Best Islands in Queensland: 18 To Visit in 2024 (UPDATED)

The most beautiful and remote offshore destinations to explore in the Sunshine State

 

Best Islands to visit in Queensland

 

1. Introduction
2 Best Islands in Queensland
2.1 K'gari (formerly Fraser Island)
2.2 Fitzroy Island
2.3 Moreton Island
2.4 Hayman Island
2.5 North Stradbroke Island
2.6 Magnetic Island
2.7 Bribie Island
2.8 Lady Musgrave Island
2.9 Green Island
2.10 Daydream Island
2.11 Dunk Island
2.12 Pumpkin Island
2.13 Lady Elliot Island
2.14 Hinchinbrook Island
2.15 Heron Island
2.16 Hamilton Island
2.17 Wilson Island
2.18 Great Keppel Island
3. Final Thought

(This post about the best islands in Queensland may contain affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you).

Read Time: 15 Minutes

 

Introduction

Queensland is a treasure trove of exquisite islands that beckon travellers with their pristine beaches, azure waters and natural wonders.

From the iconic Great Barrier Reef to secluded tropical hideaways, the state offers an abundance of island destinations that cater to every traveller’s dream.

In this article, I will embark on a journey to discover 18 of the Best Islands in Queensland.

Whether you seek adventure, relaxation, or simply an escape into paradise, these islands promise awe-inspiring landscapes, rich biodiversity and a chance to create unforgettable memories.

So join me as I delve into the beauty and charm of these remarkable destinations that make Queensland a true haven for island lovers.

 

Best Islands in Queensland

Fancy visiting some of the Best Islands in Queensland? Here is where you should go!

 

K’gari (formerly Fraser Island)

N’giri, formerly known as Fraser Island, is an incredible destination that promises to take you on a journey of natural wonders and beauty.

One of the best islands in Queensland, it is the largest sand island in the world and offers a diverse range of attractions that cater to nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.

Due to the sandy terrain, you need a specialised 4WD vehicle or guided tour to access the island. But once you arrive, be prepared to be amazed by the pristine freshwater lakes, lush rainforests, towering sand dunes and stunning beaches that await.

One of the most exciting highlights of N’giri is the crystal-clear Lake McKenzie, which has pure silica sand that creates a mesmerising turquoise hue. You can swim in the refreshing waters, relax on the sandy shores, or bask in the serenity of the surroundings. Exploring the island’s rainforests is another captivating experience, where you can wander through ancient trees, spot unique wildlife and listen to the sounds of nature. Just watch for the resident dingo population that roams freely on the island.

For adventure enthusiasts, the island offers thrilling activities such as sandboarding down towering dunes, snorkelling or diving around the stunning reefs and taking scenic flights to witness the island’s beauty from above. You can also camp on the island to immerse yourself in the tranquil ambience and enjoy nights under the star-filled skies.

N’giri is one of the Best Islands in Queensland to disconnect from the outside world and embrace the raw beauty of nature. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a chance to witness unique ecosystems, what was once called Fraser Island offers an unforgettable experience that will leave you with memories to cherish forever.

 

Fitzroy Island is one of the best islands in Queensland
Fitzroy Island is one of the best islands in Queensland

 

Fitzroy Island

Fitzroy Island is a tropical paradise that is one of the best Islands in Queensland for those looking for relaxation and adventure.

It’s just off the coast of Cairns, accessible by a short ferry ride and boasts pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters and lush rainforest. Nudey Beach, one of Australia’s top beaches, is a must-visit for its soft white sand and vibrant coral reefs that are perfect for snorkelling and swimming.

The island’s rainforest trails are a nature lover’s paradise, where you can spot colourful birds and butterflies and explore its rich biodiversity. If you want a refreshing escape from the heat, take the Secret Garden track, which leads to a hidden waterfall.

The Great Barrier Reef surrounds Fitzroy Island, offering incredible snorkelling and diving experiences. The fringing reef is home to a vibrant underwater world filled with colourful coral gardens, turtles, tropical fish and even reef sharks.

