Heavenly Huts

heavenly huts on wilson island[trip style = glamping] {more pictures below}

Last month I found my heaven, which will forever be my earthly happy place. It's the type of locale you imagine when you're at the spa: you + deserted beach + sparkling water + waves lapping + lush greenery + birds chirping + wind in your hair. I went to this place, and not only extended my time there, but felt sick when I had to leave {but that could have had something to do with the small boat we took---the only way in and out of the island---and the 2-meter swells ravaging us from every direction}.

The Place This place is Wilson Island: a coral cay sitting directly on the southern tip of the Great Barrier Reef. Only six canvas huts dot the remote and tropical paradise found. The removed location lends itself to a body, mind and soul retreat, blending understated luxuries with eco-thoughtfulness. Each oceanview glamping retreat has dark hardwood floors, a simple area to store clothes, a plush king bed, comfy canvas pillow-topped chairs, a wide hammock and a large handmade bowl to remove sand from your shipwrecked feet. The central bathrooms are 50 steps away, but this only adds to the simplicity and low-impact footprint. And if nature calls at night, don't worry, you're in the midst of it.

A Very Important Date Beachcombing, napping, bird watching, reading and snorkeling with sharks and turtles are the day's big adventures. The evening begins with a beachside champagne toast paired with fine cheeses and crudites. This nightly tradition was my favourite time of day because that's when we witnessed fully grown turtles swim along the shoreline like they were 'late for a very important date', and baby turtles hatch just above the beach. Even though you're not supposed to mess with the circle of life, champagne in hand, I made it my mission to watch over the solo baby turtle struggling to make it to the ocean, and protect him or her from hungry, circling seagulls. Mission accomplished, I think...

The Fare Sitting together at a long wooden table with beach shells to keep our napkins in place, every meal was prepared in the central longhouse by Emilio, our enthusiastic Italian chef. Prior to serving, he would announce each course with the pride and intensity of a national leader. The announcements always started the same way: "Today I have created for you..." His selections were reminiscent of fine dining fare, yet he only had one burner, two barbecues, five propane fridges and a lean smattering of kitchen utensils. Some island delicacies that graced our plates were fresh-cut fruit, warm pain au chocolat, avocado terrine, macadamia nut-encrusted barramundi with whipped sweet potato, and watermelon granita. We had access to chocolate and wine whenever we wanted.

Next time I go to the spa, I won't need to piece together my paradise, I've now been.

What to Know

  • Getting there: Fly to Brisbane, then to Gladstone via Quantas. Take a ferry {$100 per person, per way} or helicopter {$400 per person, per way} to Heron Island {owned by the same company}, then a final, 30-minute ride in a small boat where you descend a ladder into the shallow water and walk up the beach to your personal paradise.
  • Prices from $671 per couple, per night.
  • All meals and drinks included.
  • Only two staff {who do the work of 10} tend to the island like it's their most treasured jewel. Emilio is mentioned above, calm and caring Gerry is his castaway counterpart.
  • One central bathhouse includes three bathrooms and six assigned showers.
  • Additional details can be found in my Trip Advisor review.

Photos Arrival at Wilson Island {Beach arrival at Wilson Island.}

tents at wilson island {Trip Style = Glamping.}

paradise found on wilson island {Watching the day go by from the gleaming white hammock on the tent's porch.}

beach on wilson island {The idyllic beach.}

wilson island longhouse {The longhouse.}

{The island's help yourself wine, spirits, water and chocolate storage.}

{Kitchen prep area.}

[images taken by @tripstyler on Wilson Island]