The Top Island Resorts in Australia
Australia is famed for its wildlife, its fiery Red Centre and its iconic cityscapes, but the fun doesn’t stop on the mainland!
Surrounding this vast land mass is a scintillating collection of tiny islands, many of which offer an idyllic base for a relaxing holiday. Visitors to Australia will be spoilt for choice when it comes to touching base on an island resort. With a plethora of these to choose from in Australia, hopefully this guide will make it easier when narrowing down the options.
5 Incredible Island Resorts in Australia
Australia is blessed with a series of beautiful islands, which offer the opportunity to enjoy a different kind of holiday. After sightseeing in Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane, enjoying wildlife encounters in the outback and taking in the spectacular views of Uluru, an island resort is the ideal choice for those keen to kick back, chill out and enjoy a more serene pace of life.
Australia may be best known as one land mass, but as a continent it boasts more than 8,000 different islands. Although many are uninhabited, island hopping is very much a possibility in some of the more well-known areas. The Great Barrier Reef is dotted with islets that are incredibly popular with tourists, whilst the Whitsunday Islands and Fraser Island are also staples on the East Coast voyage of discovery. Visitors looking to enjoy an island experience in Australia can choose – among many others – from these breathtaking options:
Hamilton Island is one of the best-known islands in the Whitsundays. It is the main transport hub of the archipelago and it can be reached via ferry or by air from many of Australia’s main cities.
Whilst visitors to the island can benefit from all of the rest and relaxation island life in the pacific has to offer, activities like kayaking, tennis, paddle skiing, snorkelling, sailing and squash are all incredibly popular and provide entertainment through the day.
The rest of the Whitsunday archipelago is home to dazzling sandy beaches and glistening turquoise waters, and from a base on Hamilton Island, other stunning places like Daydream Island, Hayman Island and Whitehaven Beach – renowned for its pristine white sand that is incredibly soft to the touch – are within easy reach.
Reef View Hotel
One of Hamilton Island’s most attractive places to stay is the Reef View Hotel. Enjoying an enviable location on Catseye Beach in the north, its rooms offer ocean views and easy access to the golden sands. There’s a swimming pool on-site, the rooms are large, bright and airy and visitors can make use of a shuttle bus, which tours the island on a daily basis. Guests here can enjoy a host of activities including golf and water sports, while excursions include diving and snorkelling, reef cruises and trips to the famous Whitehaven Beach.
Meanwhile, Palm Bungalows, is another stunning accommodation spot for visitors to the island. This option offers a bit more seclusion and tranquility but is still located just a stone’s throw from Catseye Beach. Each individual bungalow has a private balcony, WiFi access, a kitchenette and an en suite bathroom, making this the perfect choice for a romantic getaway or a few days spent catching up on some R&R.
The modern, bright bungalows are surrounded by well-maintained gardens and visitors can choose from four swimming pools if even a trip to the beach seems like too much effort! But for those who are in search of a bit more activity, the complex offers guests access to free water sports equipment and an island shuttle bus to help you explore the area.
In stark contrast to Hamilton Island, Fraser Island is one of the most popular off-the-coast adventure islands for tourists visiting Australia.
The UNESCO world-heritage listed Kingfisher Bay is located on the eastern coast of the island, which is itself the southern tip of the wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef. A spectacular eco-friendly resort, it offers visitors a base from which to explore Fraser Island and enjoy the camping, angling and driving opportunities it has to offer.
Easily accessible with the Fraser island car ferry and a hop, skip and a jump away from the impossibly clear waters of Lake McKenzie, Kingfisher Bay is a perfect base for holidaymakers looking to take it easy, as well as those keen on action and adventure. Fraser Island is also easily accessible from the mainland via boats, which depart up to six times a day.
All rooms in the Kingfisher Bay resort feature a private balcony or deck and a TV. There’s a range of accommodation options available, including 1, 2 and 3-bedroom apartments and hotel rooms. Apartments boast a fully-equipped kitchen for those eager to cook up a storm in paradise. Guests also have access to four pools, a spa and a restaurant whilst there’s also a host of activities on offer, including whale watching, diving and excursions to Seventy-Five Mile Beach, the Maheno Shipwreck and Eli Creek. Those who love the thrill of off-roading will also enjoy 4WD adventures on Fraser island.
