Haggerstone Island

Haggerstone Island

Move over Robinson Crusoe. We've discovered that there's still some secrets left if you look hard enough around this great big country of ours, and Haggerstone Island is one of them.

Nestled just off the coast, around 600kms north of Cairns at the tip of the Great Barrier Reef, Haggerstone is a tiny island filled with bush vegetation and fronted by a calm blue lagoon for swimming. With a circumference of just 2.2kms, she's no more than a dot in the Coral Sea, but a week spent exploring the delights and adventures of Haggerstone will lower that blood pressure quicker than the strongest meds on offer.

You and your nine friends will totally fill the accommodation, or else you can take just one of the handful of fabulous rustic huts available. As you'll see from my photo gallery, you'll be amongst bush and coconut palms, and privacy is a given.

Your hosts, Roy and Anna Turner, have worked hard since first landng on the island in 1985 to create a unique, sophisticated and utterly delightful eco resort so remote that you'll be hard pressed finding anyone else who's heard about it.

For our week's stay in September 2012, we fished our hearts out and were rewarded with major hauls of red emperor, mangrove jack and coral trout that Roy cooked up a dozen different ways each day to high-end restaurant standard.

I've discovered long ago that remote never means cheap, so you won't call this one your budget holiday, but I guarantee you'll remember it forever. You feel so removed from the hassles of city living, and will take absolutely no time kicking those shoes off and buckling down for the crippling decision of whether to go snorkelling, fishing, sand-dune sliding, oyster-picking or bush-walking. Oh my God, the stress ....

Rossy gets amongst the spoils of a Haggerstone fishing expedition.Rossy gets amongst the spoils of a Haggerstone fishing expedition.We flew ourselves up from Sydney in a C182, a Bonanza and a Cirrus SR22 and landed on adjacent Hicks Island, where we happily left the planes tied down for the week. (Handiest place for Avgas is Coen, though on the way up, we called in to refuel at Cooktown and stayed two days - loved it.) But most guests take the two-hour charter flight up from Cairns with Barrier Aviation and enjoy the incredible view of this most untouched part of the north Queensland coast in twin-engined comfort.

So, gather your family or your best mates and do yourself a favour.