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80km (50 miles) N of Townsville; 190km (118 miles) S of Cairns

From the moment the small white seaplane bringing you to Orpheus lands -- either within stepping distance of the beach, or at the floating pontoon offshore -- you'll know you're somewhere special. The waters surrounding Orpehus Island are home to 340 of the 350 or so coral species found in the Great Barrier Reef, 1,100 species of fish, green and loggerhead turtles, dolphins, manta rays, and, from June through September, humpback whales. With a maximum of 42 guests and no day-trippers, the only other people you will see are the attentive but unobtrusive resort staff and the occasional scientist from the James Cook University marine research station in the next bay. It's no wonder that since the 1930s, those seeking seclusion have headed to this beautiful island. One of the Great Barrier Reef's most exclusive retreats, Orpheus Island Resort is also a popular getaway for executives, politicians, honeymooners, and any savvy traveler eager for peace and beauty.

Transfers are by eight-seat Cessna seaplane from Townsville and Cairns daily. Return fares are A$450 from Townsville, A$850 from Cairns, or A$650 originating in one place and returning to the other, per person round-trip. Book through the resort. Luggage limit is 15 kilograms (55 lb.) per person.