When you’re in holiday planning mode there are always so many things on your checklist – daring adventures, beautiful weather, delicious food, experiences you can’t get at home, and most importantly, the chance to relax are just some of the more common ones – but finding the place that can accommodate this? That’s the hard part. Or is it?
When you picture Australia, you might envision it’s wide open spaces, cities brimming with life and a fair few natural wonders thrown in for good measure. But did you know this huge island is home to some of the most spectacular islands in the world?
Blessed with a vast landscape, Australia is home to a bevvy of islands; from tropical paradises where you can indulge in your own oasis, to food havens where you can gorge yourself on all the local produce you can get your hands on– and so many in between. Let us give you a run down on a few of the best islands Australia has to offer.
1. Fitzroy Island
A common image of Australia is that of gorgeous beaches with crystal clear waters drenched in golden sunlight, and it’s common for a reason – this is exactly what can be found when you’re on Fraser Island – not far from the beautiful city of Cairns.
Surrounded by beauty and varying landscapes in literally every direction, Cairns is the gateway to Fraser Island. In less than an hour you could be on the island that really shows where the rainforest and reef joins forces. Only a 45-minute boat ride from Cairns, Fitzroy Island can make an awesome day trip if you’re short on time or be the place you might want to stay for a little bit longer – with accommodation options to suit any budget.
You have the option for maximum relaxation or to dive straight into adventure, with deserted beaches to enjoy the sunshine on, or the beautiful waters to swim and snorkel in.
With the island housing dense rainforests, you can take one of the stimulating trails, where you can see the wildlife on your way to the summit, or make your way along the Lighthouse Trail where you will be greeted by vast views of the reef inhabited ocean.
Fast-becoming a popular destination for all – Fitzroy Island is the home to Nudey Beach (Australia’s Best Beach 2018), which is the true home of water activities and adventure. Here you can go paddle boarding, take a tour on a glass bottomed boat where you can catch a glimpse of the rich marine life below, or snorkel your way through the waters, discovering the reefs and everything the water has to offer at your own pace.
Cairns is the gateway to tropical Queensland, and Fitzroy Island is the tropical paradise you need to make a stop at.
2. Bruny Island
Making our way down south to Tasmania, you will find Bruny Island, situated off the south eastern coast of Tasmania. Bruny Island is around only 50km in length, but the huge array of activities and sights to see make it seem like it must be so much bigger.
Access to Bruny Island is via a 15-20 minute ferry ride, from Kettering, a short 40 minute drive from Hobart – making it a fantastic option for a day trip from Hobart, or you can stay a little longer and meander your way through everything the island has to offer.
Home to vineyards and distilleries, and amazing local produce, stay well fed and watered with the countless food and drink tour options available to visitors. Schuck the local oysters, indulge in the cheeses on offer or really treat yourself with some luxuriously smooth chocolate – there is something for any taste bud.
But Bruny Island isn’t just about the food, the true drawcard is the stunning views you can feast your eyes on at every turn. A section called “the neck” joins North and South Bruny Island – and at only 100m wide, the 360-degree vistas you can achieve here are incredible. On one side you can watch the waves crash creating bubbling surf, with the calm serene waters of the bay on the other. You can also access a lookout via boardwalks and elevated viewing platforms, where you might even catch a glimpse of some of the local wildlife.
And if nature is what you are after, then South Bruny Island may be for you. Home to the South Bruny National Park, eucalyptus forests and towering cliffs are amongst rare and endangered plants and animals. South Bruny Island is also home to the Cape Bruny Lighthouse – the most southern point of the island.
With long stretches of coastlines and pristine forests, Bruny Island has the feel of a remote escape, all within arm’s reach of Hobart.
3. Fraser Island
Making our way back up to the sunshine state, a bit north of the Sunshine Coast we will find Fraser Island. Fraser Island has beaches as far as the eye can see, and the amazing thing about Fraser Island is it is the world’s largest sand island.
Here you will find beaches that stretch for miles, freshwater lakes, and lavish rainforests – in fact, it is one of the only places in the world where you will find a rainforest growing on sand dunes.
Fraser Island is only a 40-minute boat ride from the mainland and boasts home to endless adventure. You can spot the local wildlife, including turtles, dugongs and more than 300 species of birds. And if that isn’t enough, at the right time of year, you can even go whale watching and witness the humpback whales as they migrate.
If water is your thing, you can swim in one of the over 200 clear freshwater lakes to cool down, or pretend you’re in your own natural jacuzzi and soak in the Champagne Pools, named so because the crashing waves spill over into the natural rockpools, leaving behind a bubbling foam.
And if all this isn’t enough, another really cool thing about Fraser Island is that you can take a drive along the unique beach highway, where you can actually drive on the beach – 75 Mile Beach is a popular stretch that is a must see for any visitor to Fraser Island. You can take the drive alone or as part of a guided tour – either way it is an incredibly unique experience you cannot miss!!
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