There are also plenty of water sports, including kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddleboarding. A glass-bottom boat tour is a great way to marvel at the underwater wonders without getting wet.

Fitzroy Island also offers a range of accommodation options, including resort and beachfront cabins, allowing you to immerse yourself in the island’s serene ambience fully.

 

Moreton Island

Moreton Island is a fantastic destination for nature lovers and thrill-seekers.

You can reach the island by ferry from Brisbane and once you step foot on the island, you’ll find a paradise of sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters and unique ecosystems.

The Tangalooma Wrecks, a series of sunken ships just off the coast, provide excellent opportunities for snorkelling and diving. The island is also home to towering dunes. At the same time, its interior is filled with dense forests and freshwater lakes, including Blue Lagoon and Mirapool, offering tranquil spots for swimming and unwinding.

It is also one of the best islands in Queensland for spotting dolphins, turtles, numerous bird species and wild kangaroos.

Camping facilities are available for those who want to stay a few nights on this fabulous island just off the coast near Brisbane in South East Queensland.

 

Hayman Island

Hayman Island is one of the Best Islands in Queensland for a luxurious beach holiday escape.

The island in the Whitsunday Islands boasts pristine natural beauty and world-class hospitality that discerning travellers will appreciate.

Getting to Hayman Island is an exclusive experience, as guests arrive by private helicopter or luxury yacht, adding to the feeling of seclusion and exclusivity. Once you arrive, you’ll find powdery white beaches, crystal-clear waters and lush greenery – a tropical paradise!

InterContinental Hayman Island Resort is the perfect place to stay, offering opulent accommodations, impeccable service and a range of amenities. The resort ensures that every aspect of your stay is luxurious and memorable, from rejuvenating spa treatments to gourmet dining experiences.

Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of activities on Hayman Island. The Great Barrier Reef surrounds the island, providing opportunities for snorkelling, scuba diving and witnessing the incredible marine life that thrives in the reef’s vibrant coral gardens. The island also offers various water sports, including kayaking, paddleboarding, and jet skiing. If you’re looking for a more relaxed vibe, you can sunbathe, swim on the pristine beaches, or take a gentle stroll to soak up the breathtaking coastal views.

The resort’s infinity pools, private cabanas and secluded coves provide a tranquil escape for those seeking relaxation. You can unwind with a refreshing cocktail while taking in the panoramic vistas of the Coral Sea. Additionally, Hayman Island offers opportunities for nature walks, where you can explore the island’s native flora and fauna and enjoy the serenity of the surrounding landscapes.

 

Aerial photo of shipwrecks at Moreton Island in Queensland, Australia
Aerial photo of shipwrecks at Moreton Island in Queensland, Australia

 

North Stradbroke Island

North Stradbroke Island is a wonderful destination for those seeking to escape to a picturesque location that combines natural beauty, outdoor adventure and a laid-back coastal lifestyle.

Known locally as ‘Straddie’, this island paradise is just a short ferry ride from Brisbane, making it an accessible day trip or extended stay.

North Stradbroke Island is one of the best Islands in Queensland for stunning coastal landscapes, including sandy beaches, rocky headlands and massive dunes.

Beach lovers can enjoy swimming, surfing and sunbathing on some of Queensland’s most beautiful stretches of sand, including Main Beach, Cylinder Beach and Frenchman’s Beach, which offer excellent surf breaks, clear waters and picturesque surroundings.

Nature enthusiasts can explore the island’s diverse ecosystems. Point Lookout on the eastern side offers breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean and a prime location for spotting migrating whales during their annual migration season. The North Gorge Walk, a scenic coastal trail, allows for stunning ocean vistas, dolphin sightings and seabird watching.

North Stradbroke Island offers a range of accommodation options, including holiday homes, beachfront cottages and camping grounds, ensuring every tourist’s preferences are satisfied.

