News

Richard Branson's piece of heaven

Looking from the pool to the Long Room on Richard Branson's Makepeace Island. Photo: Darryn Smith / Sunshine Coast Daily
Looking from the pool to the Long Room on Richard Branson's Makepeace Island. Photo: Darryn Smith / Sunshine Coast Daily Darryn Smith

"YOU step on the island and you feel like you are a million miles away and yet you are only a stone's throw from Noosa.''

Makepeace Island general manager Nick Jones knows he has one of the best jobs in the world.

And now he's keen to share Richard Branson's little slice of Bali with even more guests.

Nick took the Daily on a tour of the 10ha island along with VIP guests from Australian Tourism Export Council Symposium being hosted by Coolum Golf and Spa this week.

We were immediately struck by the peace and serenity of the heart-shaped retreat in the Noosa River as we navigated the wooden pathways under an open moonlit sky.

Dreams of 50th birthday functions, staff retreats, or parties with friends were discussed as we sipped on Moet and ate the most delightful delicacies from the kitchen.

More flexible pricing packages mean the island is no longer the domain of only the super rich.

After paying $2800 a night for exclusive use of the island, charges range from $575 per adult per night for seven to 22 guests or $890 per adult per night for one to six guests.

The package includes breakfast, lunch and dinner, beverages, airport and marina transfers, and exclusive use of the island and all its facilities.

Accommodation includes private bures and villas, a Bali House with four bedrooms and bathrooms and The Boat House, a small, self contained studio room which overlooks the river.

Gardens and indoor decor include giant sculptures, teak, granite and stone finishes, volcanic boulder bathtubs, ornamental lighting and original antiquities

The star centrepiece of the island is a 500,000 litre lagoon pool with lap lane, dive spots and 15-person spa.

You can quickly imagine yourself reading a book as you kick back in one of the chairs that dangle over the bright blue water.

A two-storey wantilan overlooks the pool and river and features Balinese style lounges complete with silk furnishings.

The island does not have a liquor licence so it's a BYO affair although staff can order in whatever you need before you arrive.

Nick landed his dream job after managing a resort in the British Virgin Islands where Richard Branson owned a neighbouring resort.

"His mecca would get booked out so often that the poor guy could not stay on his own island,'' Mr Jones told the Daily.

Sir Richard and Virgin Blue co-founder Brett Godfrey developed their private Noosa getaway over several years.

The buildings were designed and constructed in Bali and shipped here to be reassembled.

All the furnishings, sculptures, antiques and lighting are one-off pieces acquired in Bali, Java and elsewhere in Indonesia.

"They were looking to create a special place in a very special part of the world and they have certainly achieved that,'' Nick said.

While Sir Richard's busy schedule means he's only an occasional visitor, Mr Godfrey, who is based in Melbourne, often brings his family and friends up.

"You can step away from the rat race, look across the Noosa River, wake up in the morning and have a little fish,'' Nick says of the simple charms.

Sir Richard loves the view across the river.

Nick says the resort is hoping delicate negotiations may see it win council support to host small weddings but is mindful of not upsetting a couple of neighbours across the river. After all, they like the quiet life too.

ISLAND FACILITIES

Lagoon swimming pool and 15-person spa

Two-storey relaxation wantilan including day beds, lounge chairs, and pool table

Media room with video, DVD and satellite TV

Floodlit tennis court

Hobie cats for sailing

Outdoor cinema

A launch to host a lake dinner or cocktails

Topics:  noosa, richard branson, tourism, virgin


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Bridge works to cause delays

ROAD WORKS AHEAD:Photo: Jodie Dixon / Isis Town & Country

Bridge inspections in Isaac region to start from Monday, August 29.

Isaac region can expect rates notices in next week

Rates out soon: Isaac rates will contribute to the maintenance and upgrades of our roads and open space for families like the Andersons to enjoy.

Isaac rates notice are due to arrive by Monday, September 5.

Prepare now for flying fox migration

Little red flying foxes naturally migrate through Isaac from August to January and are known to establish temporary camps.

Take the time now to prepare for flying fox migration.

Latest deals and offers

State's new smoke-free laws kick in today

THE Queensland State Government's strict new smoke-free laws will come into effect from September 1.

Sunny act on Capella stage

The Sunny Cowgirls will be performing in Capella.

The Sunny Cowgirls are coming to Capella on October 16.

Another public holiday! But do we really want that?

Businesses may consider closing for the entire period.

Bridge works to cause delays

ROAD WORKS AHEAD:Photo: Jodie Dixon / Isis Town & Country

Bridge inspections in Isaac region to start from Monday, August 29.

Isaac region can expect rates notices in next week

Rates out soon: Isaac rates will contribute to the maintenance and upgrades of our roads and open space for families like the Andersons to enjoy.

Isaac rates notice are due to arrive by Monday, September 5.

Bikie Laws: MP compares bikie logos to burqas

Outlaw motorcycle gang colours and logos would be outlawed under the proposed changes.

"Are you going to become the fashion police?"

History comes alive at Back Plains celebration

Ian Mason wrote a book on the history of Back Plains and is launching it at a massive reunion event.

Reliving fascinating and rich history of Back Plains area

Love is in the air on The Bachelor, but not for Kiki

The Bachelor Australia contestant Kirralee 'Kiki' Morris.

BACHELORETTE bows out gracefully as show enters its final weeks.

A $65,000 bathroom? The Block's incredible budget blow-outs

The Block contestants Julia and Sasha spent a whopping $65,000 on their first renovated room.

TEAMS deliver most expensive en-suites in reno show's history.

Gympie Muster couch dumps down, but still a problem

TIPPING POINT: After an appalling year of couches being dumped at the end of the last Muster, festival organisers have taken litterbugs to task

EFFORTS to combat post-Muster couch dumping are proving effective

Cryptic crosswords: Top clues to solving them

Your guide to solving the cryptic crosswords in your local paper

Muster wristbands yield $21,000 in unclaimed refunds

Muster-goers collectively left about $21,000 worth of unused spending funds when they failed to claim back money on their bands after exiting the Muster.

Muster wristbands yield $21,000 windfall for organisers

How high? Twin 20-storey high-rises plan for "over 50s"

A development application has been lodged with the Fraser Coast Regional Council to build two skyscrapers in Hervey Bay.

Developer says Bay needs to move with the times.

City View Hotel: From a pub to a backpackers

NEW LIFE: Hamish Parker has purchsed the City View Hotel and wants to turn it into an accomodation venue.

Architect picks up a little piece of history for a steal

Bunnings starts demolition of historic foundry buildings

SAWTOOTH GONE: Demolition of Foundry sawtooth shed to make way for new Bunnings building.

Lane and footpath closures will take place

Australia's most expensive balcony and it hasn't been built

Viridian Noosa.

How Noosa millionares' squabble could affect body corporates

Receivers move in on Springfield's 'Tower of Power'

The 10-storey tower at Springfield is up for sale with interest high in the iconic structure.

Interest high in iconic 10-storey office building

Palm Lake Resort set to move in to Coast with 276 villas

Palm Lake Group has been given approval by Sunshine Coast Council to build a 276-villa over 50s resort and 120-bed aged care facility at the intersection of Caloundra Rd and Caloundra Mooloolaba Rd in Little Mountain.

New facility planned for Caloundra Rd