Australia is known for its amazing wildlife, rich landscapes, and beautiful beaches. Although its broad cities have their own unique metropolitan charm, a trip down under isn’t complete without an immersive visit to one of Australia’s many islands.
From the West Coast near Perth to the vast East Coast flanked by Cairns and Sydney, there are a number of incendiary destinations to choose from. Read on to find out our top four islands that will blow any other beaches you’ve been to before right out of the water.
The Whitsunday Islands
Technically, the Whitsunday Islands are a group of 74 islands–but we’ve included it on this list as a whole because whichever one you choose, you are treated to a wonderful opportunity to experience The Great Barrier Reef firsthand. Since this is one of the most popular destinations for travellers, the tourism efforts on the islands are highly developed and have a plethora of offerings to suit your needs.
You can opt to head to Hayman Island for a luxurious resort experience where experts can take you on guided tours on the reef and have you back in time for your afternoon massage–or you can choose Hamilton Island and live out your backpackers’ dream, stopping off at the Koala Adventure in the afternoon and partying it up along the coast late into the night. If you’re having a hard time choosing, you can also play it by ear and book a sailing trip that will give you a good view of each of the islands.
Set off the coast of Cairns, Fitzroy Island offers the kind of absolute peace and quiet that only a remote island paradise can offer. It’s relatively less congested than the other islands and its activities focus more on the beauty of nature and really soaking in your opportunity for some rest and relaxation.
If you know that the busy nightlife isn’t really for you, then this might be the island to check out. Some popular activities include hiking, camping, beach picnics, scuba diving, snorkelling, and water kayaking. Another one of the island’s unique main features is the large water trampoline suspended meters above the ocean, giving travellers the experience of being right in the middle of the vast blue horizon.
If you want a break from the traditional beach scene, you definitely have to check out Frazer Island. Not only is it the world’s largest island, it’s also one of the only islands in Australia famous not for its beaches but its lakes. The beachfront waters are very tumultuous and rough but the fresh bodies of water located on the inner cusp of the island offer a swimming experience like no other.
The island is also known for its Eucalyptus Forest, a proliferation of Dingos, and numerous wildlife lookouts that give visitors an experience of Australia’s exotic flora and fauna. It’s also one of the only islands that have a driving tour which gives travellers the option of traversing the island’s beach-made highway.
Lord Howe Island
This is one of the most unique destinations in all of Australia. Although it might be the kind of trip you need to save up a little for due to its hefty price tag, the private plane trip there will be well worth it. Located 600 km southeast of Sydney, this island is proof that chaos can give way to beauty: a volcanic remnant, it now boasts some of the most fertile soil, diverse flora, and unique wildlife. The sand on the beach is some of the finest in the world and has some of the most beautiful coral pools. There’s also room on the island for those who love to hike, with mountain trails and hiking trips aplenty.
The next time you’re booking a trip to Australia, consider taking a few days off the beaten path to take a short ferry or plane ride over to one of its offshore islands. Whether you’re one to relax and luxuriate in the beach, someone who loves to party until the break of dawn, or are more interested in exploring the forests of Australia, there’s something on these beautiful islands for you to enjoy. Trust us: the breathtaking views, unique experiences, and immersive naturescapes are worth the detour!