 

Magnetic Island

Magnetic Island is a lush tropical paradise just off the coast of Townsville, offering stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife and a laid-back island lifestyle.

One of the Best Islands in Queensland, it is known for its rugged coastline, golden beaches and lush national park. It is also home to koalas, rock wallabies and various bird species.

One of the island’s highlights is its network of walking trails, which crisscross through the Magnetic Island National Park. The popular Forts Walk takes you to historic World War II fortifications while offering breathtaking coastline views and the chance to spot koalas in their natural habitat.

The island’s numerous beaches are perfect for swimming and snorkelling – Alma Bay and Horseshoe Bay are favoured for their calm waters and pristine sands. At the same time, those after more active pursuits can also enjoy sea kayaking, jet skiing and deep-sea fishing.

A visit to Magnetic Island wouldn’t be complete without exploring its underwater wonders. The Great Barrier Reef lies just a short distance away, and snorkelling or diving trips can be arranged to explore the vibrant coral gardens and encounter abundant marine life.

Magnetic Island also offers a range of dining options, from beachside cafes to waterfront restaurants, where you can savour fresh seafood and soak up the island atmosphere. Accommodation choices range from resorts to holiday apartments, ensuring a comfortable stay to suit every traveller’s preferences.

 

Bribie Island

Escape the hustle and bustle of Brisbane city life by visiting Bribie Island in Queensland. This tranquil coastal retreat offers pristine beaches, stunning natural landscapes and a laid-back island vibe that will help you unwind.

Located just north of Brisbane, Bribie Island is easily accessible and provides a delightful getaway. It features several gorgeous sandy beaches, including Woorim Beach and the secluded Red Beach, perfect for swimming or walking along the water’s edge.

If you’re a wildlife or water sports enthusiast, you’ll love exploring the island’s protected marine park, Pumicestone Passage. Kayak or stand-up paddleboard in the calm waters and lock for dolphins, dugongs and various bird species.

For nature lovers, the Bribie Island National Park is a must-visit. This large park covers a significant portion of the island. It offers scenic walks through coastal heathlands, diverse ecosystems and a chance to spot native wildlife such as mangrove forests and paperbark wetlands.

Fishing, crabbing and prawning are popular activities on Bribie Island, with plenty of options for those who want to cast a line from the beach or take a fishing charter to deeper waters. You’ll also find a range of amenities and facilities on the island, including picnic areas, BBQ spots, and cafes where you can enjoy a meal or a cup of coffee with a view. Camping options are also available.

 

Beach view at Bribie Island in Queensland, Australia
Beach view at Bribie Island in Queensland, Australia

 

Lady Musgrave Island

Lady Musgrave Island provides an exceptional opportunity to explore the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. This coral cay, situated off the coast of Bundaberg, boasts pristine turquoise waters, vibrant coral reefs and abundant marine life.

Access to Lady Musgrave Island is usually through organised tours or private boats since the island is part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The journey is an adventure as you sail through the sparkling waters and pass by other beautiful coral formations.

Upon arrival at Lady Musgrave Island, you will be amazed by the mesmerising underwater paradise. Snorkelling and diving enthusiasts will be in awe of the coral gardens surrounding the island and its incredible array of tropical fish, turtles and manta rays. The island’s lagoon provides a protected area for swimming and snorkelling, allowing you to witness the reef’s vibrant colours up close.

Nature walks on the island offer a chance to discover its unique flora and observe the resident birdlife, including nesting seabirds. The island’s sandy shores are perfect for sunbathing, picnicking, or taking in breathtaking ocean views.

For an immersive experience, camping on Lady Musgrave Island is highly recommended. You can enjoy the serenity of the island after day-trippers depart and fall asleep under a canopy of stars, with the soothing sounds of the ocean lulling you to sleep.

 

Green Island

Green Island is a breathtaking tropical paradise that deserves to be considered one of the best islands in Queensland.

