North Stradbroke Island, Queensland © Tourism and Events Queensland
Brisbane’s most beautiful islands
Your island paradise awaits and it's just moments from the city.
By Leah Dobihal
Queensland locals have always loved an island getaway – and why wouldn’t they? With everything from family-friendly sand islands to tiny outcrops just half a kilometre wide, the islands that sit off Brisbane’s coast are as diverse as they are beautiful.
Take your pick of stunning islands just a boat away from Brisbane.
Though Moreton Island can be reached on a day trip from Brisbane, this adventure playground deserves an overnight trip. Sunken ships offer incredible snorkelling opportunities, and golden sand dunes welcome four-wheel driving and tobogganing. Hand-feed wild dolphins straight from shore before tucking in for the night at Tangalooma Island Resort.
The only Moreton Bay island you can drive to (shuttles operate from Brisbane Airport, or take a bus from Caboolture train station), Bribie Island is all about the simple things. Kayak through clear water (and try to spot a few dugongs along the way), explore the white-sand beach and bunkers by four-wheel drive or simply grab your towel and spend the day beach hopping. A sunset cruise will give you a magical end to your Bribie getaway.
North Stradbroke Island
When to go
Humpback whales migrate past North Stradbroke Island from late May to early October. Bring your binoculars on a walk along the headlands to catch them swimming by.
North Stradbroke Island is a favourite for its laid-back vibe and island scenery. Take the North Gorge Walk for epic coastal views, or simply soak up the sun on Frenchman’s Beach. The island’s freshwater lakes are not to be missed. Brown Lake, or Lake Bummiera, is filled entirely by rainwater tinged brown by native tea trees. Blue Lake, or Karboora (meaning ‘deep silent pool’) is a stunning, calm lake sacred to the Quandamooka people.
K’gari (Fraser Island)
A six-hour drive north of Brisbane will bring you to K’gari, the world’s largest sand island. Nature and wildlife are central to a holiday here, offering everything from camping (and even driving) on the beach to guided dingo walks. Make your first stop Lake Mackenzie, where you’ll find some of the island’s most magnificent waters. Book a stay at Kingfisher Bay Resort and make a weekend of it.
Southern Moreton Bay Islands
The Southern Moreton Bay Islands includes Coochiemudlo, Russell, Macleay, Karragarra and Lamb Island. Ferries to Coochiemudlo – famous for its family-friendly activities – leave from Victoria Point in Brisbane. The remaining islands can be reached via TRANSLink ferry from Redland Bay Marina. Each island has its own personality, from the aqua bikes and kayaks of ‘Coochie’ to the fishing and solitude of Lamb Island. Visit the Redlands Coast website to find out which island you should discover next.