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10 Pristine, Uncrowded Islands of Australia

Home > Everywhere > Animals and Wildlife | Beaches | Boating | Escape the City | Fun Things To Do
by Finy (subscribe)
A retired business owner, my passions are cooking, photography and eating. I use all three of these when I write for which is on HubGarden
Published October 13th 2016
Don't like crowds? Then Read on-10 Islands that are quieter
Islands of Australia
Australia is surrounded by thousands of Islands and it is quite difficult to pick out the top 10 that are so worth visiting! I have therefore not included the more well known ones, and concentrated on those that do not get a mention often.

These islands mostly have small populations and would provide a very relaxing, peaceful holiday without the flocks of tourist that you will find on most of the larger, well-known islands of Australia.

If you are looking for a quiet, peaceful getaway, then read on!


There is such a huge choice, and landscapes are so varied on these islands, and it would take years to visit them all.


Orpheus Island, Queensland
Queensland has some of the most beautiful islands in the world, with the great expanse of coral, and the Barrier Reef being one of the Seven Wonders of the World.


Orpheus Island is an "under the radar" gem which has about 25 beaches, and it is just off Townsville. It consists of 1400 hectares of bush, and 14 stylish rooms and suites, and the cost is around $9000 per week for full board for two people.

You can snorkel on the outer Barrier Reef, just 10 nautical miles away, or explore the neighbouring Fantome Island, which was a former leper colony.

Orpheus Island

If you like remote, quiet holidays, this is the one for you, as all other hotels are about 20 kms away.

Orpheus jetty

There is not a lot of accommodation on this Island, however, it offers five star luxury and would be a beautiful, peaceful place to visit.

Cocos Keeling Islands
The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are in a remote territory in the Indian Ocean. They consist of 2 coral atolls which have 27 tiny islands with a total of about 14 square kms. Just two of these, West Island and Home Island, are inhabited with a total population of approximately 600.

The Cocos (Keeling) Islands are located in the Indian Ocean about 2900 kms north-west of Perth and 3700 kilometres west of Darwin and these islands became an Australian Territory in 1955.

"King" of the Cocos Islands was the title of five generations of men of the Clunies-Ross family from 1827 until 1978, and they settled the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. The title was initially given by the press in 1903 but later self-proclaimed in 1978, when the Australian government bought part of this island from Mr John Clunies-Ross.

Apart from North Keeling Island, which is 30 kilometres from the main group, the Islands form a horseshoe-shaped atoll surrounding a lagoon. North Keeling Island was declared a National Park in 1995 and is administered by Parks Australia.

Cocos Island

All these treasures have white sandy beaches, palm trees and lagoons, and accommodation starts at around $85 per night.

West Island has the airport and visitor centre. Across the lagoon, there is the Home Island Museum which explores the culture of the resident Cocos Malay people. To the north there is the isolated Pulu Keeling National Park which has bird colonies and a shipwreck.

Houtman Abrolhos Islands
The Abrolhos Islands is a group of 122 coral-reef fringed islands located about 60 km west of Geraldton in Western Australia. There are three main groups of islands: Wallabi, Pelsaert and Easter, scattered over a length of about a hundred kilometres.

The islands are managed by the Department of Fisheries of WA and are a reserve for the conservation of flora and fauna as well as tourism. The waters around the islands are protected for the conservation of marine life.


If you like spearfishing, fishing, watching whales etc, there are a number of charters and tours you can go on, and this is another "hidden gem" of the Australian islands. There is a rich marine life with beautiful coral reefs which make these islands a delight to visit.

By Jorge Láscar from Australia, CC BY 2.0,

The Abrolhos are one of the most significant seabird breeding sites in Australia. Schools of bait fish provide heaps of food to support colonies of Shearwaters, Noddies, Petrels and Terns. Over ninety species of seabirds have been identified on the islands and numerous species roost and breed in the mangrove trees and on the dunes and shores.

There are also several small plane trips you can take, and this aerial view is quite spectacular.

The islands are also well known for numerous shipwrecks, the most famous being the Dutch ships Batavia, wrecked in 1629, and the Zeewijk, which was wrecked in 1727. More details can be found here

The Mackerel Islands
The Mackerel Islands are an ideal place for both diving, snorkelling and fishing. Fish that you are like to catch in this area include marlin, sailfish, cod, yellow fin tuna, coral trout, queenfish, spangled emperor, red and golden trevally, snapper, and Spanish mackerel. There are also many colourful reef fish and a diversity of coral species.

The islands have over 300 days of sunshine a year and are very casual and quiet. The island surroundings are beautiful, with clean, clear blue waters and pristine coral reefs.


The Mackerel Islands are located in in the Pilbara Coastal region of Western Australia and are made up of ten islands in a group.

The two islands that have accommodation are Direction Island and Thevenard Island which is a nature reserve. Thevenard has excellent fishing tours and is a must for the serious angler, while marine life near both islands feature turtles, whales (Humpback whale, Bryde's whale, Sei whale, Pilot whale, and false Killer whale), dugongs, dolphins, and stingrays. Turtle watching runs from November to March, while whale watching goes from July to September, and dugong breeding is between September and April.