Boasting stunning natural beauty and a diverse marine ecosystem, it’s located just off the coast of Cairns and forms a part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

The island offers excellent opportunities for snorkelling and diving, with vibrant coral formations and a variety of marine species. But, if you prefer to stay dry, you can take a glass-bottom boat tour to explore the underwater world in more comfort.

On land, you can walk through the lush rainforest to discover the island’s unique flora and fauna. You can also relax on the island’s white sandy beaches, swim in crystal-clear waters, or unwind in a tranquil setting. It is a terrific place to come for a digital detox.

Green Island also boasts a range of facilities, including a resort, restaurants and picnic areas. This ensures day-trippers have everything they need for a comfortable and enjoyable stay during their time there.

 

Daydream Island

Are you looking for a tropical island getaway? Look no further than Daydream Island!

This stunning destination, located in the heart of the Whitsunday Islands, is undoubtedly one of the best beaches in Queensland. It boasts pristine beaches, lush gardens and azure waters of the Coral Sea. You can get to the island via a short ferry or scenic helicopter transfer from the mainland at Airlie Beach.

Daydream Island is home to a world-class resort that underwent a significant refurbishment to enhance its offerings. The resort offers a variety of accommodations, from spacious suites to beachfront villas, ensuring a comfortable and indulgent stay.

One of the island’s highlights is the Living Reef. This outdoor aquarium allows visitors to hand-feed stingrays, watch the tropical fish swim and learn about the coral ecosystem from knowledgeable guides. For those seeking water sports or relaxation, the island’s beaches offer snorkelling, kayaking, swimming, sunbathing and several swimming pools, including an adult-only area for tranquillity.

Daydream Island also offers a variety of dining options, from casual beachside eateries to upscale restaurants, where you can indulge in fresh seafood, international cuisine and tropical cocktails while enjoying stunning ocean views.

 

View of the beach at Hamilton Island in the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, Australia
View of the beach at Hamilton Island in the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, Australia

 

Dunk Island

Dunk Island is a not-well-known gem in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. This picturesque island, situated off the coast of Mission Beach, offers a pristine tropical escape that seamlessly blends natural beauty and serenity.

Dunk Island is renowned for its stunning hiking trails allowing visitors to explore its diverse ecosystems. You can take panoramic views of the surrounding islands and the Coral Sea from the Summit Track. Alternatively, the Island Circuit Track takes you on a journey through the verdant rainforest, where you can spot native wildlife and discover hidden waterfalls.

The island is one of the best islands in Queensland for those wanting to swim, sunbathe and snorkel. Congruently, the fringing coral reefs surrounding Dunk Island offer a rich marine ecosystem, inviting snorkelers to discover colourful coral formations and a variety of fish species.

If you want to unwind, Dunk Island has secluded spots to relax and soak up the calm ambience. Whether lounging on a hammock under the shade of a palm tree or enjoying a picnic on the beach, you’ll find tranquillity amidst the natural beauty.

Dunk Island offers a range of accommodation options, from camping facilities to resort-style accommodations, ensuring there’s something for every traveller’s need.

 

Pumpkin Island

If you’re looking for a unique and eco-friendly retreat, consider Pumpkin Island.

This privately owned island is located off the coast of Yeppoon. It is one of the best islands in Queensland for those wanting an exclusive getaway surrounded by stunning natural beauty.

Pumpkin Island is best known for its commitment to sustainability and eco-tourism. Renewable energy sources power it and offer eco-friendly accommodations that blend harmoniously with the natural surroundings. Visitors can choose from various accommodation options, including self-contained cottages and beachfront tents, allowing them to immerse themselves in the island’s tranquillity.

If you love water sports, Pumpkin Island has plenty to offer. The island’s waters are perfect for snorkelling, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. The vibrant coral reefs surrounding Pumpkin Island teem with marine life, providing an unforgettable underwater experience. Snorkelers can encounter colourful fish, turtles and even the occasional reef shark.

Nature lovers will appreciate the island’s untouched landscapes and diverse ecosystems. You can explore walking trails that wind through bosky vegetation, spot native bird species, and enjoy panoramic views of the Coral Sea.

