Hamilton Island was recently visited by Oprah on her wander Down Under, but most Australia travelers know about the island’s fame for many other reasons. For one, it is a part of the glorious Whitsunday Islands, a unique space of Great Barrier Reef ocean that presents one beautiful island after the next. Two, it is the location of the social media craze that started all the others: the home of the Best Job in the World!
With worldwide coverage, Hamilton – although beautiful in every way – is already a well-known getaway. Here are seven Australian Islands that you should also consider in your Australia itinerary:
1. Kangaroo Island
Kangaroo Island is far from tropical, sitting down on the edge of South Australia. Still it provides one the most picturesque getaway options for those traveling around Australia, which is perfect for honeymoons. Kangaroo Island offers a number of outdoorsy type attractions, such as seeing and petting kangaroos, watching sea lions, walking through wineries and ecotourism tours. The island is said to be bigger than one expects, so be sure to book a couple of days, not just a day tour!
Check out how to get to Kangaroo Island
2. Magnetic Island
Magnetic Island, just off of Townsville in Queensland, is my own personal definition of paradise. Once you arrive, you are surrounded by tropical jungle, some of which plays home to wild koalas. The beauty continues as you realize the beaches are some of the most pristine in all of Queensland, with some you can only reach by hiking or 4WD. To top off your stay, make sure to book into a bungalow, which you can easily do at the Bungalow Bay YHA.
Check out the cheap hostels on Magnetic Island
3. Rottnest Island
Rottnest Island lies on the other side of the country, just off of Perth, the capital city of Western Australia. The island also doubles as a nature reserve, meaning there is very little construction and just a whole lot of nature to absorb. Here, you won’t be driving cars; bikes are the main form of transportation, and you can easily take a day to just bike yourself around to all the hot spots. The beaches are full of white sand, there are camping facilities and hotels to stay at, and a few restaurants can be found in the main port area. Oh, and did I mention the quokkas?!
4. Dunk Island
Dunk Island can be seen right off the coast of Mission Beach (the home of the big cassowary). Dunk serves as a popular day trip for those with little time, but for a real getaway, there’s no harm in spending the night. As of now, the island is doing renovations due to damage caused by Cyclone Yasi, but will be reopened in April 2012 with 4 classes of accommodation to enjoy as a couple or family.
Dunk Island would be classified as a possible day trip option from Cairns
5. Fraser Island
Fraser Island is a unique piece of sand dune turned island. It is here that travelers can camp out or live it up in resorts, get a first-hand encounter with a wild dingo or just lounge on the whitest sand beaches with the most crystal clear water ever. There are several landscapes that make the island special, and it is no wonder this oasis is listed as a World Heritage site. Just don’t forget that the only way around the island is by a 4WD vehicle, but there are also Fraser Island tours that can take care of it all if you’d prefer not to worry about the details.
Check out the 2 day Fraser Island tour with Cool Dingo
6. Lizard Island
Lizard Island is one of the most northerly beach islands on the coast of Queensland, located at 240 kilometers north of Cairns. This island is set right on the famous Great Barrier Reef and offers visitors luxurious resorts surrounded by a stunning National Park. Picnics, snorkeling, diving, bushwalking and fishing are just a few of the options on Lizard Island.
Read more about Australian island resorts
7. Fitzroy Island
If the islands up in Queensland are starting to sound the same, then add Fitzroy to the list. This island is located about 30 kilometers off the coast of Cairns and contains pristine beaches in an area right near the Great Barrier Reef. Furthermore, the island is covered in rainforest. You can get out and take part in the Secret Garden Walk for an outdoorsy island activity.
Plan this as a getaway from Cairns by booking accommodation right here on WhyGo Australia
Some further reading that might interest you: