Australia has a large number of islands off its stunning coast. Whether you're an Aussie native looking for a holiday at home or you're visiting from elsewhere, these islands can make fantastic day trips and spots for longer holidays too. Some of the islands hold the best beaches, while others have incredible wildlife.
Many of the islands are incredibly popular and they're not difficult to get to. If you want to try out an island getaway, you have some amazing choices. Here are four of the best island options that you can get to from various locations around the country.
Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world - so pick this one if you're looking for beautiful beaches. To get to its 75-mile beach, it's a quick 50-minute ferry trip from the Fraser Coast (direct flights available from Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney). There's a lot to see on this island, so booking a tour with FraserFree can help you pack it all into a day or two. There's some incredible and World Heritage-listed wildlife on this island, and some amazing opportunities to walk, swim or explore the island by 4WD. It's also a great spot for whale watching, and you might even be lucky to get really up close.
Rottnest Island is an excellent choice for people who want a slightly more sedate island experience. This sleepy island is a short ferry trip from Perth, and is a great place for swimming, enjoying the beach or exploring by bike. One of the main draws of Rottnest Island is that it's the only place where you can find the smiley-faced quokka. While you're not guaranteed to spot one, you have a good chance of seeing one of these cute marsupials. While they're mainly nocturnal, they do sometimes come out during the day, and you won't forget seeing one.
The Whitsunday Islands are some of the most popular in Australia. Found on the East Coast, these 74 islands are located within the Great Barrier Reef, which goes some way to explaining their popularity. Whitsunday Island is the largest of all the islands, and it's where you'll find the well-known Whitehaven Beach. There are two airports in the Whitsundays for you to fly into, with Brisbane offering the best connections. Once you arrive safely, you could spend your time on the beach, enjoy the beautiful waters through sailing, snorkelling, wakeboarding or maybe kayaking or paddle boarding (check out https://www.globosurfer.com/what-is-sup/).
Looking for some penguins? Phillip Island is the place to be if you're after some cute little waddlers. Around 1.5 hours away from Melbourne, this island is home to 32,000 Little Penguins. You have the chance to catch them coming home from their day's fishing every night at sunset. Find the main viewing area at Summerland Beach, where there's tiered seating set up for a great view without disturbing the penguins.
If you've had enough of the mainland, get out onto one of Australia's beautiful islands for some new experiences.