Catriona flies solo at Marble Island.
The deserted Marble Island.
The best way to see the invite.
There is nothing typical about this remote, private and tropical island; it's like the outback of the Great Barrier Reef.
Four islands make up the Duke Group of Islands: Marble, Hunter, Bamborough and Tynemouth. Brisbane businessman, Rex Jones, bought all four in 1969, but has since sold Bamborough.
Mr Jones' lifelong passion for fishing and northern Queensland's history were indulged on Marble Island. It was originally developed as a sheep station, and then a cattle property.
Marble Island is not a typical tropical island; it's like the outback meets the ocean. It's quite hilly with lots of bushland, imposing headlands and more than 20 secluded bays and beaches.
The holiday experience it offers is unique. You have the island to yourself to do whatever you please. You will stay in a modern, comfortable cottage, right on your own beach and overlooking the tranquil waters of Home Bay.
The cottage has a fully equipped kitchen and living room, two large bedrooms, each with en-suite, a covered patio with barbecue, satellite television, CD player and screens on the windows. Linen, beach towels, snorkelling gear and boardgames are supplied.
A stay on the island is self-catered, so you need to take your food, beverages and other supplies. These may be pre-ordered through a supplier in Rockhampton and taken to your charter plane. Local seafood delicacies such as mud crabs and oysters can be pre-ordered and kept in a coldroom.
Charlie and Gabrielle Winten manage Marble Island, but their residence is remote from the guest cottage. There is limited phone and fax access to the mainland through their residence.
While Marble Island is remote and private, that doesn't mean it is boring. You can choose from a great array of activities there are caves to explore, beaches for swimming, snorkelling and combing for black coral, lots of bushwalks, horse riding and boat rides to other islands. You will probably spot deer, whales, turtles and loads of birdlife during your stay.
The Wintens have set a table on top of a mountain for visitors to enjoy an evening cocktail, or watch spectacular sunrises. It's about five minutes by vehicle, or, of course, you may prefer to walk.
Weather permitting, Charlie will take guests outside the bay to fish. You might catch snapper, red emperor, cod, coral trout or golden trevally. In the bay you can find whiting, flathead and trevally. All bait, rods and nets are supplied.