Although we are a wide brown land of drought and flooding rain, we are also blessed with more than 8000 stunning islands, from the remote and rugged to the ultimate in luxury destinations. Australian Traveller helps you find the perfect island holiday.
These may very well be Australia’s most remote islands, but they are all worth the effort. Here are where, how and why (Steve Madgwick) 1. Cocos Keeling Islands, Indian Ocean About as far away as you can get from the mainland and still be called Australia, this group of four (main) islands boast palm trees, chalk-white beaches, crystal clear water, world-class diving, uncrowded surfing and scuba… well, you get the picture. You also get a taste of Malay-Muslim culture, as many of the island’s inhabitants descend from workers who moved over for copra production in 1826. Go there: 2750km north-west...
Want another trip for your bucket list? Kerry van der Jagt discovers a secret island escape that’s really something special THE WILD ISLES There are few places wilder than the remote Houtman Abrolhos Islands, an archipelago of 122 islands located 60km off Geraldton on the west coast of Western Australia. It’s a place of beauty and harshness, of light and shadows, of wonder and adventure. It is also the setting of one of the most blood-chilling stories in Australian history. Land gives way to sea as our eight-seater aircraft flies over clusters of small islands floating in a wash of aquamarine, before...
Quentin Long reveals what it’s like to honeymoon in complete privacy at Australia’s most covetable romantic luxury resort, qualia on Hamilton Island. There are many theories about where the idea of the honeymoon originated. My favourite – and the least likely, in my opinion – is of Nordic origin. The legend says a honeymoon was the period when a blond hero hid his recently abducted bride from her searching tribe. When the search was abandoned, the blond hero would return to his village with his new and now well-trained wife. Regular readers will have witnessed the Nordic part of my...
It’s number one on our 2011 hitlist and the place every Australian needs to put on their travel wish list. Discover Kangaroo Island now – before the hordes arrive, writes Quentin Long. If you took everything that’s great about Australian travel – wilderness, wildlife, beaches, regional produce – and concentrated all those elements in just one location, you’d have Kangaroo Island. Well-heeled international guests have long visited this immaculate island off the South Australian coast, rating it among their favourite destinations. The Locals Secret: KI's Best Beaches 10 Unusual Facts About KI KI: Where to Eat & Drink The Details...
Everything you ever needed to know about Australia’s greatest natural wonder, but were too overcome by its sheer size and scope to ask. By Fiona Harper Welcome to the Ultimate Guide to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, an extraordinary ecosystem comprising more than 3000 individual reefs, as well as 900 coral cays and continental islands. Some, like Morris Island in the far north, are little more than a strip of finely crushed coral sand, grimly bound together by the roots of a solitary palm tree. Others, like vast Hinchinbrook Island, a lofty 1100m above the mangroves, could easily...
Aquick chat with an island minder. Quick Chat with...An Island Minder Esther Nunn recently did a five-month solo camel trek south from Alice Springs right across Australia. But before that, she was the Island Minder of Tasmania’s tiny Maatsuyker Island. Where’s Maatsuyker Island and why did it need minding? It’s a tiny rock, 3km by 1km, which sits 20km off the south coast of Tasmania. It’s managed by Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife and, because of its cultural, historic and environmental values, caretaker programs have been set up to “baby-sit”. How does it work? Well, they throw you on a boat,...
These four island resorts are the very pinnacle of the luxury island experience. Some are well known, others less so. But, as Tom Barclay discovers, all are right here in Australian waters . . . If John Dunne was right and no man is an island, we all sure as hell want to be on one. In terms of pure holiday brag factor, the luxury island resort holiday is the pinnacle, any mention of which immediately conjures up images of swaying trees, empty stretches of sand, crystal lagoons and so much more. As conversational topics go, a luxury island resort...
AT editor Greg Barton returns to Norfolk and Lord Howe for a touch of idyllic island reminiscing, while AT eco-adventurer Inger Vandyke bears witness to a feral plague that’s ravaging remote Macquarie Island. NORFOLK ISLAND What do you already know about Norfolk Island? Even if you’ve never visited, there’s a chance you know it’s home to the famous Norfolk Island Pine – the majestic variety Captain Cook discovered in 1774 and declared (incorrectly) to be excellent for making ships’ masts. Good thing for Norfolk that they weren’t. Had the tall, straight pines proved less brittle once cut, the island...
