Australia itself is regarded as an island, albeit apart from its mainland and Tasmania, there are more than 8200 oceanic islands, offshore isles, coral cays and sand atolls that surround the country. From the Southern Ocean to the Tropics and from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific, one can find a huge variety of landscapes and climate types, and some of the most striking islands on our planet.

Cocos Islands (Keeling), Indian Ocean

1.LORD HOWE ISLAND (NSW)

Little known, yet one of the most spectacular islands in the Pacific – the Lord Howe Island is Australia`s ultimate hideaway. Already in the 18th century, the island`s impressive crescent-shaped volcano, dominating the island, lured the British sailors in the time of colonisation.

As they were approaching the shores, the island`s appeal doubled when this image came into view: secluded golden beaches and tiny coves amongst a tropical paradise with lush vegetation, majestic palm trees, exotic birds and imposing mountains in the background; and all that allure encircled with the turquoise coral reef lagoon – in fact, it is the world`s southernmost coral reef.

Lord Howe Island (The Tasman Sea)

2.ROTTNEST ISLAND (WA)

Discovered by the Dutch explorer Willem de Vlamingh in 1696, the Rottnest Island raised attention with its native quokkas – the indigenous marsupials. In a belief, they were rats he called the island accordingly.

Within a short distance from Perth, the island is a renowned holiday destination for its superb diving, snorkelling or just busking by the beach. There are splendid white bays, and emerald shallows to take pleasure in, and if you are fond of camping, cycling, sea kayaking and swimming this is the place to be.

Rottnest Island (The Indian Ocean)

3.MORETON ISLAND (QLD)

Sitting on the southern boundary of the Coral Sea, the eastern shores of the third largest sand island on Earth are filled with natural and marine attractions. This is one of the most beautiful beach locations in Brisbane that attracts day trippers, four-wheel drivers, campers, fishermen, and surfers.

Moreton Island provides ideal conditions for sea kayaking, scuba diving and snorkelling, abundant marine life, dolphin feeding, seasonal whale watching birdlife spotting, walking and sand tobogganing. The highlights, however, are the Tangalooma Shipwrecks – placed along the coast as breakwaters due to frequent tropical cyclones.

Tangalooma Shipwrecks, Moreton Island (The Pacific Ocean)

4.FITZROY ISLAND (QLD)

Fitzroy Island is a short ride and a popular day trip for most of the Cairns visitors.It is a large tropical island, covered with rainforest and its own coral reef system. Being a part of the Great Barrier Reef certainly amplifies its value, but also its price.

The isle is not only known for undisturbed peace and natural beauty but also luxurious resorts and posh marinas. However, camping is also allowed on the island, and there are wonderful jungle trails perfect for nature lovers.

Book a snorkelling tour to the Green Island – a splendid coral cay in the Great Barrier Reef fringed by sheer corals.

Fitzroy Island, Great Barrier Reef (The Pacific Ocean)

5.FRASER ISLAND (QLD)

The world`s largest sand island with the oldest dunal system is locally known as ‘Fraser.’ The island is part of the Great Sandy National Park that is defined by more than one hundred kilometres of pristine sand stretches, with dunes reaching up to 180 m high.

Fraser is covered with dense eucalyptus woodland, tropical rainforests, and mangroves that are home to exotic birdlife and wild dingoes. The local freshwater lakes have been recorded asthe cleanest in our planet, creating ideal conditions for marine species and aquatic sports – this World Heritage Area is a great escape, especially if you don`t mind a bit ofadventure.

Champagne Pool near the Indian Head, Fraser Island (The Pacific Ocean)

6.HAMILTON ISLAND (QLD)

The Whitsunday Islands are a holiday destination of dreams. Their great and simple attraction is unspoiled tropical beauty; to visit the islands means to be greeted by a paradise set in crystal-clear waters and fringed by magnificent reef formations. The 74 islands lie just off the Queensland`s coast and are perfectly situated for exploring one of the truly phenomenal marvels of Mother Earth – The Great Barrier Reef.

