G’day mates! Did you know that Australia is fringed by more than 8,000 islands- each of them unique, wonderful and full of amazing wildlife. With SO many incredible islands to choose from, you may get overwhelmed planning your island vacation. We’ve created a list of some of the top islands of Australia to visit and explore.
Fraser Island is the world’s largest sand island, and is a World Heritage site found off the coast of Queensland. You can fly from Brisbane or cruise on a boat from Rainbow Beach to get to Fraser Island. There are so many adventurous ways to explore, you may have a hard time choosing. From 4WD and hiking the dunes to exploring shipwrecks such as Maheno, and watching for migrating humpback whales. On top of all the fun, you’ll find luxurious accommodations such as the 4-star Kingfisher Bay Resort, or have a hand at camping and enjoy nature at its fullest!
The world renowned sandy beaches of Fraser Island. Image: Tourism Queensland
Lizard Island & Fitrzroy Island:
The Great Barrier Reef, also a World Heritage site, has hundreds of gorgeous islands and coral atolls.
One of the most well known islands is Lizard Island. You’ll find that luxury and beauty await you at Lizard Island Resort. If you’re more of an outdoorsman, bush camping on Fitzroy Island maybe just the thing. No matter where you go, the Great Barrier Reef islands offer adventure for all, from snorkeling and sea kayaking to guided wilderness treks.
The spectacular setting of Lizard Island. Image: Lizard Island Resort
Kangaroo Island is an ecological haven for native Australian wildlife. Kangaroos, koalas, penguins, echidnas, and bird life all call this island paradise, home. Here you can walk among a colony of endangered sea lions or cuddle with a sleepy koala. Don’t forget to take in the breathtaking scenery of the island, with its rugged cliffs, sheltered bays, native bushlands and rolling hills of farmland- you’ll never have a dull moment of exploration. From wildlife adventures and coastal activities, to food and wine and historical guided walks, Kangaroo Island is definitely a place to visit.
Very cute Kangaroos hopping around on Kangaroo Island. Image: Tourism Southern Australia
Located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, Hayman Island is the most northerly of the Whitsunday Islands. The Whitsundays have long been internationally recognized as one of the world’s most beautiful stretches of tropical coastline in the world. Hayman Island is a private island resort, with only the most luxurious and elegant of accommodations- including expansive pools, lush gardens and pristine white sand beaches. No lazy days for you? Hayman also offers loads of activities including snorkeling and diving, excursions by seaplane and helicopter, as well as nature hikes and bushwalks. At Hayman Island, you can have it all.
The magnificent pools and beaches of Hayman Island. Image: Hayman Island
People tend to forget that Tasmania is part of Australia, and visiting Tasmania is a one-of-a-kind experience full of history, natural beauty, and amazing wine. Tasmania is still a wild place, more than a fifth of the island is wilderness (and is also a celebrated World Heritage site). Tasmania was settled by a rough assortment of convicts, miners and whalers who’ve left traces of their history at scenic sites around the island. While visiting Tassie, you can explore the forests, cliffs, mountains and white sand bays. Or stay up late to trak the Tasmanian devil by night. If you head east, you’ll find Freycinet National Park and Wineglass Bay, where you can kayak, swim or scuba dive right off the sandy shores. You’ll also find loads of hiking and gorgeous cruises. Make sure you add Tasmania to your bucket list.
A relaxing cruise on Wineglass Bay. Image: Tourism Tasmania