Australia has over eight thousand islands within its maritime boundaries. Some of these are among the most beautiful in the world. Australia islands are not only postcard-perfect, they are also surrounded by many World Heritage sites and top tourist attractions, every traveler should visit at least once in a lifetime. Out of these, we have selected six quintessential Australia islands you will fall in love with at first sight. Read on to discover them.
1. Fraser Island
Just 300 kilometres north of Brisbane, you will find a unique blend of wild rainforest, dreamy 120-kilometre-long beach and over a hundred beautiful freshwater dune lakes. The largest UNESCO heritage listed island is entirely made up of sand and is home to 74 reptile species, birds, wild dingoes and many other endemic species. You can also spot magnificent 2500 year-old king ferns. No wonder indigenous Butchulla people refer to Fraser Island as K’gari, which literally means ‘paradise’.
2. Lord Howe Island
This majestic territory is located 600 kilometres east of Port Macquarie, New South Wales. The island owes its mountainous landscape to an extinct shield volcano which existed on this very spot over seven million years ago. From the peak of Mt Gower, standing tall at 875 meters, you can admire not only the panoramic view of the entire island, but also the sublime crystal clear waters circling the volcanic remnants. In the north of Lord Howe Island lies the peaceful North Bay beach. With limited tourist infrastructure and no vehicular access, visitors can enjoy a dazzling array of natural wonders. In 1982 Lord Howe Island was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List as a fine example of volcanic activity.
3. Great Keppel Island
Great Keppel Island is the most magnificent place in the entire Southern part of Great Barrier Reef. It boasts seventeen pristine beaches covering over 28 kilometres of the coastline. Over 90% of the island is bushland, which is a home for ninety identified endemic bird species. Discovered in 1770 by Captain James Cook, the island is a true paradise for birdwatchers and thrill-seeking travellers. Take up snorkelling and diving, explore the untamed turquoise waters and admire hundreds of bright-coloured fish and breathtakingly beautiful corals. During the wintertime, you can spot dolphins and whales.
4. Whitsunday Island
74 islands located north of Queensland form unforgettably stunning Whitsunday Archipelago. Eight of them – Daydream, Hamilton, Hayman, Hook, Long, South Mole, Linderman and Whitsunday – have become popular holiday destinations. The biggest and most picturesque island in the archipelago is the Whitsunday Island, with its 7-kilometre long Whitehaven beach listed as one of the top 10 eco-friendly beaches in the world. Whitsunday Island offers six campgrounds to enjoy peaceful character of the island to the fullest.
5. Norfolk Island
Norfolk Island is a historically significant region of Australia. It served as a penal colony between 1788 and 1855. In 2010, the Kingston and Arthurs Vale Historic Area was included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Despite its grim, Norfolk Island attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world. The island has its own national park and botanic garden where you can admire and learn about local flora and fauna. Colonial architecture of the place perfectly corresponds with the natural beauty of life-affirming surroundings, making Norfolk Island an unforgettable holiday getaway.
6. Cocos Islands
The 27 coral islands, collectively called Cocos Islands, form a secluded tropical paradise, 3000 kilometres far from Perth, Western Australia. Only two islands are inhabited and the remaining territories are just waiting to be explored. The islands are grouped into two beautiful atolls. Their rocky shores, white sand beaches, lagoons, gravity defying palm trees, cabbage bushes in the middle of the Indian Ocean make Cocos Islands one of the most beautiful exotic places in the world.
I hope you have enjoyed our selection of the most beautiful Australia islands. Which one is your favourite?
About the Author
Will Norquay is part of the team at Stayz. He likes to discover new places and eateries around the world and share his experiences and stories with other travellers.