No crowds, no high-end hotels, no advanced technology; just pure unadulterated nature. AT shows you how to get away from it all on these remote Aussie islands. There’s one sure way to avoid the crowds at popular holiday destinations around the country. Just cast yourself away. Avoiding luxury at all costs, Fiona Harper goes island hopping with one object in mind: to get herself marooned. // // In a world becoming ever more technical and complicated, it’s more important now than ever before to occasionally find a simple piece of paradise, slow down and actually smell the roses. Or, more...
Just off the northern tip of Australia, AT discovers a way of life as far removed from the city as possible. AT visits Poruma Island, a tiny rock just off the tip of northern Australia, to discover a way of life as far removed from city life as it’s possible to be . . . At a meeting point between the Arafura and Coral Seas, midway between Papua New Guinea and Cape York Peninsula, lies Poruma Island. Only two kilometres long and less than half a kilometre wide, there’s just enough room on this tiny dot in the ocean for...
How many places in Australia let you inhabit an island all to yourself? Whether it’s diving, fishing, turtle watching, bird watching or just plain relaxing, the Mackerel Islands in WA’s far north are an ideal destination for the adventurous or the weary. “WHY HAVE I NEVER HEARD OF THIS? IT SOUNDS AMAZING!” – Michelle Of the ten islands that make up the Mackerel group, two provide lodgings: Thevenard Island and Direction Island. Direction is a small island with its own reef and just one cabin, allowing you to live out your wildest Robinson Crusoe dream, but with friends and family....
A natural wonderland, Moreton Island National Park is a summer time must-see. Magic Moreton Moreton Island National Park, the geological speed bump in the Coral Sea protecting Brisbane from the oceanic tantrums of Mother Nature, is a natural wonderland. Summer is the ideal time for a visit . . . just watch out you don’t get bogged. Words and images by Mike Larder A 4WD or a strong pair of legs and a backpack are essential to explore the island’s more inaccessible delights. Rugged tracks wriggle their way through bush. The beaches are the roads. Take your own vehicle via...
Lizard Island is unique among the island resorts on the Great Barrier Reef. It’s neither a coral cay nor part of a group of islands. It is a remnant of a mountain range which, when the sea level was lower, was totally exposed. Now it’s a small, relatively dry island which in many ways is reminiscent of the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea. Rocky outcrops of granite. Dry, sparsely vegetated hills. A pleasing barrenness tumbling down to coral-white beaches and aquamarine waters. And a stirring sense that there is something magical to this spot. Lizard is Australia’s northern-most island...
In the nicest possible way, Bedarra Island is all about decadence and indulgence. It boasts an open bar (and it truly is open – you can get a drink at three in the morning if you want) with endless supplies of Bollinger and no fewer than twenty varieties of Scottish, American and Irish whisky (and whiskey). It prides itself in the quality of the food and drinks. And most visitors seem to find lying around the pool or on the two easily accessible beaches to be about the limit of their exertions. While Bedarra tries to cater for everyone, with...
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- The ‘ghost towns’ of outback NSW
- East coast country cottage chic
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #53 road trip the Legendary Pacific Coast, Sydney to Brisbane
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #63 take a beach break, Sapphire Coast, NSW
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #86 a beach break on The Shoalhaven Coast, NSW
- Dream road trips – Perth to the Pilbara (return)
- Ultimate Escapes: WA’s Great South West Edge – wine, white sand & wilderness
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #19 escape to the Rowley Shoals, WA
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #23 a beachy road trip in WA’s South West
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #42 stay at Berkeley River Lodge, WA
- Ultimate Escapes: Queensland’s Wet Tropics
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #11 stay at Lizard Island, Qld
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #54 holiday in Queensland’s triple threat
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #78 walk Thorsborne Trail, Hinchinbrook Island
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #85 swim with Manta Rays, Lady Elliot Island, Qld
- Thalia Haven – the greatest ocean-view bathtub in sight?
- Ultimate Escapes: Tasmania
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #2 road trip Tasmania’s east coast
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #5 book into Saffire Freycinet, Tas
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #13 (a tie) walk the Freycinet Experience, Tas
- Ultimate Escapes: Timeless North, NT
- Get lost in style in the Northern Territory
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #18 see the wet season in the Top End
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #27 make the Red Centre pilgrimage
- 100 Greatest Holidays of Australia: #56 (tie) follow Larapinta Trail (World Expeditions), NT