5 Of Australia’s must-see islands
Take a look at some of the best holiday destinations and hidden gems around Australia.Ellie Saunders
Although it’s one big island itself, Australia is also home to 8222 smaller islands. And there is no better holiday than an island one! If you’re looking for the perfect island escape, here are some of the uniquely beautiful islands you should pay a visit to.
1. Bruny Island, Tasmania
This spectacular island just off the coast of Hobart encapsulates all the amazing things Tasmania has to offer. The island looks like it could be two smaller islands but North and South Bruny are actually joined by a strip of land known as The Neck Featuring towering cliffs, sandy windswept beaches, thick forests, ancient rock formations, beautiful vineyards and delicious fresh produce, a visit to this little island is a near-magical experience. The environment is relatively untouched which means it is also home to many rare and endangered species, including penguins, echidnas, white wallabies and muttons birds - so keep your eye out! There are plenty of scenic walking tracks and secluded swimming spots to enjoy. Make sure to try some freshly shucked oysters and a glass of Tasmanian wine!
2. Hamilton Island, Queensland
The largest inhabited island of the stunning Whitsundays, Hamilton Island is a little slice of island paradise. With vibrant green rocky hills, sparkling turquoise waters and white sandy beaches, Hamilton Island is almost unrivalled in its natural beauty. There is also no shortage of activities to participate in. Whether you’re a scuba diver, golfer, keen bushwalker or just looking to relax by the pool, you’ll find somewhere to do it in Hamilton Island. The island is home to many stylish bars and trendy restaurants so the fun doesn’t have to stop when the sun goes down.
3. Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Just off of Cape Jervis in South Australia lies Kangaroo Island, one of Australia’s ultimate wildlife destinations. Not only home to many a kangaroo, the island is a sanctuary to seals, koalas, echidnas, dolphins, and bandicoots. With 509 km of coastline and national parks taking up a third of the island, there is plenty of exploring to be done. There are over 23 different hikes you can do, suited to all fitness levels as well as more adventurous activities like quad biking, caving, and sandboarding. With many of the island’s residents being primary producers, Kangaroo Island is also a gourmet food destination and a great spot for seafood, cheese, wine, and honey. In fact, the island is believed to be home to the world’s largest remaining colony of Ligurian honey bees. One way to explore all of Kangaroo Island’s attractions is on a cruise from Adelaide so you can see the amazing coastline of the island.
4. Moreton Island, Queensland
Located off the coast of Brisbane you’ll find the third largest sand island in the world. Moreton Island is a haven of unspoiled beaches, sand dunes, lagoons and rocky headlands. It is also home to Mt. Tempest, the tallest coastal sand hill. The island has a rich history and there are museums, relics, wrecks, and hikes that will bring it to life. There are also amazing snorkeling and diving spots, natural rock pools and crystal-clear lakes to swim in. Between June and October, you can catch humpback whales as they migrate to northern waters - a sight not to be missed. During this time you can see them splashing, breaching and playing about in the waters. Last year over 14000 whales was spotted over the season.
5. Rottnest Island, Western Australia
With one 25 minute ferry ride from Fremantle, you can find yourself in a whole new world. There are no cars allowed on this tranquil island which might explain the bountiful wildlife and relaxed vibe. With many secluded bays and sandy beaches, ‘Rotto’ is the perfect destination to partake in water activities. Whether it’s snorkeling, surfing, diving, kayaking, boating or fishing, there is something for everyone, regardless of age. Beneath the water, there are plenty of fish and colourful coral and if you’re lucky, you may spot an NZ fur seal or a dolphin. On the land, you’ll find quokkas - Rottnest Island’s only native land mammal. In fact, the island is so named because when it was discovered by the Dutch, they mistook the quokkas for rats, so the name literally translates to ‘rat’s nest’. Luckily it is much more than that!
If you’re looking for an island getaway, you won’t be strapped for choice in Australia. Whether you want to sunbake on a white beach, explore some beautiful bushland or swim with seals, you’ll find what you’re looking for in one of the thousands of islands that surround the country.