Get There Fast: 6 Easy-To-Reach Australian Islands
Go on, be a baller.
Leo’s got one, so does Nicholas Cage. Man, Celine Dion’s even got one …
It’s time, people, to join the club. Make your way to an island, STAT. Even if it’s not one of your own.
Lucky for you, our coastline is littered with them. We’ve got more islands for every day of the week and some. Let’s ignore the obvious fact that our country is already one big, eff-off island.
Best of all, they’re a cinch to get to. Some, you can even walk to (insert biblical reference here).
Thanks to our friends at BIG4, here’s a list for you to tick off / list on your Tinder profile.
Magnetic Island, Queensland
Smack bang in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, this little gem is bursting with charm. Think beautiful, secluded beaches, striking boulders, eucalypt woodlands, pockets of rainforest, and incredible wildlife. Get your intellectual on by visiting the historical remnants covering themes of Indigenous culture and World War II. Or spot abundant bird and wildlife, including fluffy koalas chillin’ out in the treetops. So many photo ops.
How to get there: Regular ferry services depart from Townsville (passenger ferry 20 minutes, vehicle ferry 40 minutes).
Phillip Island, Victoria
Oh man, this is Treasure Island alright. Surf, swim, and do other S- words on the island’s beautiful beaches. There are walking tracks, mazes, a chocolate factory (Willy Wonka, eat your heart out), and a trout farm. For your ‘gram, you’ll spy seals, koalas and a LOT of penguins. In fact, a whole parade of penguins every night as they waddle home after their day of fishing (preview the cuteness here). Be sure to book a trip to Seal Rocks to see the animal they’re named for.
How to get there: Phillip Island is a two hour drive from Melbourne and is linked to the mainland by a bridge.
Rottnest Island, Western Australia
A profusion of beaches that invite all sorts of water recreation (use your imagination, people), a series of free (our fave word) guided walking tours, and a cluster of engrossing historical attractions are among the many highlights of this Perth playground. Spot wildlife that’s led by the seriously cute quokkas, take a train ride, climb a lighthouse, cycle, or just relax while absorbing the breathtaking coastline. Bliss.
How to get there: Regular ferries depart from three locations: Fremantle (25 minutes), Hillarys Boat Harbour (north of Perth, 45 minutes), or Perth (90 minutes).
Great Keppel Island, Queensland
Paradise found. Here, there’s a collection of white sand beaches, ample opportunity for water-based leisure, crazy-good lookouts and sprawling bushland. Follow a walking track to witness magnificent views and spot a hefty assortment of bird life that calls Great Keppel home, alongside various wildlife and marine animals. Be sure, too, to visit Shelving Beach for some serious snorkelling action.
How to get there: Regular ferries depart from Rosslyn Bay, Yeppoon (30 minute journey).
Fraser Island, Queensland
It didn’t make World Heritage status for no reason. Fraser is OFF. THE. CHARTS. Clearer than clear water, towering rainforest and shipwrecks. For the data geeks: Fraser is the largest sand island on the planet, covering well over 150,000 hectares (370,658 acres). 4WD only, bayyybee.
How to get there: Ferries depart three times daily from River Heads (20 minute drive from Hervey Bay; 30 minute crossing time).
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
Smuggle a longneck for the ferry ride over to Australia’s third-largest island. Beaches that rank among the nation’s best, up close and personal wildlife encounters, incredible rock formations (don’t miss Remarkable Rocks), caves, and sand dunes are among the many goodies. Spend a day, spend a week, never want to leave.
How to get there: Ferries run three times a day from Cape Jervis (90 minute drive from Adelaide; 45 minute crossing time).