Queensland is known for its year-round warmth and its picturesque beaches drenched in sunshine, and nowhere is the quintessential Australian image more fitting than on the tropical islands found just off the state’s coast.
But once you start planning your trip you’ll realize it can be difficult to know which island – or islands – to visit. They’re all exciting in their different ways and offer a wide variety of experiences – from observing natural wonders to getting involved in unique and an action packed itinerary.
To help you with your decision, we’ve developed a snapshot of some of QLD’s most popular islands, highlighting what you’ll find at each one.
The Best Islands to Visit in Queensland
An easy 45-minute ferry ride from Cairns, Fitzroy Island is your ‘everything’ island: it offers a complete package of exciting leisure activities as well opportunities for relaxation and down time amongst some of the most breathtaking scenery that nature can provide.
It’s a great choice if you have kids, with a lot of child-friendly activities; the ocean trampoline, easy trail walks and glass-bottom boat tours to name a few. It has hiking opportunities, kayaking, and of course snorkelling among the stunning sea life of the Great Barrier Reef.
You can visit Fitzroy Island for a day trip or you can find accommodation that ranges from camping through to resort style. Find out more about Fitzroy Island Accommodation at www.fitzroyisland.com/accommodation/cairns/
Located in the heart of the Whitsundays (a collection of 74 pristine tropical islands between Townsville and Mackay), Hamilton Island is a simple island paradise where you can enjoy the beaches and explore the reef.
So relax on the sand or book yourself in for one of the excellent snorkelling or diving opportunities nearby too. Hamilton offers the most extensive range of accommodation of all the islands: palm bungalows, self-contained apartments or luxury hotels mean that if you’re looking for a particular style of accommodation you’ll be most likely to find it here.
Hotels on Hamilton Island
This property has 148 apartments offering views of the sea and the garden. It provides a spa and wellness centre, as well as a free shuttle service, free Wi-Fi and a swimming pool.
Boasting a remarkable beachfront location, Beach Club offers luxury accommodation with an infinity-edge pool framed by palm trees and tropical gardens. It also provides free Wi-Fi, a free shuttle service and a beauty centre.
Also a part of the Whitsundays, Hayman Island is perhaps the most visually striking island. At certain times you can witness the gold, turquoise, emerald and sapphire colours of the beaches and nearby Hayman Lagoon.
Hayman Island is the home of premium accommodation with its 5-star Hayman Island Resort featured in the Leading Hotels of the World.
The nature-lover’s island, Herron Island is a World Heritage Listed Marine National Park. The island environment is protected, giving you an opportunity to experience a part of Queensland that has experienced minimal human impact.
The native bird and sea life is flourishing, making this an exciting place to observe nature at its finest. Diving and snorkelling opportunities here provide a wonderful way to see nature up close.
It is important to note that day trips to Herron Island are not available, and the island can only be accessed by hotel guests. With this in mind, planning ahead is important if you’re thinking of visiting Herron Island.
The world’s largest sand island is technically not a part of the Great Barrier Reef, although that doesn’t stop it from providing a breathtaking environment and seascape.
If you’re after somewhere you can fish, surf and camp then Fraser Island is for you. It’s only accessible by 4WD, but once you’re there you can explore to your heart’s content.
You can camp in a secluded area, or stay in resort accommodation. This is a spectacular way to experience Australia.
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