Off the coast of Tasmania, not far from Hobart, lies Satellite Island — a little-known slice of paradise
When it comes to travel, I’m a super-sleuth — I’m constantly on the lookout via magazines, social media, websites, books, blogs and podcasts for faraway places I’d one day like to experience. I stumbled upon images of Satellite Island a few years ago on stylist Tess Newman-Morris’s Instagram feed and it went straight to my top five places to visit. I finally made it there for a long weekend this past June. The 34-hectare owned island, privately owned by Melbourne couple Kate and Will Alstergren, is nestled between mainland Tasmania and Bruny Island in the pristine waterway of the D’Entrecasteaux Channel — and it’s one of Australia’s best-kept travel secrets. The journey from Hobart — which includes a scenic cross-channel trip by ferry and a breezy dash by speedboat helmed by the island’s affable manager, Richard Roe — is less than two hours. A bottle of Tasmanian bubbles and a bucket of fresh oysters awaits your landing on the jetty and after that, you have the entire island to yourself. It’s the kind of natural, unspoilt, unplugged getaway you’ve always dreamed of. Accommodation allows for up to 12 guests, between the threebedroom hilltop Summer House; the two-bedroom Boathouse, right on the jetty’s edge; and, for glamping under the stars, a queen-size canvas bell tent perched on the cliffffside. Design- wise, Satellite Island is the ultimate in understated luxury, impeccably styled by Tess and Kate in beachy neutrals and deep ocean blues with linen sofas, luscious throws, coir matting and ticking sheets. The pantry is generously stocked with staples, treats and gourmet condiments, but Kate recommends organising a delivery in advance of essentials like cheese, bread and wine from Hobart’s Hill Street Grocer. And the island itself offffers a bounty of edibles: take your pick — literally — from the organic herb-and-vegetable garden and orchard; collect free-range eggs fresh from the source; and gather oysters, dive for spiny sea urchin or go fishing right off the Boathouse jetty. Exploring the island is done on foot. Paths are signposted but you are encouraged to seek and discover the island’s treasures and secret spots. At low tide you can explore rock shelves and pebbly beaches, or take the high side through pine groves, gum forests and grasslands. You can also choose a destination and Richard will have a sumptuous lunch, dinner or afternoon tea awaiting you. We moved from breakfast on the Summer House verandah to long lunches under the pines to a bonfifire- lit sunset dinner atop Last Glimpse Point. We circumnavigated the island daily to seek out fossils, press seaweed, gasp at the breathtaking views, bask in the sunsets and gaze at the stars. We spotted wildlife including sea eagles, dolphins and deer. For somewhere so close, it could not seem more remote and idyllic. The hardest thing about coming to Satellite Island was leaving; before I did, I booked for the same time next year.
this page, clockwise from top: fireside breakfast at the Boathouse. The cosy, casual lounge area in the Summer House, an extension of the open-plan kitchen and dining area. Hand-painted signposts help you find your way around the island. The front...