The best islands to visit in Australia


Australia is the largest island in the world, and at the same time the smallest continent on Earth with lots of smaller islands bordering it. In total more than 8,000 amazing islands! All of them bathed by the warm southern sun and surrounded by the crystalline waters of the Pacific.

If you were planning to visit an Australian island every day, it would probably take you more than 15 years to visit all of them.

Therefore, because 8,000 are too many islands, I’d like to share with you a ranking with the most popular islands in Australia that you cannot miss. They are must be the first in your bucketlist!

Fraser Island

It constitutes the largest sand barrier in the world, formed from the accumulation of sand off the coast of Brisbane. Only here you can see a jungle ecosystem developed in sand that shelters all kinds of birds, animals and the abundant marine life. Not surprisingly, it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1992. An excellent way to explore this paradise is the Great Walk of Fraser Island, a journey of 90 kilometers along a winding path that penetrates the island, passing through Majestic lakes, large sections of jungle and the ever-present and mobile sand dunes.

Kangaroo Island

This island has beautiful beaches and a lot of wildlife in its 4,500 km2. Although it has a small population, Kangaroo Island has kept its ecosystems intact naturally. There you will find a very rich variety of animals that give the impression of being inside a zoo, but where all the creatures live in total freedom. In addition to ecotourism and activities related to its nature, on “Kangaroo Island” you can also go scuba diving, scuba diving, trekking through the forest and (of course) surfing.

Lord Howe Island

A World Heritage Site with 11 spectacular beaches, which stand out for their unique beauty and enormous biodiversity. Lord Howe Island is a small island located in the Tasmanian Sea, within the state of New South Wales, about 600km east of the Australian continent (less than 2 hours flight from Sydney or Brisbane). This island is an ideal place for those looking to relax since only 400 visitors are allowed per day. The island is surrounded by crystal clear water and corals, which attracts a diverse marine fauna, plants and birds unique in the world.

Moreton Island

One of the best landscapes to see whales, dolphins and other marine animals. Anyone who visits Brisbane a couple of days can not miss the Moreton Island, located just 58km from the city. 95% of this sandy island is a national park and since there are only sandy roads, the only means of transport around the island is 4 × 4 since there is no public transport. On the island 5 lighthouses have been built and there are currently four settlements on the west side of it.

Whitsunday Islands

Located within the Great Barrier Reef, one of the most spectacular areas in Australia. Whitsunday Islands is actually an incredible archipelago formed by an authentic necklace of more than 70 beautiful islands and islets. Whitsunday has been able to stay natural and safe from human pollution, this does not mean that you can not visit, on the contrary, there are several companies that make excursions or rent boats to travel the archipelago with total freedom. I recommend you take a dip in the excellent beach of Whitehaven Beach, a paradise on earth!

Carmen Caballero is Founder of Exotik Traveler. Exotik Traveler is a luxury travel design and consultancy firm which creates unique experiences for luxury travelers, tailored to their needs.

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Comments (12)

  1. Mike Watkins says:

    I’ve been to Australia a few times but never got round to doing Kangaroo Island. Can there be anything more Aussie than that Island? Great coastline, kangaroos and surfing. Just needs a few prawns on the beach barbie and you’ve got Oz all on one great island.

  2. Kev says:

    The Great Welk on Fraser Island must be brilliant. What a spectacular 90 kilometres through the jungle ecosystem. I’m not normally an enthusiastic walker as I get bored easily but I think this one with lakes and sand dunes and jungle would have enough to keep even me interested. I’m hoping to retire during the next couple of years and the Great Walk could be a challenging ambition for that first blissful year. Nor have I been to Australia for at least a dozen years.

  3. Jo Fordham says:

    I knew Australia has a lot of islands around it, but 8,000? Wow! I had no idea it was anywhere near that kind of amount. It’s hard to imagine how it’s possible, or at least it is for me and my brain to really appreciate the size of somewhere like Australia. I don’t know why you couldn’t just list every single one of them here and provide an itinerary for each 😉
    I think it’s so appealing to be able to go somewhere so breathtakingly beautiful, that’s also not packed with tourists. I think it’s good they’re trying to prioritise conservation on their islands while limiting visitors where necessary, like at Lord Howe. The Whitsunday Islands look absolutely incredible. I’m always amazed at how crystalline the seas is and how clean the shores look across Australia and of course the Great Barrier Reef is an excellent example. Yes please!

    • Australia is so big! You would need too much time to see them all that’s why you have to know what you prefer and make a bucketlist of your top islands to visit:):)

    • Jo Fordham says:

      I have relatives in Australia, I wonder if they’d let me stay for a year on some kind of visa as I explore as much as I possibly can? 😉 You’re right though, if I were ever lucky enough to get to go for a couple of weeks, I honestly wouldn’t know where to start. Posts like this are so helpful in suggesting where to consider so you can prioritise where you most want to check out, especially for someone has painfully indecisive as I am!

  4. Will says:

    No, 8,000 islands ain’t too many. The way things are going at the moment I could spend a few years Aussie island-hopping. I am in need of a quarter life career break.

  5. Kirsty Emerson says:

    Private yacht charter is the thought that goes through my mind when I see these idyllic pictures. How good would it be to sail through these islands? Perhaps mooring up to swim and snorkel every now and again? Or have a beach BBQ with fresh fish that you had only just caught?

    The other thought that goes through my mind is cruising round these islands on your own yacht but that’s more of a fantasy than a realistic option.

    • Good morning Kirsty, I’ll be happy to help if you need:) The best way to move around the islands if you have the budget if a yatch charter, it is flexible and gives you a lot of freedom to do what you want and spend as much time as you like in any island!

  6. Ben says:

    Those 8,000 islands come as quite a shock to me and probably to most other people too. I know a lot of people who back-packed around Australia doing the Whitsundays and sometimes Kangaroo Island but not many islands other than those. When you look at the map of the continent you just don’t get to see them. I suppose there are even too many for anybody to have written a book on them or created a website as a guide.

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