2 February 2016

The Top 5 Islands In The Great Barrier Reef

top islands great barrier reef

If I had to write a list of my favorite things ever to do, island hopping would certainly make the cut! Living on The Great Barrier Reef, I literally have one of the seven natural wonders of the world right on my doorstep! 

I am so excited to share with you guys, my own, personal paradise. Get ready for idyllic white beaches, a rainbow of reef, a lot of beachy fashion and enough palm trees to fill all of Yorkshire! Here's my five favorite islands on the Great Barrier Reef...

5. Dunk Island 

The relatively unexplored Dunk Island seems to come with a side plate of adventure! If crystal clear waters and drift-wood dotted beaches are your kind of thing, Dunk Island is one for you!

Mission Beach island 
The island is a great spot for camping, although unfortunately there is no glam option, as the resort remains closed after the devastating effects of tropical Cyclone Yasi in 2011.

It is also incredibly easy to access for a day trip, with regular water taxis from Mission Beach (which is a stunning place worth exploring in its own right). 
Dunk Island
 For a full outfit post, click here.

The Island has can be explored by several walking tracks, one of which is a huge, sweaty hike to a stunning view of the Family Islands National Park.
Dunk island beach
If you're in need of some grub, the 'Jetty Cafe' is literally on the beach and has the most chilled atmosphere ever. 

The only downside of Dunk Island is the lack of reef worth snorkeling, but it's picturesque beauty still guarantees it a place in my top five!

Great For:
- Hiking
- Relaxing (there is a cafe right on the beach!)
- Swimming (although marine stingers inhabit waters from December- April)

4. Green Island 

Located just an hour off Cairns, Green Island is my go-to haven. I visit here around four times a year and each time I leave feeling refreshed, rejuvenated and inspired. This coral cay is a little tourist hot spot and is surrounded by colorful reef and an abundance of cool blue Ocean.
sea turtle ocean 

Words cannot describe how magical it is to swim with sea turtles! They are so graceful and beautiful, I feel like some sort of tropical mermaid floating alongside them! Green Island, in my experience, is the best place to spot these rare cuties! Snorkel over the grassy areas to find grazing turtles or gaze out over Green Island pier to see them surface to take a breath.

clown fish great barrier reef 

Although the quality of reef is no where near as pristine as what you would encounter on the outer barrier reef, there is so much marine life! Whilst snorkeling at this turquoise paradise, I have been lucky to spot rays, clown fish (Nemo), giant clams and reef sharks. Don't worry about the sharks: They're harmless! And kinda cute!

turtle green island
When your not being a mermaid, you can enjoy a nice lunch at one of the islands eateries. There's a small aquarium too, where you can see the largest salt water croc in Queensland!

giant clam great barrier reef

There's a beautiful resort too, where guests get treated to a personal dinner on the beach: so romantic!

Great For:
- Turtle spotting
-Glass bottom boat/ semi sub
- Relaxing
- Swimming (the resort pool is open to the public.)
- A relaxing getaway

3. Magnetic Island

'Maggies', as the locals like to call it, is one for the animal lovers! The island is easily accessible from Townsville and provides both luxury and budget accommodation for those wanting to stay longer. Believe me: you will want to!
rock wallaby magnetic island

Holiday here and you will not be along! The island is home to a colony of oh my gosh they're so cute- little kangaroos rock wallabies, who will happily eat wallaby pellets straight from your hand! 

great barrier reef townsville 

Although you can snorkel directly of one of the stunning bays, there isn't any reef off the island. However, just a two hour boat trip away is some of the most colorful reef I've ever seen! I totally recommend paying it a visit.

Magnetic Island has lots of little beaches to explore and can be done in style! Topless Barbie cars and jeeps are available for rent, so make sure you bring your vintage mix tape and your over-sized sunglasses!

Pull over at the iconic fort track and hike to the historic war fort whilst wild koala spotting. Magnetic Island has one of the largest wild koala populations in Queensland so you're likely to spot at least one furry cutie!