Hamilton Island isthe most popular, with fantastic infrastructure and upscale facilities; there are airport, marinas, shops, restaurants,Golf Club, Yacht Club, luxurious accommodation, spa, massage and endless tour and cruise options to choose from.

Cockatoos in Hamilton Island, Great Barrier Reef (The Pacific Ocean)

7.MAGNETIC ISLAND (QLD)

A sanctuary for wildlife and a paradise for beach bums; indeed, Magnetic Island is a ‘magnet.’ Attracting with secluded beaches, lush national park, and a heritage-listed marine reserve, the island offers plenty of activities, including trekking, diving, snorkelling and various water sports.

Angling and boating are particularly popular with the locals whereas the big colony of koalas is the tourist highlight. The island`s close distance to Townsville makes it easily accessible, and as one of the most affordable islands in Queensland, it has recently attracted mainly backpackers and independent travellers. A bonus is the Great Barrier Reef  – just stone`s throw away!

The Horseshoe Bay, Magnetic Island (The Pacific Ocean)

8.COCOS-KEELING ATOLL

According to Australian Geographic, Australia`s best beach 2017 is its remotes. Far from the actual continent, topographically closer to South-East Asia – outlying Cocos Islands truly are some of the jewels of the Indian Ocean.

The Cossies Beach was ranked as the best beach in Australia, and that this is the ultimate beach destination cannot be argued. The islands consist of two atolls and 27 coral isles, and only 2 of them are inhabited – West Island and Home Island.

The infinite supply of coconuts, idyllic scenery, slow pace, and delightful tropical climate make the ‘Coconut Islands’ increasingly popular vacation hub.

The Cossies Beach was ranked as the best beach in Australia 2017, Cocos Keeling Islands

9.KANGAROO ISLAND (SA)

Southwest of Adelaide, just one hour drive from the city, there is a great nature-based attraction to discover – the Kangaroo Island. Already the name of the island reveals the features of the place; abundant fauna will greet the visitors.

Kangaroo Island is a perfect day-trip destination for tourists but also a popular holiday hotspot for the locals with top facilities and various activities to do. The visitors can enjoy nature, fresh produce and local wines, white beaches, spectacular views, cool climate, walking, camping and Australian animals, including kangaroos, echidnas, koalas, sea lions, penguins and different species of native birds.

Kangaroo Island is a rugged beauty and is a perfect destination for an active traveller who loves nature and outdoors.

Sea lions basking on the beach in Kangaroo Island (The Southern Ocean)

10.PHILLIP ISLAND (VIC)

A perfect family hub for Melbourniansand the favourite tourist hotspot in greater Melbourne is undoubtedly Phillip Island. Known as the “Penguin Island” – for large penguin colonies, it features rugged coastline and dramatic scenery.

Not only the island takes pride in fantastic beaches, wildlife, and marine life but also it is known for excellent food, wines, and important events, e.g., the Australian Moto GP.

Although the isle is not exactly unspoiled, it promotes luxury, outdoor activities, purpose-built attractions and lots of fun for families with children.

The Nobbies, home to a large penguin colony, Phillip Island (The Bass Strait)

11.TASMANIA (BONUS)

Dubbed as The Apple Isle” or “Little New Zealand,” Tasmania is a triangular island lying off the southeast coast of Australia, Tasmania has a large, eucalyptus forest that counts among its denizens such as colourful birds, bees, and cockatoos.

The isle`s distinctive mammal, e.g., Tasmanian Devil, and culture also play an important role, not least the very fine symphony orchestra. Being the most southerly of all Australian regions, Tasmania`s climate is considerably cooler than the rest of the country, and that results in being famous for farming, viticulture, and horticulture.

Tasmanians are proud of their magnificent national parks filled with rugged mountains, immaculate lakes, unexplored wilderness areas and scenic coastline.

Bruny Island, Tasmania (The Tasman Sea)

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Eva Bodova

Eva Bodova

Wednesday 13 February 2019

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