Hinchinbrook Island Wilderness Lodge, Hinchinbrook Island
Tel: 61 74 066 8270
Concierge.com's insider take:
Australia's largest island national park, 152-square-mile Hinchinbrook has rain forest-covered mountains, mangroves and wetlands, and 11 beautiful beaches, most accessible only by boat or walking track. At the island's northernmost tip, this eco-property comprises 22 boardwalk-linked tree houses and seven simple beachfront bungalows. Though protecting the environment's paramount here (the property generates its own power and water, and takes all garbage off-island), simple comforts abound. The spacious tree houses all have polished wood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, fridges, fans, and balconies for stargazing and bird-watching. The spartan bathrooms show signs of wear and the water supply can be erratic, but folks who don't mind rusticity (and cheap rates) will find it a small price to pay. Guests can make use of the free canoes, and fishing and snorkeling gear, or take hikes to spot dolphins, dugongs, sea turtles, and tiger sharks from shore. There's a swimming pool and a bar that's open till midnight—but most guests forgo carousing in favor of reading, board games, and quiet conversation.