceptional food and the day spa make it a favourite of discerning couples. Think beach massages for two in the shade of palm trees with gentle waves lapping at the shore. Book now
Experience island life on HaggerstoneHaggerstone Island is a bespoke, family-run, Robinson Crusoe-style retreat located 600 kilometres north of Cairns, alongside Cape York Peninsula. For those who prefer their luxury barefoot, their hospitality personalised, their oysters harvested from nearby rocks and their tropical fruit picked fresh from an organic orchard, Haggerstone is a natural choice.
Love the natural beauty of Lady Elliot IslandAt the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef, this coral cay is accessible from Hervey Bay or Bundaberg. Lady Elliot Island is a must for nature lovers. While humpback whales and manta rays swim in the surrounding waters, the island is home to a world-famous turtle rookery and nesting seabirds. Diving and snorkelling in the unspoilt coral reef here is the stuff that memories are made of.
Make it official on Hayman IslandHayman Island, the northernmost isle of the Whitsundays, is about 30 kilometres from Shute Harbour. Whether it’s time to take your relationship to the next level with a luxurious elopement or to reaffirm your vows in front of your loved ones, Hayman Island can make it happen in style. There’s a chapel high above the sea – or why not declare your love, barefoot, on the beach?
Pumpkin Island has been recently reimagined as a stylish, eco-conscious island escape – it’s the laid-back and secluded tropical getaway you’ve been dreaming of.
You’ll find no pumpkins in the waters off Yeppoon in the Southern Great Barrier Reef, just a low-slung wedge of land that’s shaped like a butternut cut in half and laid out horizontally upon the sea. But this impersonator is in fact Little Pumpkin, a rotund hillock tethered to Pumpkin Island itself by a ribbon of sand, which appears only during the lowest tides. The main island snakes squat and narrow – just 150 metres at its widest point and 450 metres at its longest – into the Keppel Islands region of the southern Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
SEE ALSO: Discover the Secret Islands of the Great Barrier Reef
In summer the caterpillars nibble pockmarks into the island’s tropical foliage; later in the season they retreat into their cocoons, hanging like tiny white sausages from the trees; and in early autumn – when the breeze blows warm and soothing across the bay – butterflies emerge in their thousands, decorating the island like confetti.
It’s a 45-minute cruise from Yeppoon’s Keppel Bay Marina across a choppy ocean and into the calm embrace of Pumpkin Reef. It’s an unassuming view from the water: a scattering of beach shacks peeping out from behind the palm trees; a headland rising in rocky, volcanic aggregations on the southern side; and Little Pumpkin looking over its big brother’s shoulder from the east. The solar panels, wind turbines and rainwater tanks that power and quench this island are hidden from view.
And the beach shacks are illusory, for although Pumpkin Island has been used by families and fishermen since 1964, it has been recently reimagined by managers Wayne and Laureth Rumble as a stylish, eco-conscious island escape. The couple has incorporated all the elements of a casual beach holiday – troughs in which to rinse your sandy feet, barbecues on which to grill freshly caught fish and shucking knives for easy dislodgement of oysters from the nearby rocks – without sacrificing any modern comforts.
Pumpkin Island’s seven self-catering cottages and bungalows (accommodating up to six people) are distinguished from one another by unique decorative touches: candy-striped deckchairs slung from hooks on a distressed weatherboard wall; linen bedclothes in this cottage, waffle-weave in that; mint-green accents here, blue over there. The theme is expanded with unobtrusively elegant touches, such as the driftwood towel rails and the pottery water filters in just the right shade of blue.
Hammocks and swing chairs hang temptingly from trees, the tideline just beyond reach. A pair of legs dangles from one – someone has fallen into a deep afternoon sleep.
The island’s accommodation is self-catering so we arrive with enough food for an army: supplies pre-ordered from award-winning restaurant The Waterline at Keppel Bay Marina and packaged by request. Inside the cold boxes we discover fresh prawns, tropical fruit, meze platters, salads, scones, jam and cream, along with fat steaks that come straight from Banana Station, a renowned Central Queensland beef exporter that permits just one Australian outlet to serve its produce: The Waterline.
We’re staying in the most luxurious of the cottages, Pebble Point, which is located in a secluded spot over the rise from the main beach with a view of North Keppel Island. From here we could launch ourselves off the island in a Perspex kayak, exploring the reefs at a thin remove. We could snorkel or paddleboard, go fishing or oyster harvesting or follow the boardwalk to the Sunset Lounge, which sits on the west-facing beach, ready to capture those exceptional tropical sunsets. Or we could loll in the plunge pool on our private deck, wondering how on earth this paradise was kept secret for so long.