Celebrity Treasure Island has washed up on TV schedules once again and it's left us with dreams of our own island survival experience.

As the sixteen mildly-famous folk compete at a variety of tasks to become the last celebrity standing, viewers will be full of questions:

Who are these people? And are these tasks half as difficult as they are making them look?

But the most common question of all is: what would I do if I was in their situation?


Fortunately, there's a whole genre of adventure holidays based exactly on this premise.

For travellers looking to push their survival skills to the limits, there are a number of travel operators promising the "Desert Island Experience" and survival trials in paradise.


Docastaway is one such company specialising in holidays to pristine desert islands. It says it aims to offer guests "the chance to feel like a castaway."

Robinson Crusoe: Survival Vacations are one of Docastaway's more unique offerings. Photo / Supplied
Robinson Crusoe: Survival Vacations are one of Docastaway's more unique offerings. Photo / Supplied

With a selection of desert islands, eco resorts and hideaways in paradise the "castaway experience" is made to sound like a dream. Even in these remote corners of the ocean -running water, spa facilities and even internet connections can be dialled up for guests.

So far, so comfortable.

However, one of Docastaway's more unique offerings is what they call "Survival Vacations."

Alvaro Cerezo the founder of the company said that this unique offering came about "because most of the desert islands have no accommodation," and it seemed like the perfect way to really experience isolation.

This more extreme option is only for those travellers "who are ready to face the most intense and authentic experiences."


Dropped off on an untouched desert island guests will be expected to find shelter and forage for their own food and drink like modern day Robinson Crusoes.

Fortunately, help is on hand in the form of a personal 'Bear Grylls'.

Rather than celebrities guests are accompanied by a survival expert to pull them through the challenges of feeding and sheltering themselves.

Cerezo said that island survival is not as difficult as it sounds. At the beginning of a holiday, guests are given an intensive day of survival training with "some basic tips like opening coconuts, making fire easily, fishing or finding fruits."

"Most of our clients can manage without any previous lesson," he said.

With a choice of destinations around the world, you could be "marooned" on a desert island in the Philippines from $140 a day - a price which includes transfers to (and hopefully from) the island.

There is an element of trust to the exercise of paying to be abandoned on a desert island.

Docastaway: Survival is guaranteed, though comfort is optional. Photo / Supplied
Docastaway: Survival is guaranteed, though comfort is optional. Photo / Supplied

For those guests wanting to live their very own Treasure Island experience there is an upper limit on group size for these survival adventures. 16 contestants might be a stretch.
It sort of defeats the purpose of an island retreat, says Cerezo.

"The point is to feel alone. However we sometimes have groups of 8 - 10 people, but this is the maximum we accept because we try to protect the islands from big impact".


Survival games

If you want to know if you've got what it takes to make it as a castaway, Bear Grylls Survival Academy might be the right place to find out.

With five-day courses designed by the TV personality, the survival academy is far more intensive than a choose your own adventure game. Don't expect palm beaches and soft sand, though. These courses take place in locations across the Scottish Highlands, the US and Africa.

The academy consists of a 3-6 day training course followed by a 30-hour "island drop" to put new skills to the test.

"What I've always wanted to teach through the TV show or the academy is how to survive whatever nature throws at you," says Grylls.

Urine drinking is optional.


Island challenge

The cruel and unusual challenges made to put celebs through their paces are a key part of the Treasure Island show. However, there are growing crowd of people who take part in survival races just for fun!

Obstacle Course Racing is a growing sport with a dedicated core of fans who will travel to compete.

While there are a number of operators offering obstacle course races there are few who have taken it to the same scale as the Spartan Race.

Spartan races have been cropping up around the world in exotic locations such as Taiwan and Indonesia, with travel packages being a big part of the adventure.

Most recently they ran an event on the Hawaiian island of O'ahu with 5, 13, and 20 kilometre courses through a landscape that is straight out of Jumanji.

Fortunately competitors won't be expected to fend for themselves or sleep on the beach. Race packages are available with hotel and flight options.


Treasure Island

The location of the Celebrity Treasure Island camp in Fiji is a closely guarded secret.

However, for those who want the "Treasure Island" experience without the discomfort, competition, or televised humiliation there is a perfect spot just 17-km off the coast of Nadi.

Even the name is perfect. The Treasure Island Resort is located in the Mamanuca chain. With dive spots and island adventures just a 15 minute transfer from the mainland, you're never really cast away.

Also – unlike the TV show, which airs close to the weekend watershed – there's a range of family friendly activities such as a Fijian wildlife trail and plenty of space for kids.