An Australian island adventure is at the top of a lot of people’s holiday wish lists. A place where you can truly escape, where there is an adventure at every turn, mouth-watering food, and maximum relaxation. So, when you think of Australia, you probably think of one huge island, with lively cities, wildlife, and beaches as far as the eye can see. But did you know that Australia is actually surrounded by lots of islands – thousands even? This abundance of islands makes Australia an ideal travel destination because no matter the type of trip you’re after, one of our many islands on your bucket list will have you covered.
Ranging from tropical sundrenched destinations to almost untouched natural wonders, Australia’s varying landscape makes sure that there is an ideal island for everyone. Let us give you the lowdown on three of the best islands on your bucket list.
1. Bruny Island
Starting somewhere you probably didn’t expect, we have Bruny Island. This island is off the coast of the most southern state of Australia – Tasmania. To get there you need to catch a ferry from Kettering, which is about 40 minutes’ drive from Hobart, in Tasmania’s south east.
Being relatively close to Hobart, Bruny islands on your bucket list makes a fantastic day trip if you don’t have much time on your hands – it’s a great place to indulge in some of the local produce before making your way back to the mainland. However, if you can spare a few days, Bruny Island really deserves your time.
Bruny Island is a visual feast for the eyes. Only about 50km in length, the island is actually made up of North Bruny Island and South Bruny Island.
South Bruny Island is for the nature lovers among us. A place that truly captures the imagination, the island is home to the South Bruny National Park, which is full of amazing experiences, rare and endangered plants and animals and some of the most diverse and beautiful coastal scenery. At the southern point of the island is the Cape Bruny Lighthouse, which was first lit in 1838. At the right time of the year, you might be able to spot humpback whales making their annual migration.
Connecting North and South Bruny Islands is a stretch of land called “the neck”, where at every turn there is a stunning display of nature at its best. With waves crashing on one side and the calm serene views of the bay on the other, this stretch of land is only 100m wide. Hours can be lost on the viewing platforms here, but it is well worth it because you won’t find 360-degree views like this anywhere else.
And if nature isn’t really your thing, Bruny Island is a foodie’s paradise, with cheese, oysters and chocolate being some of the most popular and locally produced favourites – and for those that like a drink or two, there are wineries and distilleries, where you can spend the afternoon tasting the local drop and soaking in the sights.
2. Fitzroy Island
The classic vision of Australia – bluest of blue waters and beaches that stretch so far they disappear into the distance and endless summer days – is exactly what you will get at Fitzroy Island.
Cairns, Queensland, is your mainland link to Fitzroy Island, with a 45-minute boat ride between the two. Once again if you are short on time, Fitzroy island can be a great day trip, but you’ve got some time up your sleeve, you would be wise to use it by spending a few days on Fitzroy Island. There are accommodation options available that can suit any budget.
You’re probably familiar with the great barrier reef and the lush rainforests of Queensland, so why not go to the place where the rainforest meets the reef. Fitzroy Island is a great place for water adventure, offering you the opportunity to discover the reefs and everything the water has to offer – all at your own pace. You can try water sports like paddleboarding or snorkeling or take a ride on a glass-bottomed boat where you can see the beautiful marine life below without getting wet. And if enjoying the sun from the comfort of the sand is more your jam, then spend some time on the beach awarded Australia’s best in 2018 – Nudey Beach. This beach is truly an oasis.
And when you’re ready to try something different, head inland and take one of the many breathtaking trails and explore the lush rainforests – along the way you might spot some wildlife. These beautiful walking trails lead to some of the most incredible vistas of the clear waters below.
So, whether you’re after total relaxation or maximum action, Fitzroy Island gives that true tropical islands on your bucket list with an excellent experience.
3. Fraser Island
The last island on our list will keep us in the tropical sunshine state of Queensland – this is where you will find Fraser Island. You’ve probably seen videos of people driving along the sand and wondered where the heck that could happen – well the answer is Fraser Island. Fraser Island has a unique beach highway, where you can take a guided tour or do it yourself and experience the feeling of driving right beside the ocean on sand. Part of this beach highway is 75 Mile Beach – a must see for any visitor to Fraser Island.
While this driving experience is a must, there is plenty more to Fraser Island. It is the world’s largest sand island, and while that makes a great home for some pretty ideal beaches, it is also home to freshwater lakes and lush rainforests. What makes Fraser island special is that it is one of the very few homes in the world where you can find a tropical rainforest growing in the dunes.
The rainforests are home to some local wildlife and over 300 species of birds, making it an animal lovers paradise. Hike your way through these incredible forests and when you’re ready to cool down, take a dip in one of the freshwater lakes, there’s over 200 of them to choose from.
There are plenty of sights to see in the water as well, with turtles and dugongs being some of the local animals – and at the right time of year, Fraser island is the perfect place to watch the humpback whales on the migration.
Besides everything we’ve already mentioned, the best thing about Fraser Island is that it is easy to get to – only 40 minutes by boat from River Heads which is just south of Hervey Bay. Which, like the other two islands, makes it a fantastic place for a quick day trip but an even better place to stay a little longer.