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The Great Barrier Reef is arguably the most impressive of the world’s seven natural wonders and certainly Australia’s most famous tourist attraction. Stretching along Australia’s eastern coastline and made up of over 3,000 individual reef systems, the Great Barrier Reef offers visitors a wealth of experiences in its tropical waters.

An experience on the Great Barrier Reef is by far one of the most requested highlights of any Alquemie itinerary and we love to send our clients out to see this magical marine beauty. Stays at luxurious resorts like Lizard Island, qualia on Hamilton Island and newly re-opened InterContinental Hayman Island give guests an opportunity to truly appreciate life on the reef.

In 2018 Alquemie became a founding member of Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, an organisation using the collaborative power of the masses to reduce human caused environmental impacts around the globe (such as single use plastics) as well as supporting scientific research on the Great Barrier Reef. Through our contacts, the team at Alquemie can create bespoke experiences for guests that are interested in the work that is being done on the reef.

The types of experiences might include:

  • Fast tracking reef regeneration with baby corals / reseeding & restoring coral
  • Witnessing annual coral spawning (timed with lunar cycles and water temperatures – usually around October or November full moons)
  • Tracking marine mammals
  • Diving with marine researchers
  • Spending time on research / scientific vessels

Note that any of the above would require a donation to Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef in addition to the costs of the experience.

If a behind-the-scenes Great Barrier Reef conservation experience appeals then please contact Alquemie to discuss what opportunities are available.


Silky Oaks Lodge – Luxury Lodges of Australia

Silky Oaks Lodge and Healing Waters Spa adjoining the World Heritage listed Daintree National Park is a picture of tranquility. Located on the Mossman River it’s the perfect based to explore this tropical rainforest wonderland.  The lodge offers activities such as canoeing, river snorkelling,  guided walks, wildlife spotting and yoga classes or simply swimming in the crystal clear mountain waters of Mossman River. It’s the perfect haven for guests keen to re-energise their soul. We speak to Samantha Lusk, Sales & Marketing for Silky Oaks Lodge.

Describe Silky Oaks Lodge in 3 words.

Relax, Rejuvenate, Explore.

Tell us a little bit about Silky Oaks Lodge and what makes it so unique beyond great food, great wine and a very comfortable place to sleep?

Silky Oaks Lodge offers a luxury experience from which to explore Tropical North Queensland, situated only 20minutes north of Port Douglas. It boarders the World Heritage listed Daintree Rainforest National Park and is spectacularly perched above the Mossman River. Surrounded by the lush rainforest, this luxury eco lodge is the ideal location to appreciate the natural tropical environment.

How is Silky Oaks Lodge pushing the boundaries in guest experiences?

We understand that all guest’s needs and requirements are different, so prior to the guest arrival, we try and obtain as much information as possible about them so we can tailor individual and personalised touches for all guests. These special touches may be in the form of the location of the room ie. if a guest has a walking difficulty, we will try and allocate a Treehouse as close to the Main Lodge as possible, even if this means we need to upgrade them. We strive to exceed guest expectations at all times and this may be achieved by special touches in the guest rooms such as fresh flowers on arrival, local teas in the room upon turndown, mood music playing upon arrival and during turndown, acknowledging all guests by their names.

Relaxing in the tropical surrounds of Silky Oaks Lodge
Relaxing in the tropical surrounds of Silky Oaks Lodge

What’s a recent (last six months) innovation at Silky Oaks Lodge ?

Due to high demand we have just finished building another Lodge Suite. This room type is in high demand by families as they are the only room which can accommodate four guests. These rooms which are 88sqm offer a spacious open plan layout with extra large balcony with its own outside king size four poster day bed.

What activity should guests not miss during their stay at Silky Oaks Lodge ?

Take a picnic hamper and guide book and hike the Fig Tree Rapids trail and immerse yourself in the crystal clear mountain water along the way.

Clear waters of the Mossman Gorge at Silky Oaks Lodge
Clear waters of the Mossman Gorge at Silky Oaks Lodge

Best dining experience at Silky Oaks Lodge?

Our Treehouse Restaurant offers an exquisite dining experience. This unique open-sided restaurant where the walls and windows have been replaced by the Mossman River and surrounding rainforest, offers the freshest of local produce. Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.

Treetop accommodation at Silky Oaks Lodge in the Daintree
Treetop accommodation at Silky Oaks Lodge

Please describe a typical guest at Silky Oaks Lodge.

