Rise and shine: the new islands of the north

Chopper cam: an uninhabited island in the Palm Island group.
After a flurry of sales and makeovers, Queensland's islands of the north beckon anew.

After the devastation left by last year's cyclone season, several islands and resorts have refreshed and changed hands, including Orpheus, Lizard and Dunk islands, Fitzroy Island Resort and the celebrity haunt Bedarra Island Resort, which was reportedly sold for just $6 million.

Six million dollars seems to be the magic number, as Orpheus's new owner has also just snapped up a tropical island for about the same small change.

Cheong Liew and Arie Prabowo
The only way to the resort is via the skies in the teensiest little helicopter, an egg beater that skims over uninhabited islands, lonely atolls, the ruins of a former leper colony and busy Palm Island, with a population of between 2000 and 3000 indigenous folk. Orpheus's new owner knows which side his bread is buttered on: he also owns The Botanical in Melbourne's dress circle, South Yarra, and has lured Cheong Liew out of retirement to set the tone for the resort's kitchens with his protege, Arie Prabowo.

Orpheus Island is a hilly dot 80 kilometres off the coast of Townsville, in the Palm Islands group. Lashed by Yasi's cyclonic winds last year, the resort recently reopened and, if it plays its cards right, will be one of those hideaways where sneaky celebs have no need for wearing wigs or bad '80s fashion.
To read more about the new islands of the north, click here

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