Great For:
-A Getaway
-Snorkelling (Although the barrier reef is a two hour ride from the island)

2. Hamilton Island
Ah...Hamilton Island! Once you go there, you never want to leave!

 The most commercial of the stunning Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton Island is like living in a luxurious little Island community! Everyone drives around in topless golf buggies, what's not to love?

sunset hamilton island

Hamilton Island comes in at number two due to it's endless plethora of activities. Adrenaline junkies can enjoy parasailing and jet skiing, whilst those looking for more of a relaxed time can indulge in a luxury spa treatment. Add in stunning beaches, cocktails at sunset and a more relaxed vibe than Woodstock and it's obvious why a lot of people spend weeks here!
parasailing whitsundays 

You can while away luxurious days at one of the four public pools and top it off with a five star dining cruise. Throw in some snorkeling and kayaking for an adventure hit!

hamilton island harbour
See the full outfit post for this look here

Nature lovers: rejoice! Hamilton Island has some of the friendliest flappy friends that the reef can offer. Cockatoos joining you for your breakfast is totally common, as are lorikeets jumping on your picnic table! One cheeky little cocky even stole a piece of my pizza!
cockatoos hamilton island
Hike one of the many walking tracks to discover hidden beaches and out-of-this-world views. And don't forget to head to the best view of the island for 10 dollar cocktails! You will love it, I promise!
Great For:
- A get away
-Water Sports
- As a gateway to the reef
- Wildlife

1. Whitehaven Beach (Whitsunday Island)
Always ranking at the top of those 'best beaches in the world' lists that clog our Twitter feeds and taking my top spot is Whitehaven Beach. With sands as white as snow as sea's as turquoise as...well...turquoise, this place seems like something from a beautiful dream.
most beautiful beach in world 

The island is completely uninhabited, leaving the beach exactly as nature intended it. It is a short 30 minute boat ride from Hamilton Island and is included as a highlight in many of the Whitsundays live aboard cruises.

whitehaven beach 

This pristine silica beach stretches for a bright, white, 7kms! I suggest taking a boat trip along the length of the island, before pulling in at Tongue Bay. From Tongue bay, take a short hike up to the lookout to view Hill Inlet: a mesmerizing swirl of white sand and aqua seas.

white sand 

The sand itself is the best in the world, it was even used to make the Hubble Telescope! If you ever visit, clean your gold and silver jewellery with the pure white sand to make it sparkling new! I don't suggest that you turn up with a sack of jewellery though, you might look a bit odd!

whitehaven beach
Great For:
- Scenery
- Swimming

Planning a road trip? Here's my trusty map:

Get The Island Look

Are you going to add any of these places to your bucket list?



  1. All of the islands look really beautiful, amazing photos. x

  2. What beautiful islands! I'd love to go swimming with the sea turtles at Green Island and then see all the animals at Magnetic Island. They both look like amazing places to visit!

  3. Wow these photos are so stunning! Thanks for the tips doll!

  4. paradise on earth, fantastic shots, my dear

  5. paradise on earth, fantastic shots, my dear

  6. Love it! I had fun reading this.

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  7. Beautiful photos :)
    Maria V.

  8. Amazing pics as ever doll, love your style!

    Alice Cerea,
    Alice Cerea blogger

  9. I've never been to Australia before, but these beaches look absolutely amazing! I'd love to visit them someday, great photos and post!

  10. Omg, this just made me want to go on holiday ASAP haha

    Hope you have a Fab week! Kisses,

  11. Rachel, you are so stunning! Your pictures make we want to go hop on a plane to an island somewhere! You are so lucky! Also, thank you for your kind words always! So glad we connected. Love you!
    Much love from Paris!
    xoxo, Vanessa

  12. Amazing post, breathtaking pictures as well, truly inspiring, thanks for sharing!!!


  13. Wow, Rachel, these places look so surreal! It's amazing how beautiful our world is. Thanks so much for sharing and I certainly hope to travel to these gorgeous places someday!



  14. Oh I want to go to all of these places so bad! Australia is just so beautiful!!

    xo, mikéla /

  15. austrailia is def on my bucketlist. one day for sure I need to visit this beautiful place. the pictures look amazing.


