Part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, Bedarra is a privately-owned island in the middle of the Family Islands National Park (the island itself is not part of the national park).
Bedarra Island is small, about 1km in size, and is located about halfway between Townsville and Cairns (130km south-east of Cairns), off the northern Queensland coast.
The best way to describe Bedarra is as a tranquil, secluded, and exclusive place to escape.
Bedarra Island is part of the Family Islands, which have aboriginal names describing their place in the family. Bedarra means “the mother;” Dunk Island “the father;” Wheeler Island and Coombe Island are “the twins;” and Smith Island, Bowden Island, and Hudson Island are “the triplets.”
Captain Cook gave the island grouping this naming during his sailing expedition in 1770.
Most of the Family Island’s islands consist of granite rock, because they are a chain of continental islands. The islands were part of the mainland until the sea level began to rise about 8,000 years ago.
Bedarra is hilly, covered by rainforest, and surrounded by coral reefs, tidal flats, white sandy beaches, and extensive seagrass – an important feeding ground for sea turtles.
Activities (Nature and Wildlife Interest)
Bedarra is all about rest and relaxation. However, a variety of activities are available for the more energetic:
Water activities: snorkeling, scheduled snorkeling or scuba diving on the Great Barrier reef (Dunk Island, $), kayaking, fishing, paddle skiing, motorized dinghies for island exploration, reef fishing and catamaran sailing charters ($)
Land activities: massage (beach or accommodation-based, $), gymnasium, tennis, saltwater swimming pool & spa, self-guided island walks and nature trails
Further, nearby Dunk Island offers a variety of activities for Bedarra guests: 9 hole golf, water skiing, skydiving, horse riding, rainforest walks, spa treatments ($ – for motorised activities)
Packed lunches are available to facilitate day trips.
Bedarra Island offers Bedarra Island Resort, operated by Hideaway Resorts. It caters to just 32 guests at a time, giving it a very peaceful and exclusive feel. Alternatively, East Bedarra Island features several private properties available for holidays.
Accommodations are in the form of 16 secluded villas, each nestled amidst rainforest minutes from the beach, with memorable views from the balconies. Villas comprise a separate living area, spacious bathroom, and king size bed.
Children 12 years and under are not catered for on Bedarra Island.
Facilities: restaurant, bar and lounge, swimming pool, gymnasium, tennis court, business facilities, boutique, library (books, DVDs)
Camping facilities do not exist on Bedarra Island, however camping is permitted on nearby Dunk Island (accessed via transfer). Campers must make a booking and purchase a camping permit in advance.
Bedarra Island is 7km off the north Queensland coast (east of Mission Beach), halfway between Townsville and Cairns and off of Mission Beach. Dunk Island is the entry point to Bedarra Island, and a complimentary boat transfer connects Dunk Island and Bedarra, which takes approximately 20 minutes. Various options exist for reaching Dunk or Bedarra:
By Quick Cat boat transfer…
- A Quick Cat connects Mission Beach and Dunk Island, and a complimentary transfer connects Dunk Island and Bedarra.
By Water Taxi…
- Mission Beach Water Taxi connects Mission Beach and Dunk Island, or private charters can be arranged to travel to Bedarra directly
By Scenic flight…
- Hinterland Aviation runs scenic transfer flights between Cairns Airport and Dunk Island twice daily. Private charter flights to Dunk Island can also be arranged. Flight time is 45 minutes.