Retired couples whose children are now at university etc., and who now have the time to relax and enjoy the peaceful surrounds after a very fast paced career. They value the tranquil surrounds of Silky Oaks, however also want to get out and explore the region and what it has to offer, such as a cruise to the Great Barrier Reef or a day trip to Cape Tribulation.

What’s a great experience for teens at Silky Oaks Lodge?

For teenagers, they can have a great time exploring the beautiful Mossman River with a mask and snorkel available from our Reception. They may spot some Jungle Perch, turtles and if they are really lucky the elusive Platypus!  We do not accommodate children under the age of 8 years.

Mt Demi Rainforest by Silky Oaks Lodge
Mt Demi Rainforest by Silky Oaks Lodge


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Unique and exclusive Luxury Holidays Australia

At Alquemie the unique holidays we craft are unparalleled. Our expert team are specialists in designing itineraries for high-net-worth individuals travelling to Australia who demand discretion, precision planning and an authentic and unique experience. We create one-of-a-kind luxury holidays Australia that leave lasting memories through exclusive experiences.

To us, the true luxury is sometimes in the exclusivity of being one of only a few to experience something. For example, Arkaba, a Wild Bush Luxury property in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia is a private wildlife conservancy roughly five times the size of Sydney harbour. This is shared by only ten guests in supreme comfort, with fabulous food and wine, and one of Australia’s most spectacular landscapes. It is this exclusivity that creates the true luxury.

Luxury Holidays Australia at Arkaba
Arkaba is one of Australia’s most exclusive properties

In the Top End of Australia lies Bamurru Plains, another Wild Bush Luxury property where again exclusivity is the true luxury although great food and wine are a given. Guests stay in safari-style bungalows with mesh walls on three sides and expansive views out overlooking flood plains where the wildlife roam free. Activities such as airboat safaris or game drives show off the spectacular wilderness in this exotic part of Australia.

At Bamurru Plains guests can airboat over the Mary River Flood Plains
At Bamurru Plains guests can airboat over the Mary River Flood Plains

On the Great Barrier Reef you’ll find that luxury comes in many styles. On Lizard Island you can take your own private dinghy to one of 23 white sand beaches that you are likely to have all to yourself.

SUP board on Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef
SUP board on Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef

For those who prefer the luxury that an urban escape can bring, we call upon our network of guides and experts to show you a side of our cities you wouldn’t find yourself.

Whether it’s our cities, the outback or the coast, there is no end to what Alquemie’s specialists can conjure up. Download our Holiday Planning Guide for more inspiration  then allow us to reveal the magic of Australia through a carefully constructed itinerary that will enchant, educate and surprise.

Hero image: El Questro Homestead in the Kimberley

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Heli Tours of North Queensland

Explore North Queensland by air and discover places that many don’t get to see on one of our signature Heli Tours of North Queensland. Each guest is provided with a headset, enabling easy communication between themselves and the pilot. The pilot and guide know this region well and will share stories on the major landmarks throughout the journey.

The fleet can accommodate up to nine passengers on a variety of helicopters:

Robinson R44
Bell 206 Jetranger
Bell 206 Longranger
Bell 407
Bell 205
AS350 (Squirrel)

3 pax
4 pax
6 pax
6 pax
9 pax
6 pax

Below are some suggested day tours however each can be tailored based on the interests of each guest.

Torres Strait Islands private heli tours

Dugong - Image credit: National Geographic
Dugong – Image credit: National Geographic

The Torres Strait Islands are a group of over 270 low lying islands located between the tip of continental Australia (Cape York) and Papua New Guinea. Seldom visited by mainstream tourists, the relatively untouched region is rich in natural, historical and cultural beauty with a unique Melanesian indigenous population. The islands’ clear tropical waters have diverse marine ecosystems with dugongs, saltwater crocodiles and many species of turtles seen amongst the colourful reefs. Activities include fishing, swimming, diving, viewing or buying fabulous indigenous artworks, visiting local markets and seeing original colonial architecture. Highlights include: Great Barrier Reef, Prince of Wales Island, Thursday Island, WW11 remnants and Horn Island. These private day tours depart from Horn Island.

World War II history flight: Fly over Prince of Wales Island and spectacular waterfalls. WWII bunkers, shipwrecks, and gun stations are a highlight of this trip. Circle over Green Hill Fort and Thursday Island before landing on Horn Island.

Icons of the North: Fly over the Torres Strait to the very top of Australia, Cape York to stand on the tip of Australia. A scenic flight over Punsand Bay and the Iconic Possession Island are more highlights before landing at Horn Island.

