A holiday in Australia that does not include one of the fantastic islands around the country, especially the Whitsunday Islands, in its itinerary, could only be considered to be half a holiday. Australia has a large number of offshore islands many of which have delightful resorts on them. The picture we all have in our minds of a small tropical island with a coconut tree and a pure white sandy beach can be your reality if you choose to holiday on one of the many Australian island resorts scattered around the coastline.
The best known island resorts in Australia lie off the Queensland coast and some form an integral part of the Great Barrier Reef. Everyone wants to visit the reef so why not kill two birds with one stone and do both at once. You can stay on an island resort that is actually a coral cay sitting on top of the reef and with this kind of island you can literally walk into the water of the beach and you will be snorkeling on the coral. The best examples of this type of island are Green Island off Cairns and Heron Island and Lady Elliot Island in the Capricorn section of the reef. Each has an island resort of a different standard. Continental islands, or those that were once part of the continent of Australia but have become islands due to the slowly submerging coastline, make up the balance of the islands. The Queensland islands include Lizard Island just north from Cairns, Dunk Island, Bedarra Island, Hinchinbrook Island and Orpheus Island which lie just off the north Queensland coast between Cairns and Townsville. The world famous Whitsunday Islands are part of the 74 island group that makes up the islands of the Whitsunday passage. The best known of these include Hamilton Island, Hayman Island, Daydream Island Long Island and Brampton Island. Further south along the Queensland coast are the Keppel islands and Great Keppel Island is the largest and is currently undergoing a complete rebuilding program. Fraser Island near Hervey Bay is the world’s largest sand island and there are several resorts to stay at while you explore the fantastic rainforests and lakes there. Between Brisbane and the Gold Coast are the beautiful Moreton Bay islands. Moreton Island and Stradbroke Island are both sand islands like Fraser Island and they have similar attractions. There is great accommodation and resorts to be found in the Queensland islands.
In the Tasman Sea, well of the coast of New South Wales, are two beautiful islands that are ideal holiday retreats. These are Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island. Both are incredibly beautiful and have a fantastic holiday ambience. Victoria has Phillip Island with its penguins and koalas and then in bass Straight between Victoria and Tasmania there are a number of islands. The largest of these and the best one for a holiday is King Island. This island is famous for its agricultural products and its beef, lamb, dairy products and seafood fetch a high price on mainland markets. This place is a foodie's paradise. South Australia has Kangaroo Island which is a wildlife time capsule and the spectacular scenery and unique animal life makes it a wonderful place to tour. In Western Australia there are many islands but few have resorts to stay at. Rottnest Island off Perth is an ideal place for a short break and it is easy to get to with a regular ferry service. Further north in the Kimberley region in the Buccaneer Archipelago is Cockatoo Island which was an iron ore mine for many years and has now been converted to a resort. The surrounding islands are spectacular and the fishing and Kimberley scenery are magnificent.
In the Northern Territory there are some great island destinations. The Tiwi Islands north of Darwin are home to the Tiwi Island Aboriginal people. Visitors are welcome and there is limited accommodation for visitors but the trip is worth it to share the culture of these wonderful native people. Tiwi Islanders love the Australian football code and many of their young men travel to the larger cities and play in the national league. If the Tiwi Islanders gathered all their players from around the country and formed their own team they would probably win the national competition. Groote Island in the Gulf of Carpentaria is a remote region and is now home to some fabulous fishing resorts with great charter fishing options. Many sports fishermen come from all around Australia and other parts of the world to try their luck in this pristine and remote region. The islands of the Torres Straight round out this list of Australian Islands. Thursday Island is the largest center for the Torres straight island people. It has regular flights from Cairns and is a really interesting place to visit.
If you are considering an Australian holiday then have a look at the islands that surround the country’s coastline.