Our planet is blessed with many beautiful, wildlife rich islands that have been embraced by travellers far beyond their shorelines; The Maldives, Barbados, Bali and even the remote Galapagos. We know and love them too!
However, there are also islands we are proud to have supported over the years that lie refreshingly under the radar, away from the crowds. Each are dedicated to the protection of their natural environment, offer front row seats over clear marine rich warm waters with ocean breezes. Requiring and element of patience and adventurous spirit to reach, on arrival visitors are rewarded tenfold.
Lord Howe Island
Situated in the remote South Pacific Ocean, around 700km northeast of Sydney, Lord Howe Island is surrounded by a reef-fringed lagoon, rolling surf and the world’s southern-most coral reef. Visitors are limited to 400 at any one time and the island itself is home to only 350 permanent residents. Locally known as a subtropical “treasure island” with pristine beaches, lush rainforest, staggering volcanic peaks and home to hundreds of rare and endemic species, Lord Howe Island is a natural treasure trove. With a handful of boutique hotels we simply love everything about this island.
© Capella Lodge
A tiny, beautiful island off the Northwest shores of Madagascar with no permanent residents, Tsarabanjina is the perfect combination of barefoot chic and discreet modern luxury. With one eco-retreat embracing a “no shoes, no news”, laid back vibe. The soft white sands and lush jungle vegetation act as springboard into the marine rich waters of the Indian Ocean that remains pristine. On land, if you pack a magnifying glass, you have the chance of finding the world’s tiniest chameleon. Fully grown, it barely exceeds one centimetre.
Song Saa, Cambodia
Song Saa – a Khmer name meaning “sweethearts”, is not one, but two private islands on the Koh Rong Archipelago in the Gulf of Thailand connected by a wooden bridge. Embracing the culture and style of Cambodia, Song Saa boutique resort resembling a chic Cambodian fishing village, built with salvaged timber. Detached from the world and emboldened by it’s surroundings, Song Saa provides it’s guests with the luxury of simplicity and connection to the marine life that surrounds it.
Kaya Mawa on Likoma Island
Malawi is a landlocked country in Southeastern Africa with an enormous freshwater lake running down it’s spine – a length of c.570kms and width of 75kms at its widest. When standing on it’s shores, it is hard to believe it is not a sea and, within Lake Malawi, is Likoma island. Steeped in culture and history, it’s unique character offers a distinct feel for those who travel to it. A relatively isolated island, yet well populated with bustling markets with one of the largest cathedrals in Central Africa. There is a warm, steady rhythm to Likoma Island life that embraces it’s relatively few tourists each year, whether they are here to relax, read, paint or be more active diving, snorkelling, sailing or kayaking. And where to stay? Meaning “Maybe tomorrow”, is the wonderfully relaxed Kaya Mawa. An indulgently carefree getaway.
© Kaya Mawa
Fernando de Noronha views
An archipelago of 21 islands in the Atlantic Ocean, 220 miles off the coast of Brazil, alive with turtles, dolphin, fish and every shape, size and colour imaginable of a thriving coral reef. A world class diving and snorkelling location all year round with strict Marine Park rules to ensure it’s survival for generations to come. The accommodation is charming and friendly but do not expect the high price tag for getting to the island to be reflective of the hotel options. It is the park fees and isolated nature of this archipelago that make it expensive to reach and as soon as you have set foot on the golden beaches lined with emerald forests and turquoise water, you will understand why.