Fraser Island

Yes Australia is technically a seriously large island but there are many more islands that make up this original backpacking destination. In fact, there are over 8000 Australian Islands. Some are ridiculously famous, some you may never have heard of. Here, we are going to pay homage to some of the famous islands Australia has to offer.

Lord Howe Island - Most people think of visiting the Galapagos Islands for unique wildlife and outstanding beauty but Australia can more than rival them, in the form of Lord Howe Island, located 600km off the coast of Sydney. This world heritage listed island offers remote, unspoilt beaches and bush walks and the chance to just meander into the ocean to snorkel in the world's most southerly coral reef, amongst unique marine life and gorgeous, elegant sea turtles. Best time to visit is in the winter months when you can have the warm sun in the days but sit by an open fire with a glass of red wine in the evenings.

Fraser Island - Another world heritage listed island is Fraser Island, the famous backpackers haunt. The endless stretches of white sandy beaches and crystal clear water is where backpackers visit paradise on a budget. It is also the only place in the world where the rainforest and sand dunes live together in harmony. Four wheel driving and a spot of fishing are the two essential activities here and with so many tours to choose from at such cheap prices, this island is not to be missed.

Philip Island* - Besides Melbourne, in comparison to the rest of Australia, Victoria gets little mention so it's only fair to acknowledge that they do in fact have a pretty impressive Island to call their own, and one that is really easy to visit. Philip Island, situated in Western Port Bay, is where backpackers, or any visitor, can see penguins. Australia isn't really known for its penguins which makes this island in Victoria very special. It is also the home of the Australian Motor Grand Prix so well worth a visit.

melbourne phillip island big group penguins

Daydream Island - Daydream Island has to be mentioned because its name makes it sound like heaven. It's a tiny island which, along with six others, makes up the Molle group of islands - part of the Whitsunday Islands. Daydream Island is reported to be a must-visit destination for those who enjoy taking to the seas. It is also the home to a unique outdoor aquarium as well as being the perfect spot for sea-kayaking, scuba-diving and all things water related. Daydream Island is not really a backpacker destination, even though it is just a few minutes boat ride from Airlie Beach, as the resort is really rather pleasant but if you are backpacking and decide to get married whilst doing it, look no further than Daydream Island. I am even tempted to book just on the off chance that I get proposed to in the next six months. Hamilton Island also in the Whitsundays needs a mention here, every famous person that visits the Whitsunday Islands seems to visit it.

Abrolhos Islands - If by some miracle you manage to see all the beauty that Western Australia has to offer its visitors you can always leave the mainland and head to the Abrolhos Islands. There are 120 islands in total, divided in to three groups and although you can't stay on the islands they are located only 60km of the coast of Geraldton, Western Australia, so day trips are a must, or if you really want to impress, a helicopter ride over the islands. The Abrolhos Islands are a marine life haven so for dolphin and whale spotting it's an incredible location. They are also home to over 90 different species of bird and even ticks the historical box as the Batavia wreck lies on the ocean floor of the Wallabi group of Islands.

Tasmania - let's be honest, Tasmania is worthy of a mention as it is arguably the most famous Australian island and any Island that takes that much mockery and abuse deserves a little recognition. And it's stunningly beautiful to visit.

The list of Australian Islands to visit is endless but it's fair to say that each and every one is as special and unique as the rest. Sadly, there are just too many to see them all. What's your favourite Australian Island?

*Please note that taking pictures of the penguin parade is not allowed. The picture of penguins in this article is provided at the information centre.

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