Orpheus Island, secluded Barrier Reef sanctuary

Located on the Great Barrier Reef, Orpheus Island has been a desirable remote retreat since the 1930s. Orpheus Island is the second largest island in the Palm island group.

Private, exclusive, and romantic, the island only caters to 42 guests at a time, at the Orpheus Island Resort. The resort is the only private land on the entire island.

The island caters to couples and honeymooners who are seeking sanctuary. There are no televisions, telephones, day visitors, dance clubs, or children under 15 on the island.

North Stradbroke Island, Moreton Bay

North Stradbroke Island is a beautiful sand island in Moreton Bay, home to 3,000 welcoming residents.

Locals endearingly call the island  – one of the world’s largest sand islands – “Straddie.”

History

Before 1896 North Stradbroke Island was part of Stradbroke Island but in that year a massive storm separated the two islands and created a waterway – the Jumpinpin Channel.

The island’s aboriginal name is Minjerribah. The first European settlers to stay on the island were three shipwrecked sailors; the local aboriginal community supplied them with food, shelter, and a canoe to help with their onward journey.

Norfolk Island, a unique culture with a colonial past

Norfolk Island a tiny island located between Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia, in the South Pacific Ocean – about  1,000 miles northeast of Sydney and 600 miles north of Auckland.

The Island, one of Australia’s external territories, caters to couples and families. As well, low-cost holiday packages make Norfolk Island a great affordable honeymoon destination.

The island is considered by some to be one of the world’s most beautiful islands, and as a result the island is enjoying record-numbers of visitors.

Mornington Island, Gulf of Carpentaria

Mornington Island is the largest and northern-most of 22 islands that make up the Wellesley Islands, which are located in the Gulf of Carpentaria. The Mornington Shire totals 1227 square kilometers, of which Mornington Island itself covers 700 square kilometers.

The island has about one thousand residents, most of whom live in the township of Gununa and most of whom are members of the Lardil and Kaiadilt Aboriginal clans.

History

During the early 1900s at the time of Australia’s “protection area,” children and people from tribes on the country’s mainland and area islands were removed from their homes and placed in missions on Mornington Island.

Moreton Island, one of the World’s largest sand islands

Moreton Island is sand island within Moreton Bay, in the south-east part of Queensland. 98% of the island’s landmass is the Moreton Island National Park, and the waters surrounded the island are part of a marine national park as well.

The island is very appealing to nature lovers, given the abundance of outdoor activities on the island.

History

Shell middens have been found on Moreton Island, pointing to Aboriginal populations on the island for 2000 years.

Europeans settled on the island in the mid-1800s, after a vessel was shipwrecked on the island.

Queensland’s oldest lighthouse sits atop Cape Moreton.

Marble Island, Duke Islands, Queensland

Part of the Duke Island group, Marble Island is a private island located 20km off the coast of central Queensland totaling eight square kilometers. The island lies within the Great Barrier Reef UNESCO World Heritage Sited waters.

Well-traveled “yachties” consider the Duke Group of islands to be one of the most beautiful archipelagos in Queensland.

Those seeking ultimate quiet and R&R will appreciate the seclusion of Marble Island.

History

Marble Island was settled in the 1800s for agricultural purposes.  At the turn of the century mining started on a part of the island which had a source of iron ore.

Magnetic Island, near Townsville, Queensland

Magnetic Island lies right offshore Townsville in Cleveland Bay, Queensland. The mountainous island totals 52 square kilometers, and has become a veritable suburb of Townsville, with over 2,000 permanent residents.

Magnetic Island has some of the nicest weather in the Tropics along the North Queensland coast, making it a delightful destination for tourists. Located in a rain shadow, Magnetic Island boats over 320 days of sunshine a year, which is atypical for the region.

The island is known for its annual jazz festival, which attracts jazz loves from both within and without Australia. The event is held in August, and has been running for fourteen years.

Macquarie Island, sub-Antarctic experience

Halfway between New Zealand and Antarctica you’ll find Macquarie Island, a Tasmanian island located in the southwestern Pacific ocean 1,300km south-east of Tasmania. Macquarie  Island is endearingly referred to as “Macca.”

A UNESCO world heritage site since 1997, this island is considered part of the Antipodes Sub-Antarctic Islands tundra eco-region.

Australia has operated a research station on the island’s northern shore for over 50 years.  The Australian Antarctic Division (AAD) research base is home 20-40 residents a year who conduct scientific research on a variety of topics (biology, physics, meteorology, auroral physics…).

Lord Howe Island, picturesque World Heritage Site

600 kilometers east of the Australian mainland you’ll find Lord Howe Island, a small island in the Tasman Sea with just 350 island residents. The island is part of the Lord Howe Island Group which includes Ball’s Pyramid, nearby.

Lord Howe Island is absolutely picturesque, and is just one of four islands on the UNESCO World Heritage Site register for global significance due to biodiversity and beauty. The Island became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the early 1980s. Two-thirds of the island is a protected Permanent Park Reserve, and surrounding the island is the protected Lord Howe Island Marine Park.

Long Island, Whitsundays, Queensland

Long Island is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful islands in the Whitsunday group. The island offers three distinct resorts to island guests.

History

Archaeological evidence demonstrates that the aboriginal Ngaro people inhabited Long Island for as long as 8,000 years.

The first European settlers were shipwrecked onto the island in the 1820s  after their boat was damaged on a reef offshore. Unable to fix the ship, the crew of almost 60 lived on the island for three months before being rescued by another boat.

The island remained uninhabited until Carl Alderman moved onto the island in 1921 to grow bananas.