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!
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).
For a full outfit post, click here.
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!
- 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.
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.
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!
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!
There's a beautiful resort too, where guests get treated to a personal dinner on the beach: so romantic!
- Turtle spotting
-Glass bottom boat/ semi sub
- 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!
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!
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!
-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?
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!
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!
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!
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!
- A get away
- As a gateway to the reef
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.
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.
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.
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!
- THE BEACH!
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?