Nothing says relaxing holiday escape quite like a tropical island, am I right? Lucky for us, our land Down Under abounds in tropical gifts, many of which are right on our doorstep. Here’s a look at five idyllic islands just off the coast of one of Australia’s most popular holiday destinations, Queensland.
Sitting 58km Northeast of Brisbane, Moreton Island is a kaleidoscope of crystal-clear waterways and lagoons, colourful reefs, sweeping sand dunes and a rich array of plant life. As the third-largest sand island in the world, the location of a number of historic lighthouses and home to the legendary Tangalooma Wrecks, Moreton Island is understandably a much sought after island escape. Although small, it offers plenty to see and do for all holiday-makers, including snorkelling, swimming, dolphin sighting, fishing and, my personal favourite, tobogganing down the sand dunes.
North Stradbroke Island
Another gem of the Coral Sea, North Stradbroke Island sits just 30km Southeast of Brisbane and is the second-largest sand island in the world (the largest is our very own Fraser Island). Another title belonging to Straddie is that of the world’s largest freshwater coastal swamp. Okay, okay – so visiting a swamp might not be everyone’s cup of tea when you’re on a tropical island, but Eighteen Mile Swamp is definitely a sight worth seeing. Along with five beaches, numerous camping spots, cafes and restaurants, dive sites and beach yoga, there’s never a dull moment here.
Bribie Island is the third island of the Moreton Bay region and is the only one that’s connected to the Queensland mainland, via Bribie Island Bridge. As one of the more urbanised islands on our list, it’s easy to see why thousands of local and international visitors choose beautiful Bribie for their holiday. Shopping, fishing, camping, luxury accommodation, museums, sweeping beaches… you name it and I guarantee Bribie has it.
Daydreaming about spending many relaxing hours on a milky white beach bordered by gin-clear water is no longer a dream after you touch down on this tropical paradise. As one of seven majestic islands that make up the Molle Group, a sub-group of the Whitsunday Islands, Daydream is Australia’s answer to heaven on earth. With just one resort on the island, travellers will feel like royalty for the duration of their stay. Whether you choose to spend your days fishing, snorkeling, sightseeing or reading a book on silky sand, a trip to Daydream Island will leave you more refreshed than you’ve been in years.
Looking for something further north? Magnetic Island lies just 8km off the coast of Townsville. With 54 per cent of the island covered by national park, Magnetic is just as much a wildlife haven as a tropical holiday destination. For those less inclined to go bird watching and looking for something adventurous, why not try your hand at boom netting? You can’t get more Aussie than hanging onto a large net draped off the back of a fishing boat while it cruises along. Boom netting is offered by a number of tour operators on the island and is perfectly safe, even the kids can have a go.