Growing up in Australia enabled me to explore some of the most idyllic, adventure-filled islands in the world. So take it from me – if you’re looking for an Aussie Island escape, it really doesn’t get much better then these seven dreamy Australian islands…
7. Phillip Island, Victoria
Conveniently connected to the mainland by a bridge, Phillip Island is the nesting ground of a large population of sweet little fairy penguins! But penguins aren’t the only adorable local fauna on Phillip Island – the island is also home to the famous Hemsworth boys. Yes those Hemsworth boys: Chris, Liam and Luke. Sightings of these majestic (yet elusive) creatures are rare, as the Hemsworth’s are known to migrate to the warmer waters of Hollywood for long seasons.
6. North Stradbroke, Queensland
Switch off your phone and tune your watch to island time because Stradbroke is the quintessential Aussie island retreat. ‘Straddie’ (as it is affectionately known) is a tropical wonderland, with dense rainforest, secluded beaches and super chill locals.
A quick ferry ride from Brisbane, Straddie is also a popular whale-watching location. Humpback whales can be spotted between May and November, so don’t forget your binoculars!
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5. The Whitsunday Islands, Queensland
*Technically* a collection of islands, the Whitsundays archipelago sits smack bang in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef. The Reef is teeming with marine life and consequently, the snorkelling here is so dreamy it’s positively kaleidoscopic.
If you’re not a strong swimmer do not despair! Rent yourself a glass-bottomed canoe and you too will be able to see the Reef in all its rainbow-hued glory.
4. Fraser Island, Queensland
3. Macquarie Island, Tasmania
As the southernmost point of Australia, Macquarie is one chilly island so bring your hot water bottles, kids. Complete with black sandy beaches, a robust penguin population and a research institute, this remote island can only be reached via Expedition Cruise Ships. A room on one of these ships starts at a whopping $14,000 but is reportedly well worth it. Oh, also seals!
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2. Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Q: Do you like being surrounded by hordes of two-legged, bouncing fur babies?
A: Of course ya bloody do! Get yourself to the aptly named Kangaroo Island to hang out with Australia’s most badass animals. Do beware though, kangaroos have some lethal claws that they’re not afraid to use so, keep away from the joeys.
1. Rottnest Island, Western Australia
This island is much prettier than it sounds. Nothing rotten about it, actually. Surrounded every which way by a stretch of brilliant blue ocean, Rottnest is famed for its population of adorable quokkas. Check them out – because if the kangaroo is Australia’s most badass marsupial, then the quokka is undoubtedly the cutest.
Keen to see more of Australia this year? Check out these epic new Aussie trips made for locals, by locals, on the Contiki website.