Tropical rainforests, beautiful beaches, the best climate in the country and the Great Barrier Reef are some of the reasons we all love Queensland. As Australia’s Sunshine State is also best known for its islands, it’s only fitting we keep track of as many as we can. Here’s my list, from A to Z, of Queensland islands. So bookmark this for ideas to add to your bucket list.
Located 10km offshore from Mission Beach, Bedarra Island is part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Accommodation options are Bedarra Island Great Barrier Reef, which has eight guest villas (booking a villa will set you back at least A$1090 a night) and Bedarra Island Villa.
The Pumicestone Passage is a tranquil eco destination that is often overlooked. It’s a sanctuary for fish, turtles, dugong and dolphins. Popular activities include bush walking and kayaking.
Daydream Island is a small island of the Molle Group,a sub-group of the Whitsunday Islands. Daydream Island Resort and Spa has three beaches and activities for all the family.
Lover’s Cove is popular for snorkelling enthusiasts because of its live coral. Part of Daydream Island is covered in lush rainforest and there’s a spectacular outdoor aquarium with 80 different kinds of sea life collected from the Great Barrier Reef.
There was a time when Dunk Island used to be one of the top island destinations for families. Located between Cairns and Townsville, Dunk Island was known for tropical rainforest, rocky shoreline and hilly terrain.
Unfortunately, the resort was severely damaged by Cyclone Yasi in 2011. It’s still in a beautiful location. Anyone want to buy an island?
Fraser Island is a UNESCO World Heritage site and home to a rainforest growing out of the sand dunes. Fraser Island is Queensland’s largest sand island (1840sq km) and it’s quite a natural gem of an island. Nature lovers will love Fraser Island’s sand cliffs, 100 freshwater lakes and beautiful beaches.
The island is 300km north of Brisbane andis the perfect spot for nature lovers seeking adventure. Fraser Island’s seventy-five mile beach is a four-wheel driving highway. There’s a range of accommodation including Kingfisher Bay Resort and as Queensland islands go, this is one not to be missed.
Fitzroy Island is south east of Cairns and a 45-minute ferry ride from Cairns Harbour. Most part of the four square kilometre island (small is beautiful) is covered in tropical rainforest.
The resort has 99 rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and spa. There’s a diving school and council campgrounds by the beach.
Green Island is located off the coast of northern Queensland, 45 minutes from Cairns. It’s the only luxury resort on a coral cay in northern Queensland. The island offers glass bottom boat tours and is a lovely spot for a romantic escape.
8-Great Keppel Island
Hamilton Island is one of the most popular islands of the Whitsundays group in the Coral Sea. It is located north of Brisbane and south of Cairns. Considered as one of the top travel destinations in Australia, travellers will have a long to-do list in this island.
Take a cruise around the Great Barrier Reef to Whitehaven beach. Play a round of golf or go go-karting. One of the bigger and busier of Queensland’s islands, Hamilton has lots to keep children occupied. On a scale of one to 10 of Queensland islands, I’d rate this one as a seven for its accessibility and diversity of accommodation options.
Haggerstone Island is perfect for those looking to break from the busy and fast-paced life-style in the city. This exclusive island is privately owned and accommodation is in three Robinson Crusoe-inspired guest houses.
It’s a bit of a journey to get to Haggertsone Island. You take a two-hour charter flight from Cairns to Hicks Island followed by a 20-minute boat ride.
11-One & Only Hayman Island
One&Only Hayman resort is the northernmost island in the Whitsunday group. This uber-luxurious five-star resort has a serene, tranquil ambience. It has 160 rooms which are divided into four types: The One&Only Hayman Wing, the Pool Wing, the Beach wing and their Penthouses.
All their themed Penthouses are located on the top floor which give the guests a full view of the of the breathtaking beach, the Coral Sea and the Whitsundays. Compared to most other Queensland islands, this island is right up there in the luxury scale.
Heron Island offers a menu of activities like sailing, snorkelling, marine walks and other educational activities. It’s a resort for eco conscious families. Heron Island is also one of the best places to see the Great Barrier Reef.
Hinchinbrook Island is in Northern Queensland and is Australia’s largest island national park. This 399 sq km island is in the middle of the mainland and the Great Barrier Reef: a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The lookout on Cape Richards has the best vantage point of the neighbouring islands. Turtle Bay is home to large sea turtles. Hinchinbrook Island Resort has eight cabins by the beach and 15 bungalows in the rainforest. The resort is available for private bookings.
Keswick Island is located in the southern Whitsundays and is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Great Barrier Reef. Singapore Bay on the north-west coast of Keswick is home to turtles, fish, dugong and coral reef. The mangrove estuaries are breeding grounds for prawns, crabs and barramundi.
