White On Blue
Return to the Blue Lagoon, 1991.
If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, which three items would you want with you? We’ve all ruminated on it: a guitar, a hammock; maybe you’d cheat with a Kindle. Well, if it were the Whitsundays’ Hayman Island, you wouldn’t need much more than a penchant for relaxation, a bikini to be lived in and a sense of awe.
The very idea of those pure shores sets the imagination alight. Fantasies of The Tempest’s magical island abound, of Robinson Crusoe’s footsteps in the sand and of adventure, Shipwrecked style. While there may not be any pirates in this part of the world, there is plenty of treasure to discover.
You first clock Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, from above as you fly into Hamilton Island, before gliding on a cruiser to Hayman. So expansive, so distinctive, that it’s visible from space, it’s an earthbound galaxy of green-gold, aqua and the deepest turquoise. Underneath the Coral Sea’s glassy, sun-baked surface, the reef’s ecosystem thrives. Plant life explodes in mushroom clouds of colour – fairy floss pink, acid green, blood orange and lavender – like a madcap underwater Gaudí creation. Creatures glow neon, and as they swirl around that deep blue endless ocean – the butterflyfish, parrotfish, the bluespine unicornfish – you’d swear they were dreamt up by children.
Langford Island, Australia.
In the middle of it all, your own private island escape from which to explore the wonderland. Sail away, it’s calling you: a four-square-kilometre stretch of immaculate white sand and jewel blue shores, forested hills and valleys. And that’s not to mention its balmy tropical climate. This is Australia really showing off.
The island’s five-star retreat feels as hidden as you’d like it to. An avenue of date palms leads to the One&Only Hayman Island resort, where you can stow yourself away in one of its elegant wings or penthouses: each designed to let you soak in the beauty of your natural surroundings.
It’s tempting to get comfortable, but adventure awaits at your doorstep. Seaplane and helicopter tours allow an exciting reef overview, while diving and snorkelling trips help you plunge, quite literally, in to island life. Make like Goldie Hawn in Overboard and charter your own boat for a truly bespoke tour (just don’t fall in) or guide yourself through one of the island’s bushwalks.
Hayman Island provides plenty of moments to relax and re-energise too: spa treatments are practically mandatory at the One&Only resort, as are manicures and pedicures designed by Bastien Gonzalez. Wellness guru James Duigan’s holistic philosophy has been canvassed and applied to everything from an in-house personal training team, to yoga classes and menus. You’ll be feeling Zen in no time.
RUSSH Issue 42, PHOTOGRAPHY Harry Crowder.
True to its name and natural surrounds, One&Only Hayman Island’s aesthetic is distinct but understated, always. Its two-bedroom penthouse was designed by Diane von Furstenberg and its staff wear white tunics designed by Kym Ellery. It calls for a case packed with simple, shipwrecked whites in materials that – much like the island – let you breathe. We’ll save our crochet bikini and shorts for days by the infinity pool, adding a free-flowing dress that softly grazes salty skin when the amber sun begins sinking into ocean.
Then, as dusk descends and the perfume of tropical flowers is at its sweetest, we might walk barefoot on cool sands to feel the world at our feet before dinner under the stars. Local sashimi steals the show every time.
Sleep sound in the knowledge that those softly lapping waves will await you when you wake. You’ll never want to be rescued.
Virgin Australia offers a regular service to Hayman Island via Hamilton Island, including daily flights from Sydney. All services to Hamilton Island feature the airline’s award-winning Business Class.