In addition to adventure and exploration, Pumpkin Island offers opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation. You can lounge on the beach, enjoy a picnic under the shade of a palm tree, or indulge in a massage by the ocean. Whatever your preference, you’ll find a sense of serenity and seclusion on this idyllic island.

 

Lady Elliot Island

Lady Elliot Island is one of the best islands in Queensland for those who want to experience the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef.

Its pristine coral cay, located at the southern end of the reef, offers a unique opportunity to explore an untouched marine ecosystem and see several species of marine life.

The best way to reach Lady Elliot Island is via a short scenic flight from the mainland, which offers breathtaking aerial views of the reef. As you land on the island’s airstrip, you’ll be mesmerised by the crystal-clear turquoise waters, white sandy beaches and the vibrant coral gardens surrounding the island.

Lady Elliot Island is known for its excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities. The island’s fringing reef is home to various marine species, including colourful coral formations, tropical fish, sea turtles and manta rays. Snorkellers and divers can explore the reef directly from the island and observe the remarkable biodiversity of the Great Barrier Reef.

The island is committed to sustainability and conservation, as seen in its designation as a ‘Green Zone’ within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Guided eco-tours provide valuable insights into the reef’s ecology and conservation efforts.

Nature walks on the island are an excellent way to discover its unique birdlife, including nesting seabirds and migratory species. The island is also a sanctuary for green and loggerhead turtles; visitors can witness their nesting and hatching during the nesting season.

Accommodations on Lady Elliot Island range from eco-cabins to glamping tents, providing a comfortable stay that complements the island’s natural surroundings.

 

View of a beach at Magnetic Island in Queensland, Australia
View of a beach at Magnetic Island in Queensland, Australia

 

Hinchinbrook Island

Hinchinbrook Island is one of the best islands in Queensland for anyone who loves nature. This unspoiled island is located along the northeastern coast of Queensland and is famous for its rugged landscapes, incredible biodiversity and untouched wilderness.

One of the most famous attractions on Hinchinbrook Island is the Thorsborne Trail, a challenging 32-kilometre hiking trail that takes you through breathtaking landscapes, lush rainforests and pristine creeks. Along the way, you may encounter unique wildlife, including cassowaries, crocodiles and numerous bird species.

The beaches on Hinchinbrook Island are pristine and often deserted, providing a perfect setting for relaxation and solitude. You can swim in crystal-clear waters, sunbathe on the soft sand or take in the awe-inspiring scenery.

Hinchinbrook Island offers excellent kayaking, fishing and boating opportunities if you want something more high-octane. You can explore the island’s mangrove-lined waterways or visit the nearby Palm Islands and Great Barrier Reef for an unforgettable marine experience.

The best way to experience Hinchinbrook Island is by camping. There are several camping areas available, offering basic facilities in stunning locations. Doing this will allow you to immerse yourself in the island’s natural beauty truly.

 

Heron Island

Discover the captivating wonders of the Great Barrier Reef in a pristine and secluded setting by visiting Heron Island.

This coral cay in the Southern Great Barrier Reef is one of the best islands in Queensland for an unparalleled opportunity to witness vibrant marine life, stunning coral formations and breathtaking natural beauty.

Accessible by boat, Heron Island attracts plenty of divers and snorkelers, as the surrounding reef is home to turtles, rays, reef sharks and colourful fish. The island’s waters provide a natural playground for underwater exploration.

Guided tours are available to explore the reef, providing insights into the marine ecosystem and conservation efforts. Visitors can join marine biologists on educational adventures, visit the on-island research station, or participate in guided reef walks during low tide.

During the breeding season, visitors may witness the magical sight of nesting sea turtles and hatchlings making their way to the ocean on the island’s pristine beaches. Heron Island is also a birdwatcher paradise, with many bird species calling the island home.

