Top 10 Islands to visit when Backpacking Australia02:49 PM on Tue 21 Jan 2014

From the world’s largest sand island, to the home of Cassius – the world’s largest Crocodile – join Base Backpackers as we explore Australia’s Top 10 Islands!

We all have it – the desire to travel to a deserted, tropical island – leaving our jobs, worries and responsibilities behind. Australia (although an island in itself), is home to 8,222 islands...  the choices are endless! To make your planning a tad easier, here is our Top 10 list of ‘must see’ islands!

1.         Whitsunday Island

Where?          The largest of the 74 Whitsunday Islands – Airlie Beach

Why?            Home to Whitehaven Beach – voted by Lonely Planet as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world!

How?            Sailing Tours depart from Airlie Beach.  2 Day / 2 Night Sailing Trips are the best value and offer a great backpacker experience! Sleep onboard and have the opportunity to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef.

Where to stay? Base Backpackers Airlie Beach


2.                    Magnetic Island

Where?       4 hours south of Cairns – a 30 minute ferry from Townsville

Why?            3 simple words: Full Moon Party! Australia’s very own Full Moon Party is hosted on the island each month, bringing a huge DJ line up, a beach front bar & loads of bucket drinking backpackers. For every other day of the month, Magnetic Island is quiet and offers walking trails, hidden beaches, snorkelling, a Koala Sanctuary & 80% of Australia’s Bird Life.

How?            The Greyhound stops at the ferry terminal in Townsville. Base Backpackers offer inclusive accommodation, meal, snorkel & ferry packages.

Where to stay? Base Backpackers Magnetic Island

3. Phillip Island

Where?        One hour south of Melbourne

Why?            Surf Beaches, Koala & Kangaroo Parks, Penguin Parade, Seal Colonies & Amazing Views

How?             Day Tours depart from Melbourne daily. Alternatively, hire a Campervan for 2 -3 days and explore Phillip Island and Victoria’s surrounding surf beaches

Where to stay? Base Backpackers Melbourne

4. Rottnest Island

Where?        Perth, Western Australia

Why?            Rich with history, Rottnest once served as an internment camp and military base during the war. Today, it offers white, sandy beaches, snorkelling and the chance to see a Quokka (looks like a tiny kangaroo – and can only be found on Rottnest)!

How?             The best way to explore Rottnest is by bike! Packages can be purchased that include Perth City pick up, Ferry Transfers & Bike Rental.

Where to stay? Old Swan Barracks Hostel

5. Fraser Island

Where?       North of Brisbane. Ferries depart from Rainbow Beach or Hervey Bay

Why?            The largest sand island IN THE WORLD! The only way to get around is by 4WD. Surrounding surf beaches are too rough to swim in, but the island is home to beautiful blue lakes - Lake McKenzie & Eli Creek to name a few! The island is rich with aboriginal history, eucylyptus forests & the infamous Aussie Dog – the Dingo!

How?            3 Day / 2 Night Tag Along Camping Safaris are the most popular option. 4WD vehicles, food, cooking & camping facilities and maps are provided. Tours depart from Hervey Bay & Rainbow Beach.

Where to stay? Palace Backpackers Hervey Bay / Frasers On Rainbow

6. Great Keppel Island

Where? Capricorn Coast, near Rockhampton

Why? If you are searching for an island 'off the beaten track,' Great Keppel is a hidden gem: 28km of white, sandy beaches and the Great Barrier Reef

Where to stay? Emu Beach Resort

7. Fitzroy Island

Where?        Great Barrier Reef, Cairns

Why?            Ocean Trampoline, Kayaking, Snorkelling, Paddleboarding, National Park, Walking Trails & Island Bar / Restaurant. The island is still relatively quiet as opposed to its neighbouring Green Island

How?             One hour ferry from cairns

Where to stay? Calypso Backpackers / Gilligans Backpackers

8. Lady Musgrave Island

Where? 1770, Queensland

Why?  Lady Musgrave is the second most southern island on the Great Barrier Reef and offers an experience a little less occupied than most on the tourist trail. Snorkelling here is amazing as well as glass bottom boat tours and walking trails.  

How?  Tours depart from 1770

Where to stay? Cool Bananas Backpackers

9. Moreton Island

Where?        Brisbane / Surfers Paradise coastline

Why?  South of Fraser Island and shaped exactly the same, Moreton Island offers swimmable beaches, great snorkelling, dolphin spotting and the opportunity to try sandboarding!  

How?             Tours depart daily from Brisbane & Surfer’s Paradise

Where to stay? Base Backpackers Brisbane / Aquarius Backpackers Surfer's Paradise

10. Green Island

Where?        Great Barrier Reef, one hour from Cairns

Why?            Home to Cassius – the world’s largest crocodile! Green Island is busier than its neighbouring Fitzroy Island – offering glass bottom boat tours, snorkelling, sandy beaches and an on island pool.

How?             Ferries and Tours depart from Cairns daily

Where to stay? Giligans Backpackers / Calypso Backpackers

For More info, contact our travel experts by clicking on the 'More info' links above. Alternatively, email

Tags: Beach , Australia , Island Getaway , Snorkel , Scuba Dive

Add Comments

Name *  
Email (will not be published)
Comments *  

To help prevent spam comments, please click on the key

I love Queenstown!:

I love Queenstown, and so will you :) more

Base Magnetic Island is truly magnetic:

Magnetic Island is Located within the islands of the Great Barrier Reef in north Queensland. Its more

Rotorua - Feel the Spirit:

You are visiting New Zealand, you jump on your bus and hear your next stop will be Rotorua – New more

2 Dutchies and a Campervan:

Traveling in Campervan is a great way to experience more

Around the World in one City - Melbourne:

Melbourne Has Everything you could possibly desire and more


Contact Us | About Us | Base or XBase | Hostel or Backpacker | Base Jumping | Work & Travel | Full Moon Down Under | Business News | Nomads Fraser Island | MojosurfMad Travel | Privacy Policy | Terms & ConditionsSitemap

Copyright © 2003–2011 Base Backpackers Pty Ltd ABN 14 099 0555 71 | Base Backpackers GST 086-023-849 | Trademark ™ The “Base” name and red “X” are licensed trademarks of Base Backpackers. A.C.B. Holdings Ltd covers New Zealand bookings.| All rights reserved. Images supplied by Joe Florian, Cybele Malinowski, Miles Holden, Tourism Australia, Tourism New Zealand & Base.