This British Backpacker Manages An Entire Island In Aus & My Life Suddenly Seems Quite Dull

Eloise Chaffers

A lot of movies and books paint island living to be a stressful affair – Castaway, Lord of the Flies, even The Beach with Leonardo DiCaprio takes a nasty turn.

In saying that, there aren’t enough negative movies in the world to convince me that living on an island wouldn’t be the best move I’ve ever made. Fewer people? Living on the beach 24/7? Turtles? Tanning this typically pasty bod? Sign me up and bring me a turtle to befriend ASAP.

(If you are planning on that sweet, turtle-loving island life, you can head here to suss out jobs, training, cheap travel and more info.)

Eloise Chaffers, a British backpacker turned island manager (not the official title but it sounds cool), decided the party was beat in the UK and bounced down to mingle with us Aussies.

After working in a variety of hospitality jobs to fund her backpacking shenanigans, Eloise stumbled across Great Keppel Island and fell head-over-heels for it. Since then, she’s moved on to manage Pumpkin Island with her partner, which is honestly a recurring dream of mine.

First I’d have to find a partner before I could manage an island with said partner, so perhaps I’ll work on that first. People kind of annoy me though so this could be a lengthy mission.

Moving right along. If you haven’t heard of Pumpkin Island before, it’s a private (prepare yourself for the big reveal) island (what no way) that you can actually hire, which we covered at length here.

Tucked away in The Keppels – 30 minutes off the coast of Yeppoon or an easy-peasy drive or flight from Brisbane – the Eco Retreat boasts island-view bungalows, a menu stacked with all the fresh, local seafood you could cram in your gob, and a tonne of activities like snorkelling, glass-bottom kayaking, windsurfing, turtle and dolphin-spotting, and the most appealing activity of them all – lying on the beach doing diddly-squat.

“By living a life that I love, I never feel like I’m going to work,” says Eloise, who is part of Queensland’s Young Tourism Leaders Program which connects young people with inspiring role models to encourage them to pursue a career in tourism.

If you have a sudden urge to dramatically quit your job by announcing it during a team-wide Zoom call while wearing your most eccentric nightgown, pack your bags and go live on an island like Eloise, I have some good news, and some good news.

Islands and towns all over Queensland are always on the hunt for people to move up there for a boatload of chill jobs – think housekeeping, cooking, anything hospo-related is up for grabs and it’s now easier for people to relocate, as part of the recent incentives provided by the Give It A Go campaign.

So, why not bail on your real-life and go live in the sun for a year-or-so? You might meet the love of your life and live happily ever after.

I’m not promising anything but it technically could happen.