Whether in a comfortable resort-style room or a self-contained beachside cottage, accommodations on Heron Island complement the island’s natural surroundings.

 

Hamilton Island

Visiting Hamilton Island is like stepping into a tropical paradise combining luxurious amenities and natural beauty. Situated in the heart of the Whitsunday Islands, this vibrant destination offers a range of activities, stunning beaches, and a relaxed island atmosphere.

You can get to Hamilton Island via a short flight from several locations in Australia or a ferry ride from Airlie Beach. On arrival, you’ll see palm-fringed beaches, turquoise waters and a bustling marina filled with yachts.

Hamilton Island is one of the best Islands in Queensland to visit and also a hub of recreational activities. You can explore the Great Barrier Reef on snorkelling or diving excursions, witnessing the breathtaking coral formations and marine life that make this natural wonder famous. The island’s clear waters are also perfect for kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, or taking a leisurely catamaran sail.

Golf enthusiasts can enjoy a round on the island’s championship golf course, which offers stunning ocean views and challenging fairways. The island also boasts a range of hiking trails, allowing you to immerse yourself in the lush rainforest and enjoy panoramic vistas of the surrounding islands.

The island’s vibrant marina village offers a variety of dining options, from casual eateries to upscale restaurants. You can savour fresh seafood and international cuisine or enjoy a romantic beachfront dinner.

Accommodations on Hamilton Island range from luxurious resorts to self-contained apartments, ensuring a comfortable and indulgent stay. Many accommodations offer breathtaking ocean views and easy access to the island’s amenities.

 

Long Beach is one of 17 excellent beaches at Great Keppel Island in Queensland, Australia
Long Beach is one of 17 excellent beaches at Great Keppel Island in Queensland, Australia

 

Wilson Island

The chances are you haven’t heard of Wilson Island. But it’s a place, once there, you won’t forget in a hurry.

Providing an extraordinary escape to a secluded and pristine oasis in the Great Barrier Reef, this tiny coral cay is off the coast of Gladstone.

It is one of the best islands in Queensland for an exclusive and intimate experience for those seeking solitude and natural beauty.

Featuring powdery white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral gardens, it is an eco-friendly destination allowing only 12 guests at any given time there. This policy ensures a genuinely intimate and private experience.

Accommodations on Wilson Island consist of just six luxury safari-style tents, each designed to blend seamlessly with the natural environment. The tents offer modern amenities, including comfortable beds, private decks and open-air bathrooms, providing a perfect balance of comfort and nature immersion.

The island’s main drawcard is diving and snorkelling, as you can explore the reef directly from the island, encountering a kaleidoscope of underwater wonders. Nature walks and birdwatching are also popular activities on the island, with opportunities to spot various bird species and learn about the unique flora and fauna that call Wilson Island home.

 

Great Keppel Island

Last, but by no means least, is Great Keppel Island.

Offering a tropical paradise experience that showcases the natural beauty of the Southern Great Barrier Reef, this fabulous island destination lies off the coast of Yeppoon.
A beach lover’s paradise, Keppel boasts 17 beaches, providing the perfect setting to unwind and soak up the sun. Whether lounging on the soft sand or swimming in the warm waters, you’ll be awestruck by breathtaking coastal scenery.

Great Keppel Island is one of the best islands in Queensland for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking trails weave their way around the island, offering the chance to explore its diverse ecosystems and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding ocean. Similarly, water activities like snorkelling, diving, kayaking, fishing and SUP are also popular, allowing you to explore the colourful coral gardens and encounter an array of aquatic creatures, including tropical fish, turtles and even dolphins.

Great Keppel Island offers a range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly backpacker hostels to luxury beachfront resorts. Whether you prefer a cosy beach bungalow or a private villa with stunning ocean views, you will find something suitable.

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Spencer

Hi! My name is Spencer and I have created Beach Scenes to help you find the perfect travel destination for your beach holiday in Queensland.

I hope the reviews and recommendations on my site inspire you to book an Australia Queensland vacation!

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