Nestled off the coast of Cairns, surrounded by the coral-laden waters of the Great Barrier Reef lies Green Island. Just a 45-minute ferry ride away from the northern Queensland city, this is a small but perfectly formed landmass adorned with secluded beaches and lush rainforest, making it a truly breathtaking destination for an island sojourn.
Green Island Resort
Green Island Resort offers 46 eco-friendly suites, which are set in acres of verdant rainforests. With walkways covered by tree canopies and exotic gardens, this hotel is the perfect place to unwind, de-stress, and enjoy some truly incredible excursions and activities.
The resort rooms are light and spacious with modern decor and they offer air conditioning, free WiFi and private balconies. The hotel has two swimming pools, a restaurant, a bar and a shop and all rates are inclusive of sunset drinks, a guided rainforest walk and a glass bottom boat tour. The waters surrounding Green Island are packed with sea life so this tour guarantees an amazing experience.
For those keen to get an even closer look, it’s also possible to go scuba diving and snorkelling too. Green Island is also home to an aquarium and a crocodile park and boat trips out to other parts of the reef are widely available.
A haven for wildlife lovers as well as snorkelling and scuba diving enthusiasts, Fitzroy Island is also perfect for those looking to enjoy serious R&R. Tucked away in the vibrant waters of the Great Barrier Reef, it too is located around 45 minutes from Cairns by boat and is an island that offers glistening blue-green waters, golden beaches and the chance to visit one of the region’s most interesting wildlife populations.
The waters surrounding Fitzroy Island are among the best places in Australia to see turtles and the Great Barrier Reef is home to six of the world’s seven species of sea turtle. Fans of these creatures should take the time to visit the island’s famous rehabilitation centre specially dedicated to the animals. The Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre is a non-profit organisation that was founded to rescue and rehabilitate injured and orphaned turtles. Featuring a team of volunteers who care for the poorly animals, turtles are nurtured back to strength until they’re fit enough to be released back into the water again. Centre tours are available to the public on a daily basis and are a great activity for anyone interested in the local wildlife population.
Fitzroy Island Resort
Away from the wildlife though, the Fitzroy Island Resort is an ideal choice for families, couples and groups of friends looking to discover the natural beauty of this island idyll. There are a range of studios, one and two-bedroom apartments available and all offer balconies with views of the Coral Sea. Every apartment has a ceiling fan, air conditioning and an en suite bathroom, whilst the facilities on offer include a swimming pool, a restaurant, a dive centre, water sports, a spa, a games room, a play area for children and a cinema.
For those keen to get out and about, the calm waters provide the perfect conditions for sea kayaking and snorkelling, and diving is incredibly popular in this area. As, of course, are turtle sightings.
If turtles aren’t your thing then maybe lizards are! Lizard Island is surrounded by the vivid turquoise waters of the Great Barrier Reef. It is a secluded oasis which affords an incredible opportunity to experience island life in Australia.
Lizard Island Resort
Open only to hotel guests of Lizard Island Resort, Lizard Island is the ultimate option for those keen to escape it all and enjoy nothing but a gentle breeze and lapping waves for company. With a total of 24 beaches on the island – fringed by coral reefs on one side and lush forests on the other – a lazy day by the sea is very much on the cards. Lizard Island Resort is the only resort in the world located within a national park stretching more than 1,000 hectares and is a truly magical place to stay.
This island resort offers 40 luxury suites and opulent villas, all of which are flanked by white sand beaches. Rooms and villas have air conditioning and a choice of garden or ocean views with some featuring private balconies with hammocks. Guests can enjoy spa treatments and there’s a swimming pool, a restaurant and a gym on-site. Activities on offer at the resort include snorkelling, kayaking, tennis and water sports. Rates are inclusive of meals, selected drinks, a glass bottom boat tour, guided nature hikes and use of a motorised dinghy.
Many people instantly conjure up images of the outback, cosmopolitan cities and cuddly creatures when they think about Australia, but Australia isn’t just a destination that offers city breaks and action-packed adventures. This is a continent in its own right and it is surrounded by tiny islands that can provide staggeringly beautiful bases for beach holidays, island hopping tours and tranquil retreats.
Australia’s island resorts offer the chance to soak up the sun, kick back and unwind, but at the same time, they offer the opportunity to experience island life and explore mind-blowing natural wonders like the Great Barrier Reef. With many within reach from some of Australia’s major cities, it’s easy to experience the best of both worlds by adding a stay on one of these paradise islands to your itinerary.
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