6 Island Destinations in Australia That Will Amaze You
Looking for an island getaway from the world’s biggest island? Australia is surrounded by 8,222 of them! Plenty to choose from to suit your budget and desires, but these six islands are sure to give you a healthy dose of awe and relaxation.
1. Fraser Island, Queensland
Fraser Island will blow your mind. It’s the largest sand island in the world and a World Heritage Site because it’s constantly moving and evolving. Fraser Island is the only place in the world where tall rainforests are found growing on sand dunes at elevations of over 200 metres.
There’s a lot to explore from wide, sweeping beaches you can drive on to hardwood and eucalypt forests and more than 100 freshwater lakes. The rugged terrain means much of the island is perfect for four wheel driving and it has a large populations of pure bred dingoes. Oh and the odd whale breaching just off shore!
2. Rottnest Island
Rotto as the locals call it, is an island that will blow your mind. It’s hard to believe it’s only a short 30 minute ferry ride from the city of Perth. They have to be the luckiest people in Australia to have this car-free stunning beauty on their doorstep.
You feel like you’ve returned to school camp: cute historic cabins overlook the turquoise water and everyone gets around on feet or by bike WITH endless smiles, chatter and giggles. It’s carefree fun.
Hire a bike and cycle around the island for the day to discover the numerous, unspoilt, beaches. They are some of the best in Australia. Head inland too – there’s plenty of pink lakes to ride around. Yet another incredible feature of the island are tiny quokkas. They’re small marsupials that look like rats and are famous for their selfie smiles.
3. Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Known as the Galapagos of Australia, Kangaroo Island is a sanctuary for wildlife. Kangaroos, koalas, and echidna wander freely and in the ocean whales, sea lions and penguin colonies frolic in the surf.
It’s isolated, untouched, serene, natural – all the adjectives you want for a holiday. There’s even sand boarding fun on the “Little Sahara” sand dunes the kids will love. You won’t go hungry either, the island is well known for its fresh produce. Kangaroo Island’s pristine beaches and dramatic cliffs are best explored by 4WD.
4. Great Keppel Island, Queensland
One of the few Great Barrier Reef islands that is not overdeveloped or overrun by tourists with high prices to match. It’s just camping or beach bungalows and Bare-Foot Chilldom.
It’s the Rottnest Island of the East – 30 minute ferry ride from the mainland where you trade in the car for feet and bikes. You can’t cycle around the island here, but there are plenty of hiking trails and ocean activities to enjoy: snorkelling, glass bottom boat tours, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding.
Unwind in the evening with a sunset catamaran tour and a few beers with tunes in the beach bar. Ernest Hemingway would have given it the big tick of approval.
5. Magnetic Island, Queensland
Maggie Island, just off the Townsville Coast in Tropical North Queensland, is where you will discover the joy of simple things.
Walks through the bush, stunning sunsets, wild animals, water splashing on your feet, dives off the roofs of boats, shell collecting and drives up and down the one road in a bright orange mini. It’s bigger and more developed then Great Keppel and Rotto, but it still has a similar laid-back charm.
And you’re still on the outer skirts of the Great Barrier Reef. There is great snorkelling off some of the beaches and good fishing if that’s your sort of thing. Magnetic Island has the highest number of koalas in the wild in Australia – chances are good you’ll see them on one of the island’s walks (try The Forts Walk).
6. Lord Howe Island, NSW
This one’s a little more expensive, but considering its World Heritage status you know it’s going to be worth a visit. Don’t worry about the crowds – Lord Howe Island has a limit of 400 visitors at a time.
Lord Howe Island’s famous twin peaks, breathtaking views and natural forest make it ideal for walkers and hikers to discover the island on foot. One of its 11 beaches, Neds Beach, is part of a marine reserve where you can snorkel above a colourful kaleidoscope of fish and corals along a fringing coral reef.
Getting around by bike or on foot is the way to go and there are plenty of activities to discover such as swimming, hiking, snorkelling, diving, kayaking and surfing.