We get it, winter can be a little tough on the soul. No matter how fluffy your slippers or how creamy your hot chocolate, the lack of sunshine can really take its toll. That’s why this winter we’ve put together a guide to some of the best (offbeat) islands from around the world. Whether you’re in search of sultry tropical vibes or wild coastlines, this list has you covered.
No doubt about it, Bali is Indonesia’s most popular island. But if you look beyond Seminyak and Nusa Dua, there’s a dreamy archipelago just waiting to be discovered. 17,000 other islands to be precise. If you’re craving untamed wilderness the island of Borneo is a fantastic winter escape. Around two thirds of Borneo is occupied by Kalimantan, Indonesia’s slice of the island. With lush rainforests, indigenous tribes and the chance to enjoy rare encounters with orangutans, Kalimantan is a nature lover’s dream come true. We love the concept of the Rimba Ecolodge, complete with gorgeous wooden pavilions. Or if you’re feeling adventurous you can choose to stay overnight on a simple klotok river boat in the heart of the rainforest.
While it’s not exactly tropical, Vancouver Island is laced with lush rainforests, rugged beaches and towering mountains. You can base yourself in the charming port town of Victoria, or escape to a seaside B&B or secluded wood cabin. With both transient and resident populations, the waters around Vancouver Island offer some of the best killer whale watching on the planet. If you’ve got time up your sleeve why not explore the vibrant arts scene of the nearby Gulf Islands, or head to Vancouver and check out one of the world’s most liveable cities? It’s a pretty big flight, so you’ll probably want to pencil in at least three weeks in the Northern Hemisphere.
Just 80 kilometres north east of Townsville, Orpheus Island is one of Australia’s best kept secrets. Forget the Whitsundays. This pint-sized gem is largely managed by the Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service, which gives it a wonderfully undeveloped vibe. That is until you check into the stunning Orpheus Island Resort. Tucked away in Hazard Bay, it sleeps just 28 guests and is just a stone’s throw from the kaleidoscopic Great Barrier Reef. Oh, and did we mention you’ll need to arrive by helicopter? It’s a splurge, but it’s absolutely worth it.
The South Island
New Zealand is pretty darn incredible, so why not opt for an island escape in your own backyard? Showcasing some of the wildest natural landscapes on the planet, the South Island serves up the kind of scenery that brings Hollywood location scouts to their knees. For something a little different why not swap a hotel and enjoy an utterly unique getaway with Airbnb? The South Island is dotted with stunning properties, from boutique yurts in the Motueka Valley and characterful cottages in Dunedin to luxury pads in Queenstown and oceanfront condos in Nelson.
Are you planning an island escape this winter? Let us know where you’re headed!