Pioneers, actors, artists, photographers and modernday Robinson Crusoes have long enjoyed the isolation and beauty of Bedarra Island. Captain James Cook sailed past the “mother” of the Family Group of Islands in 1770, and Captain Henry Allason in 1913 became the first to take freehold possession. But its beauty and remoteness wasn’t fully appreciated until renowned Australian artist Noel Wood arrived on the island in the 1930s.
Wood described Bedarra, 6km off Mission Beach in tropical North Queensland, as a place “with a warm climate, where one could live for approximately nothing and solve one’s own problems in paint and colour”. He spent his days gardening and fishing, eventually building a house – complete with a wall made from gin and cognac bottles – behind a coconut grove overlooking Doorilla Bay in the north-east of the 100ha island. To the south is the 10-pavilion Bedarra Island Resort.
During his 50 years living in isolation Wood subdivided and sold seven parcels of land; all are under strata title and classified as the East Bedarra Resort. The largest parcel,