There’s an airstrip and flights are available from Mackay. Rent a holiday home or a cabin or take a day trip.
Lizard island is 240km north of Cairns and 27km off the coast of north Queensland. It’s a 60-minute flight in a light aircraft from Cairns. Lizard Island offers tropical luxury with fine dining and exciting activities.
It’s the perfect base for divers who might want to swim with huge Potato Cod at the Cod Hole. And it’s the perfect post for snorkelers as there’s good snorkelling straight off the beach. It’s not cheap though. Rates start at $1699 per night per couple for accommodation, meals, alcohol and activities.
Long Island is a gem in the Whitsundays. Palm Bay is a self-catering resort with beachfront villas, bures and bungalows. You can buy basic supplies from the island store or place an order from a catering company on the mainland.
Another resort on the island, Long Island Paradise Bay Island resort, is currently closed for renovations.
Magnetic Island is a ferry ride from Townsville and has a small community of around 2000 permanent residents. It was named for the magnetic effect on Captain Cook’s compass as the ship cruised past.
The island offers good opportunities for anglers. Blue marlin, black marlin, sailfish, wahoo, giant trevally, mahi-mahi and red emperor are some of the many fish that can be found in the surrounding waters.
The island also has a range of accommodation and there are plenty of things to do on Magnetic Island.
The cottage has a kitchen, living room and two bedrooms. Marble Island has its own airstrip and is only accessible by private charter planes. There are a bunch of activities, including bushwalking, stargazing and shucking oysters off the rocks.
There are a host of adventure activities at Tangalooma Island Resort such as sand boarding around the sand dunes and ATV riding. Snorkel with dolphins and explore the shipwrecks that lie near the island.
Mornington Island is the northernmost of 22 islands in the Wellesley island Group. There are chartered flights from Cairns.
The island has a rich aboriginal culture and is the country of the Lardil and Kaiadilt people. Mornington Island is home to aboriginal artists and dancers.
21-North Stradbroke Island
North Stradbroke Island is a large sand island that is home to around 3,000 people. The island offers activities like including whale watching. Thousands of humpback whales visit the pristine waters of Straddie between May and July.
Straddie is 30km southeast of Brisbane and can be reached via ferry from Cleveland to Dunwich. It’s a top spot to swim with manta rays.
Palm Island is 65km north-west of Townsville and a home to 5,000 residents. The island was named by Captain Cook because of the cabbage tree palms growing on the island. A tropical paradise with volcanic soil, the island supports diverse species and tropical plants.
The bays around the island support marine life like crayfish, coral trout and big coral reefs. There are ferry services from Townsville to Palm Island pier. The island is a 31/2-hour ferry journey that operates three times a week.
The privately owned island can house up to 30 in five self-catering beach cottages. Cottages have decks with 360-degree views.
24-South Molle Island
South Molle Island is a hilly continental island in the Whitsundays. Adventure Island Resort caters to backpackers and budget conscious travellers looking for cocktails, karaoke and fun in the sun. There’s a golf course, tennis court and a gym. There’s aslo a camping ground.
25-South Stradbroke Island
Did you know that The Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader was filmed on South Stradbroke Island? The scene where King Caspian (Ben Barnes) meets up with Aslan (Liam Neeson) on the beach was filmed on South Stradbroke Island.
A local getaway for frazzled Brisbanites, South Stradbroke Island is a peaceful escape and, believe it or not, still a reasonable well-kept secret.
26-St Helena Island
St Helena Island is a heritage-listed island originally used as a prison in the 1930’s. In the 1890’s, it was the main maximum security prison for Queensland’s most dangerous criminals.
In 1980, St Helena Island became a National Park. Take a history tour and meet the ghosts of Brisbane’s past. There are dramatised tours led by costumed actors through the ruins, cemeteries and quarriesi as well as spooky ghost tours.
Thursday Island is the commercial capital of Torres Strait Islands. The Island has a rich in history and a variety of educational and guided tours are offered. 1893 was an important year. That year, Green Hill Fort was built to defend against a potential Russian invasion and the All Souls Quetta Memorial Church was erected in memory of the Quetta shipwreck.
The shipwreck killed 133 people when it struck a reef. Tours of Thursday Island are usually combined with a stop at Horn Island.
The seven-kilometre beach is an alluring sight and possibly one of the most photographed beaches in the country.
Discover Queensland Islands
Do you know of any islands in Queensland? If you’ve been to one recently, we’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the box below.
Check out Green Island and Fitzroy Island for an amazing northern Queensland holiday.