In case you hadn’t realised, the seasons have changed and we’re now officially in autumn in Australia. Whilst in some parts of the country the summer weather is slow to disappear and it may not be too late to get your beach fix, in other parts the cooler days will have you already dreaming of your next summer’s beach escapes. To help you with the dreaming, we thought we’d give you our top five Australian islands you may not have heard about. On each one, you’ll have the chance to enjoy an ECO certified experience (or more), meaning that you can soak up the sun, discover something new and know that your visit is not going to cost the earth… or stop you from returning to your new favourite island in years to come.
Broughton Island, NSW
Situated just eight nautical miles north east of Port Stephens, NSW’s Broughton Island has a diverse landscape of volcanic peaks, sandy beaches and forest variation home to endangered frog species and a nesting ground for mutton birds and penguins. The island is also host to two of our Advanced Ecotourism certified operators, Moonshadow – TQC Cruises and Imagine Cruises. With these two operators running activities on the island, there is no shortage of choice and activities to suit everyone’s taste, whether you’re interested in a leisurely swim off the island or exploring the unique habitats and ecosystems on land and over water. Both of our operators provide unique experiences and services with options in dolphin watching, snorkelling, and guided walks.
Rottnest Island, WA
Sitting just nineteen kilometres off the coast of Freemantle, Rottnest Island hosts pristine beaches, clear water, historical sites, natural attractions and several restaurants. With two of our certified operators (Rottnest express, & Rottnest Island Authority) on the island there are several options for travellers seeking accommodation for long stays or quick and easy day trips. With island activities including snorkelling, cycling, skydiving and island exploration. It is also a great place to see the native wildlife including the adorable and unique Quokka. There are many more hidden gems to find on Rottnest island.
Bedarra Island, QLD
This is a true tropical island getaway. Part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, it’s possible to get here by boat from Mission Beach, or via helicopter, if you’re feeling adventurous. Since 2011, Advanced Ecotourism and Climate Action Business certified Bedarra Island Resort has had a comprehensive sustainability program in place for off grid electricity production, waste management, and revegetation projects. This is a great spot to relax and enjoy the island of Bedarra while maintaining your own commitment to sustainability.
Dirk Hartog Island, WA
Holding Advanced Ecotourism Certification on its accommodation and operations, Dirk Hartog Island hosts an Eco lodge, villas, and camping. Sitting just off the coast of Western Australia, the island is accessible by barge, charter boat or light aircraft. With swimming, snorkelling, walking tracks and island exploration, visitors won’t be short on activities. The island also boasts several unique and breathtaking attractions including Rose Lake, rock pools, blowholes and a historical lighthouse.
Magnetic Island, QLD
Just eight kilometres off the coast of Townsville, with an average of 320 sunny days per year, 24 kilometres of walking tracks and 21 beaches, Magnetic Island is a must do for tourists seeking an adventurous getaway. If you have ever dreamed of seeing an ideal tropical sunset or exploring the pristine waters of a World Heritage site by kayak, then Magnetic Island Sea Kayak Tours are for you. Holding Advanced Ecotourism Certification, and Green Travel Leader status on its tour operations. Magnetic Island Sea Kayak Tours offers visitors the option of a guided morning kayak tour or an afternoon sunset tour which boasts some of the most beautiful sunsets in Australia, and exploration of the pristine waters and local coral.
We hope we’ve inspired you to plan your next island holiday. Is there an island that you love, that we haven’t featured? Tell us about it in the comments below!