North Queensland Heli fishing adventure

Private heli tours of Queensland

Enjoy a scenic heli tour of North Queensland combined with a spot of fishing! Highlights include: Cairns, Mitchell River, Fishing and the Mt Mulgrave Homestead. This private day tour departs from Cairns.

Flying west from Cairns we intersect the mighty Mitchell River which starts on the Atherton Tablelands and flows 750km north-west across Cape York to the Gulf of Carpentaria. Along the way, it carves through the rugged highlands of the Great Diving Range.  Tracking the river, we land at a secret fishing spot where we set up on the banks of the Mitchell, before rigging a couple of fishing lines. The river is teaming with Barramundi, not only a great fish to catch, but also fantastic eating as well. Lunch is served on the banks of the Mitchell. We then take you to Mt Mulgrave Homestead, a working cattle farm and family owned for generations. Experience what it is like to run a remote cattle station that has a similar land mass to some countries.  Finally we cross the Great Dividing Range, before making our way back.

For more information about private Heli Tours of North Queensland or to arrange a heli tour elsewhere in Australia, please contact Alquemie.

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Charter a luxury expedition yacht

Amanda on Anda

Amanda here – reporting to you about a fabulous new find in the world of luxury expedition yachts!  Her name is Anda and she is a true expedition vessel with luxury accommodation, all the toys and many comforts.  Anda is not your typical white-boat, she is a luxury expedition yacht available for private charters into Australia’s wild & beautiful waters.  Anda is for exploring, discovering and adventuring.

Currently berthed in Fremantle the Master, Hostess and Chef were happy to show me around the beautifully finished boat.  Anda’s owner is a passionate yachtsman and has no fewer than 12 boats in his personal fleet, however only Anda and a 50 ft game fishing launch, The Fortescue, are available for charter.

  • Some facts about Anda:
  • Length: 42 mtr | 138 ft
  • Built: 1965 in Norway, originally as an ice-breaker.  Rebuilt from 2010 to 2012
  • Cruising Speed: 10 knots
  • Cruise Range:7500 nm
  • Stabilisers: 2 x quantum stabilisers for smooth sailing in seas over 4 mtr
  • Guest Suites: 5 including the spacious master suite, 3 x queen suites and 1 x twin suite all with private en suite bathroom
  • Dining: indoor & outdoor for 10 people
  • Relaxation: sundeck with outdoor spa, large saloon area
  • Transport & fun: 2 x semi-inflatable high speed 7 mtr jet tenders, 2 x Seadoo jetskis
  • Crew: 10 highly experience crew including 2 executive chefs

Price point?  Well to give you an idea, Anda is currently from AU$30,000 per day or $150,000 AUD per week plus GST.  APA is included (advance provisioning allowance).

Where to?  Pretty much wherever you want!  Australia has nearly 60,000km of coastline but my recommendations would be the Kimberley Coast, Rowley Shoals, the Cape York Peninsula and the Great Barrier Reef.

So yes I am excited … Anda really offers stylish luxury, a sense of freedom and extraordinary Australian adventures!!

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Lizard Island

Lizard Island is back!

We are very excited to have Lizard Island, one of our favourite tropical islands on the Great Barrier Reef is back after a full refurbishment. We absolutely love this resort as it boasts some of the most impressive coastal scenery, located right on the reef, and paired with quintessentially laid back Australian luxury – a truly magical destination!

Anchor Bay suite at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef
Anchor Bay suite at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef

Lizard Island is located off the coast of North Queensland, accessible by charter or scheduled flights from Cairns. The resort has been closed for some time while it has undergone a full refurbishment – including all suites and public areas. We have had our first few clients stay and the feedback is as wonderful as ever. The chic new rooms are fitting with the surrounding environment, and the common areas retain their relaxed atmosphere.

Flying over to Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef
Flying over to Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef

As lovely as the rooms are, the focus is most definitely on the reef. Lizard is quite unique in that the island has an impressive reef in a protected lagoon just around from the resort. Guests have access to reserve a motorised dinghie for the day where they can roam as they please. Swim amongst turtles, giant clams, and abundant marine life before picking a secluded private beach to settle down with a gourmet picnic lunch. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Water-based activities at Lizard Island Beach Club on the Great Barrier Reef
Water-based activities at Lizard Island Beach Club on the Great Barrier Reef

For guests that are interested in diving there are various outer reef sites within easy reach of the resort, and arguably some of the best in North Queensland. Those wanting to stay put needn’t worry – the spa, fabulous food and wine selection, and stunning accommodation will ensure guests can relax in style! Welcome back Lizard – we are excited…

A blissful sandy cove at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef
A blissful sandy cove at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef


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