Island Holidays

Your Ultimate Guide ToIsland Holidays

Although we’re largely a wide brown land of vivid desert, Australia is also blessed with more than 8000 stunning islands – from the remote and rugged to the ultimate in luxury destinations. But exactly which island is best for you? Browse our range of island holiday travel guides & features below as Australian Traveller helps you find your ideal Aussie island adventure.


Organising Your Next Island Holiday

Organising an island holiday might seem a lot more low-maintenance than an adventure escape… and you’d probably be right. Island escapes are, by design, all about taking it easy. But if there’s one thing we know, no two Australian islands are alike and to ensure ultimate relaxation and bang for well-earned buck we advise beginning your search by asking yourself how active and adventurous you’d like to be. From there it’s an easy matter of building your seal-colony explorations between cocktails and siestas.

What You Can Expect On An Island Holiday

Everyone already knows that as a country Australia specialises in sun-drenched days and sparkling ocean dives, but what makes Australian islands truly something special is the diverse range of food and culture that can be explored while escaping the ‘real world’.

You’ve got Cocos Malay culture on the Cocos Keeling Islands, rich indigenous history of the indigenous Butchulla Tribe on Fraser Island and then all the award-winning wine and cheese you can consume on Kangaroo Island. Throw in an island that seems straight from a Bond-film and you’ve got a lifetime of destinations to add to your bucket list.

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The Best Island Holidays In Australia

Whether you want to run through the waves in Rottnest or hide away on ‘Hammo’, picking the best of Australia’s island holidays is an impossible task and depends entirely on your needs. So before you book, take some time to get to know some of the Australian island all-stars…

Cocos Keeling, WA

If you’re unfamiliar with the Cocos Keeling Islands don’t dismay, commercial flights to this far-flung atoll only began in the 1990s and so it’s a destination that’s still gaining traction amongst the masses. Which is precisely its charm. Cocos is remote with capital ‘R’ but that also makes it ideal for those hunting for that other big ‘R’ word—relaxation. Also known as ‘Australia’s Maldives’ Cocos Keeling boasts the same clear azure waters, white sand and shady palms of its Indian Ocean counterpart but without the crowds all cloying for a unique Insta-moment.

Rottnest Island, WA

Just 19km from the city, Rottnest Island is Perth’s beloved nature playground. A largely cycle-only haven (cars aren’t allowed, except for the island’s own bus services), you’re pretty much required by law to slow down and take things easy upon arrival. Here playful Quokkas roam freely amongst the weekend warriors who flock here for the stunning walking trails, abundant sea life and safe family-friendly energy.

Whitsundays, QLD

The Whitsundays are arguably the most famous cluster of islands in all of Australia. The pristine white beaches of this paradise plays host to some 3.5 million nature-lovers each year and with 74 islands to choose from there’s something to suit every type of traveller. There are 9 major destinations that draw crowds for different reasons. Prefer to party with the locals? Airlie is ideal. Rather live a little luxe alongside the great outdoors? Hayman has you covered. You can find our guide on which island will best match your personality here.

Fraser Island, QLD

With its crystal clear freshwater lakes, breathtaking constantly shifting sand dunes and towering rainforests filled with ancient ferns, it’s little wonder Prince Harry and Meghan Markle opted to make camp at Fraser Island on their royal visit. This is the ultimate island all-rounder, serving up world-heritage listed beauty and off-grid options alongside high-end (and royal-approved) eco-luxury resorts.

Lord Howe Island, NSW

Lord Howe Island is so picture perfect it’s like something dreamed up in Hollywood. The semi-sheltered reef lagoon and volcanic mountain ranges seemingly straight from a Bond-villain’s lair definitely help with that, however we can confirm that Lord Howe’s Heritage-listed beauty is all real and easily accessible on a 2-hour flight from Sydney. Need more convincing? Check out 9 of the most jaw-dropping things to see and on Lord Howe.

Phillip Island, VIC

Flippers, fins or feathers, take your pick. Just 2-hours-drive from Melbourne, Phillip Island is the perfect escape for those stuck for time but looking for maximum magnificence. Here you can get up close and personal with the bulls and pups of Australia’s largest seal colony, feed friendly stingrays near Phillip Island Bridge, however most visitors flock to Phillip to view the rafts of dainty fairy penguins as they waddle ashore from a day at sea.

Kangaroo Island, SA

Foodies rejoice; Kangaroo Island is an oasis of all things artisanal, seasonal and locally sourced. A distillery, a brewery and over 12 respected vineyards call this place home, sharing real estate with sea-lions, echidnas and, of course, countless kangaroos. Ready to tuck in? Read our gastronomes guide to Kangaroo Island.

Flinders Island, TAS

Despite boasting a coastline as picturesque as its northern counterparts, the true beauty of Flinders Island lies in its simplicity. No crowds to contend with, limited network reception to ensure you truly switch off, this is a place that likes to keep things low key and attracts visitors looking for the ultimate destination to feel a sense of space.