  16. So many beautiful places! This makes me want to travel :)

  17. All of the photos are so beautiful, I can't even imagine how gorgeous is the nature when you are actually seeing it with your own eyes!


  18. Stunning photos!

  19. How fantastic it must be to swim with sea turtles. I'm yet to visit this area but I'll share this on Twitter as it certainly gave me wanderlust

  20. Amazing post dear! Such beautiful islands,would love to visit them all! :)

  21. Beautiful places, I wish I could visit them all now =)

    Fashion and Cookies - fashion blog

  22. My gosh each Island looks more and more like Heaven the more your scroll down your page! How amazing is the sunset on Hamilton Island <3 It looks like paradise Rach <3333!!!

    Serene | I Am Serene L

  23. They all look amazing. I'm gonna add them to the list of places I would like to visit

  24. These photos are stunning! All of these places look incredibly beautiful!

  25. Beautiful! Stunning!!.. Just wow!! Amazing pictures.. :)


  26. Woah, this post makes me want to hop on a plane and fly on over ♥

  27. I like your blog, its really dope.
    Do you want to follow each other?
    If you want, than follow me, and let me know in comments, so I can follow you back with pleasure.

    We can follow each other on Instagram @andjela.dujovic, let me know in the comments so I can follow you back.

  28. It's true, you live in paradise. Those photos are amazing. Love the ones with animals in them.

    Jasmine xx

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  31. All of these islands are beautiful! That last one however is jaw dropping! I MUST go there and when I do I'll have to stop by and say hi to you too!

    -M || Custom Artwork Giveaway -

  32. I'd already be happy just to visit one island! Hopefully one day!


  33. The water is the clearest blue I've seen in a long time, the views are breathtaking!

  34. It's all so beautiful!! I would love to see some of these places! I hope you have had a lovely day! :)

    Much love,
    Marianne x

  35. This list of islands is so amazing! When I was younger, I stayed on Hamilton Island...and I have to say, it was one of the most beautiful place I've ever been!

  36. Green island looks so beautiful, I have always lived by the sea all my life but have a little phobia of being in it, with water that crystal clear though- wow! xxx

  37. These photos are beyond words.. Wonderful post babe.
    Xox, Raysa

  38. Wow what gorgeous photos - the islands all look incredible xx

    Gemma |

  39. It looks like paradise! The last beach is stunning! Love seeing the underwater life too. Fantastic photos!


  40. These photos ar gorgeous! Absolutely stunning.

    XO, Jessi

  41. Wow this is AMAZING! The photos are just so breathtaking! =)

    - Cielo
    Mermaid in Heels

  42. Your photos are lovely! These places are so magical and somewhere I defiantly need to go to very soon! So tempting especially how deep blue the ocean is amazing :-)

  43. Wow such stunning photos. Truly a dream destination xoxo

  44. Wow such stunning photos. Truly a dream destination xoxo

  45. These photos are so pretty, I want to go

  46. I won't mind visiting these islands at all. So beautiful- omg!!

  47. The colours in these photos are breathtakingly beautiful Rachel, really, so perfect! I'm so keen to visit Australia and rest assured your blog will be my first port of call for tips once I eventually book a trip one day! :)

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice

  48. omg- stunning!

  49. Thanks for sharing the top islands here, I will consider these if I am planning my abroad trip! Have a lovely day beautiful lady!

  50. I´m in love with this blogpost, your dress, your tan and the pictures ♥ Just perfect!

  51. I so need to book a proper beach holiday now after reading this post #inspired :)

  52. I live down in Victoria but I've always wanted to go to the Great Barrier Reef. You're pictures are absolutely beautiful, I heard it was starting to die out which is really upsetting considering how magical the places are. One of my friends goes to Green Island and Whitehaven Beach every year.

    Sally ~ DiagonSally

  53. I have never been to any of those Islands but they all look fantastic!! I love the looks you wore to each Island, you look absolutely fantastic and the blue dress is actually my favorite one!!!

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