Your Island Paradise

We all dream of an island paradise; a tranquil haven of serenity far from the madding crowd with little to do but bask in the summer sun, surrounded by nature with your every desire attentively catered to.Such fantasies exist in far-flung destinations at best; at worst, they reside only in our imaginations – or do they?

At the northernmost reach of Australia’s Sunshine Coast lies the shire of Noosa. A millionaire’s playground and surfer’s Mecca, Noosa boasts pristine oceans, white-sand beaches, untouched national parks and many more glorious attractions. Australians flock to its sub-tropical climes from the colder southern cities and revel in this natural Eden.

While the climate, surroundings and shoreline may be the makings of your Island Paradise, sharing them from your one hotel room amongst thousands with the chaotic hordes who temporarily inhabit them swiftly bursts that bubble.

Makepeace Island

However, here in Noosa, amongst the beauty and the bustle, lies a tiny pocket of blissful solitude, a place no others can visit and you are able to feel as if you are quite literally the only people in the world. Its name, aptly, is Makepeace Island.

The staff at Makepeace Island extended me a warm invitation to come and enjoy their hidden gem for the day and I was taken aback at the absolute peace and serenity found in a region I know exceptionally well. To me, the Sunshine Coast is my home from home and I spend several months of every year here. As much as I adore the relaxed, natural surroundings, its small-town hospitality and the ability to escape to ocean or bush within such a short distance, the Noosa Shire does attract an influx of tourists, particularly during vacations. Yet the brief boat ride transported me across metaphorical oceans, whisking me far away to a delightfully secluded haven beyond the reach of screaming kids on school break and vacationers making the most of their time away from the office.

The Noosa River meanders gracefully towards the deep golden reds of the setting sun, the hinterland mountaintops picturesquely silhouetted on the horizon. As the river curls through the town, leaving behind the hotels and suburbs, it reaches into the inland mangroves and there, just a short boat trip from the mainland jetty, lies the iconically heart-shaped island of Makepeace.

Makepeace Island Heart
Makepeace is set on a heart-shaped island – naturally!

Though originally privately owned, the little island was bought and developed by millionaire philanthropist and entrepreneur Richard Branson, who established the micro-resort as a getaway for he and his friends and family. After indulging in this idyllic setting for several years, Branson, along with co-founder and colleague Brett Godfrey, decided to offer their private haven for exclusive private bookings.

Alighting the private ferry after the short river journey, one is immediately whisked away to another tropical paradise: Bali. Towering coconut palms are scattered across the 25-acre property amongst traditional-style Balinese joglos – low, pitch-roofed dark timber buildings that have been handcrafted and imported from Indonesia exclusively for Makepeace.

Makepeace Island, Queensland
The artisanal, Indonesian-style interior of one of Makepeace Island’s three luxurious villas

Each dwelling gazes through wall-to-wall sliding glass doors, harnessing the beauty of its surrounds, the shaded interior offering respite from the hot summer sun while still allowing nature to flow within.

With space for you and 19 fellow guests throughout the three villas and two houses encompassing a vast swimming pool, your very own island escape is the ultimate private family holiday destination. With tennis courts, spa, gymnasium and walking trails hidden amongst the lush, wooded landscape, there is plenty of entertainment and, with the river on all four sides of you and several jetties to depart from, you can venture by kayak or stand-up paddleboard into the mangroves and beyond.

Makepeace Island

Guests are indulgently catered to specifically to their dietary wishes by an award-winning chef, on site to prepare three divine banquets for you daily, and the twice-daily housekeeping service will service many of your needs.

While many of your vacation indulgences are adequately catered for, your knowledgeable Rothschild Travel Designers are able to arrange many more of the delights on offer in the region. Be pampered by your very own masseuse, relax and release with a personal yoga class, or for the thrill-seekers, take a four-wheel drive along the coastline to the remote and spectacular Double Island Point.

The notion of an island paradise is often best entertained in the imagination alone, its reality as much a fantastical experience as it is a compromised exercise in endurance. Long travels across multiple stops, the relinquishing of Western conveniences, new languages and so much more can undermine the beauty of a remote island sojourn.

Makepeace Island

At Makepeace, those Western conveniences are on your doorstep, everything is catered to your specific wishes, and travel, as much as the trans-Pacific flight might take time, is comfortable, expedient and swift. It is the island paradise with all the perks and none of the hindrances.

Australia is a wonderful land to explore; from the deep red deserts of Uluru to the rich, prehistoric Daintree Rainforest, the snow fields of Victoria and 12,000 exquisite beaches gracing its 37,282-mile coastline. Whether it is your welcome start point, a mid-journey retreat or post-adventure unwind, Makepeace Island is a shining opal in any Australian safari.

Makepeace Island


001 Calendar 01Nov-Mar offers the warmest climate but, though it gets crisp through the winter, blue-sky days still average 73ºF (23ºC)

004 Group 01Homes 20 guests – ideal for multiple-generation family groups, corporate vacations or larger parties.

003 Hot Air Balloon 01Award-winning restaurants, exquisite beaches, offshore fishing, watersports, untouched National Park & hinterland adventures just one hour away.

002 Resort 01Your very own island with two houses and several smaller Balinese joglo-style villas, plus glamping available for a night under canvas

001 Location 01Noosa Heads, Queensland – about halfway up Australia’s East Coast

Contact our Travel Designers to discuss Makepeace Island and your next Australian adventure.

Images via Rothschild Safaris