Australia’s reputation as a top tourist spot has grown considerably over the years, and with good reason. The continent is made up of thousands of islands offering various local attractions, from age-old infrastructural wonders and World Heritage-listed parks to world-famous beaches and a diverse collection of animal and plant life.
Exploring Australia’s huge collection of island attractions can be quite overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time on the continent. In this article, we have listed down some of the more popular islands so that you will have an idea on where to start if ever you decide to visit on your next vacation.
Rottnest Island is mostly famous for being the natural habitat of the quokka, an endangered species that gained internet fame due to their nature of smiling in photographs. These cheerful-looking marsupials are the largest draw of the island, with thousands of tourists coming in each year only to take a photograph of themselves with a grinning quokka. However, there’s more to Rottnest than the quokka, as unique species of crocodiles, turtles and whales also reside across the island.
Rottnest Island is also a good location for aquatic activities like diving, surfing and snorkelling. There are 63 beaches on the island alone, providing travellers with a lot of choices. There are also bus tours offered around the island, wherein an experienced guide will share cultural information as well as local folklore to vacationers while taking them to various historical spots in the area. With several activities to try, it’s best to secure a place to stay early so that you won’t have to worry about it later on. If you want to access Rottnest Island for a day trip, the best place to stay is accommodation close by in Fremantle at serviceable rates.
Lord Howe Island
Lord Howe Island is a great place to visit for people looking for a little seclusion. The island has a policy that only allows up to 400 tourists on it at any point in time, which is great for setting a semi-private ambience on the beaches and resorts in the island. Tourists will feel as though they rented the island, and the exclusivity will allow them to enjoy the crystal-clear beaches and long, relaxing trails without worrying about other people.
Perhaps the number one reason people go to Lord Howe Island is its rich collection of avian species. Listed as a World Heritage site under UNESCO, the island serves as a natural habitat of several unique birds, making it natural for professional bird watchers and legitimate nature lovers to flock the place.
Another popular destination in Australia is Fitzroy Island, a tropical island known to cater to tourists who are hungry for adventure. The mountainous terrain on the island has allowed for several interesting trails, with some leading to slopes up to the mountains and others ending up on the beaches. The trails differ in length and difficulty, so tourists should always ask the locals about the specifics of each trail to make sure they don’t get more than they prepared for. Aside from trail walks and trekking, the island is also equipped with several beaches for people who simply want to relax under the sun. The most talked-about would be the Nudey Beach, where people enjoy the sun and the waters in nude, true to the name of the beach.
Water adventures are also available in the local beaches, with professional guides offering special programs and equipment to teach travellers how to snorkel, kayak and/or dive. There are boat rides, too, which also serves as sightseeing since you will be able to watch the underwater marine life as you take a trip on a glass-bottom boat. Since it’s a given that its visitors will end up tired at the end of the day, Fitzroy Island has several hotels and inns set up for its adventurers to rest and recuperate. Most of these places also offer spa services, perfect care for the fatigued bodies.
Lady Musgrave Island
The beautiful coral island of Lady Musgrave can be found in Queensland just along the Great Barrier Reef. It’s proximity to the Great Barrier Reef is exactly why this island has become a dream destination for backpackers: the surrounding reef formations make for excellent pictures and even art subjects. The eye-catching wonders of the reefs have prompted UNESCO to list the island as a World Heritage site, and the national government has since deemed it as a national park as well.
Of course, the reef segments across the island are not just for show. There are certain spots handpicked for diving and snorkelling, great for travellers looking to secure a closer view with the underwater treasures of Lady Musgrave. There’s also a protected lagoon on the island for happy campers, with an opening that allows you to look at the stars while relaxing on your back.