Dreaming of palm trees and pristine beaches for your big day? Throw in a few hammocks and the big blue backdrop of the Great Barrier Reef and you’ve got the right idea when it comes to weddings at Orpheus Island Lodge.

Let’s look at how your wedding can come to life on this island’s time.

30 hours before

Bring your guests over to Orpheus Island at least a day before your wedding – it’s a 20 minute helicopter flight from Townsville, and with an early afternoon transfer, we’re drinking sparkling rosé by the pool just minutes after touchdown on the beachfront helipad.

Leave the preparation to the lodge team, who have a handy knack of knowing just what we need before we need it. Afternoon nibbles by the pool? No problem. Board games and pre-dinner drinks? Done! Oh, they’ll look after your wedding too. All details of the day are their department, well in hand while you get to settle in and enjoy the serenity of the infinity pool or a snorkelling trip.

Photography: Elise Hassey 

Island takeover

With only 14 suites and villas, there’s at most 28 guests at a time on site. The team will fly over a celebrant and a photographer for you. Organise a few suites or book out the whole lodge for sole use of the island. There’s one group activity a day on island – a snorkelling trip, or low tide reef walk, perhaps nature stroll – so you’ve got a built-in agenda to keep everyone entertained. If you’re taking over the entire island, you’ll work with the team in advance to plan activities and customize meals based on your preferences.

Photography: James Vodicka 

Just the two of you

As you can imagine, Orpheus Island is the stuff elopement dreams are made of. Sneak in under the radar for an ultra-private moment. That might be a swim and sun-filled day, with a laid-back lunch by the pool, the ceremony at dusk, and dinner under the stars. It’s a foolproof formula for a five-star elopement. Especially when you add in Dining with the Tides, the lodge’s intimate dining for two. Each night just one table is perched on the end of the jetty, with a degustation and matched wines brought out to enjoy. Delicious, decadent, romance off the charts.

Photography: Through The Looking Glass Studio 

24 hours before

It’s rehearsal dinner time! Forget fighting for table bookings on the mainland. Don’t even stay on land. The lodge’s Sunset Cruise departs from the jetty in the late afternoon and the boat makes a beeline for the best spot to see the sky turn pink and purple over the big blue. You’ll have free flowing Australian sparkling wine from the Adelaide Hills, mocktails, soft drink, fruit, and a charcuterie board to enjoy. The skipper is at the helm and the rest of the crew are at the ready to ensure your drinks and plates are never empty.

Photography: Through The Looking Glass Studio 

If you are staying on land, sundowners at the bar might be in order, or perhaps a game of pool at the billiards table before dinner.

Dinner each night takes place in the open-air lounge, where you’ll sit in the candlelight and sup on a three-course meal inspired by QLD produce, the fresh catch and serious skills from the kitchen. We’re still thinking about Chef’s famous prawn, sesame, and kimchi French toast. Then there might be seared scallops and Hibachi sirloin, and a light, creamy raspberry parfait with almond sponge for dessert.

12 hours before

It’s the big day and time to fuel up. Breakfast is by the pool, in the main dining area, where we peer through the palm fronds towards a glassy calm sea. House made ricotta and banana bread calls to the sweet tooth among us, and smashed avocado with green hummus is a winner for a day full of adventure.

Take advantage of the calm morning wind with a quick spin on a stand up paddle board, or send some of the crew out on a dinghy fishing. You can choose to send them with a bottle of Chandon some brunch too.

8 hours before

Time to start prep the best way we know how, with a trip to the Gwandalan Day Spa. Stroll to the edge of the lodge and hide away for a few hours bliss like we did. A relaxation massage works wonders on pre-jitter nerves. Facials are also on the menu, with the likes of a Deep Ocean Renewal treatment. Get that pre-wedding glow in no time.

Keen to kick off the day with a bit of adrenalin? There are bespoke experiences you can book with the team – try deep sea fishing or a scuba session.

Photography: Simon Shiff 

Go time

It’s time to walk down the aisle – we mean jetty. The end of the jetty is a favoured spot to say I do, but there are plenty of other spots around the island where the setting is picture perfect. Under the swaying palms, with the ocean in the distance, is always another popular spot.

Photography: Through The Looking Glass Studio 

Photography: Through The Looking Glass Studio 


When the words are said and the party is ready to start, you’re in the right place. Orpheus Island Lodge is all inclusive – meals, and importantly, Australian spirits and wines. Toast to the union with a sparkling wine, before settling into your reception with a crisp Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc from The Lane, before moving on to a Hentley Farm Barossa Shiraz or a bold Yalumba Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon. Cocktails are available for an additional cost, perhaps design one just for you.

End of the day

Into the evening, once the coffee and cake are done, and the dance floor has died down, the best part is your villa is just a stroll away. Our one bedroom South Suite has a lounge area and terrace, but the piece de resistance is an outdoor bathtub that’s big enough for two and just calling for a late night soak under the stars.

Whether it’s a special day for two or a cast of your favourite crew, Orpheus Island Lodge weddings put the best of the Great Barrier Reef at your fingertips.

Photography: Through The Looking Glass Studio 

24 hours later

Stay on island time and roll straight into your honeymoon. Why leave when the setting is what tropical island honeymoons are made of. Wave goodbye to your guests as they helicopter home or invite a few to linger longer.

Lisa was the guest of Orpheus Island Lodge and Northern Escape

About Lisa Perkovic: Lisa has spent the past decade travelling the world writing for Australia’s leading newspapers, magazines, and blogs about all things travel. Her own honeymoon was her pièce de résistance – an epic journey to the Maldives and South Africa. Now she loves nothing more than sharing destinations and tips to help other newlyweds work out how to have the honeymoon of their dreams.