Bird life is prolific in Thevenard, and there are many different species to be spotted on this island.

The first option for accommodation is Club Thevenard Accommodation Village, a renovated ex-mining camp with 30 accommodations and a capacity of 55 guests.


Ceduna is just 5 kms from Thevenard and there are a number of accommodation options in this town, at various prices.

The second choice is Beach Cabins, which comprises 11 fully self-contained cabins on the beach, varying from two to five bedrooms. More information can be found here.

Direction Island: Direction Island has just one accommodation option – one self-contained beach cabin which can accommodate up to eight people. Visitors to Direction Island will have the island to themselves, because this cabin is literally the only structure on the island! So if you want to languish in pristine waters, and have the island to yourself, Direction Island is the place to go!

The Mackerel Islands are about 22 kms from the mainland, near Onslow and south of the town of Karratha, and Onslow is 1,400 kms north of Perth. Boat transfers operate Wednesday and Sundays between Onslow and Thevenard Island, however Direction Island is only accessible by private or charter boat hire. More information can be found here.

King Island
King Island is situated in Bass Strait, between Victoria and Tasmania. The only way onto the island is by plane, and the flight takes roughly 50 minutes from either Victoria or Tasmania.

The Island is known for its fabulous cheeses and cream which are made at the King Island Dairy. This was founded in the early 1900's and King Island Dairy is a renown, award winning and world class speciality cheese and dairy producer.

Here is a video on the King Island Dairy and King Island.

The island is about 64 km long by 27 km wide and has long beaches, rocky coasts, nature reserves, and shipwrecks off the coast.


King Island has a pleasant maritime climate with moderate temperatures throughout the year though conditions can turn rough with gales often reaching over 100 km per hour. The temperature is about 5° cooler than on the mainland in summer.

Wildlife is abundant on the island due to the remoteness and absence of predators, and the Island has two large nature reserves. The Lavinia State Reserve situated on the north east is the largest covering 6400 hectares. The reserve has a couple of beautiful ocean beaches; Nine Mile Beach and Lavinia Beach. Within the reserve is Lake Martha Lavinia and Pennys Lagoon, a fresh water lake.

Seal Rocks State Reserve down in the south west covers around 800 hectares containing an ancient calcified forest and the rugged cliffs of Seal Rocks and the Reserves have walks you can do.

To get around the island, you can either hire a car or take a coach tour to see the wildlife and natural features of the Island. There are also fishing and diving tours, as well as also many walking tracks and beautiful beaches to explore.

There is a vast array of wildlife on King Island including the platypus which you could see at dusk. Occasionally you could also spot an Australian fur seal, or a whale. You will also see little penguins on this island and they are the smallest penguin species, being only about 40 cm tall.


There are a number of accommodation options on the island from hotels and motels to self-contained apartments and cottages. More information on accommodation can be seen at this website and information on King Island in general at this website.

Tiwi Islands
The Tiwi Islands are part of the "Top End" and they are located about 80 km north of Darwin.

There are two islands - Melville and Bathurst Islands, and between them, they cover 8,320 square kms. Melville is Australia's largest island (except for the state of Tasmania) and you can only visit these islands as part of an organised tour. These visits are only during the dry season (March to October or November), and day tours from Darwin are available as are multi-day fishing tours. Most tours visit Bathurst Island.

The islands are known as the "islands of smiles," due to the happy attitude of the approximately 2,500 residents who call the Tiwi Islands home. Over 90% of the residents are indigenous, and most of whom speak Tiwi as their first language.

In addition to swimming and bush-walking, the three most popular activities on the islands are fishing, wildlife viewing, and cultural tours. The following photos is from the ceiling of the Tiwi Art Gallery.

Photo: By Satrina Brandt - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

There are many species of fish to be caught near these islands, and you can also see whales, dolphins, turtles, dugongs and crocodiles.

Aboriginal cultural tours play an important part of tourism on the islands, and a visit to the historical art museum is one of the main attractions, as is a walk-around their main town Nguiu, and the historical Catholic Church. Also of interest is a tour around the artisan workshops, watching traditional dancing and a smoking ceremony. These Islands are known for their vibrant and colourful artwork, including batik, pottery, textile screen painting, and carving.

Photo: By Toursim NT - Imagegallery Tourism NT, Copyrighted free use,

Visitors can find accommodation at The Lodge, which looks directly out onto Aspley Straight and this Straight separates Bathurst and Melville Islands. The lodge has two air-conditioned bedrooms off either side and is set within a tropical garden. There are also a few camping sites, however, you must obtain a permit in advance.

You can reach these islands on the airline Fly Tiwi, or go from Darwin on a ferry.

Hindmarsh Island
Hindmarsh Island is off the coast of South Australia and is off Fleurieu Peninsula near Goolwa. It is joined to Goolwa by a bridge and has about 300 permanent residents living on the island.

The Island is therefore very easy to get to and it is an unusual island in that it has both saltwater and freshwater coasts and is a great vantage point for viewing Australia's largest river opening into the sea.

This Island has the Coorong National Park, which is over 1,400 square kms around the island. The Coorong Lagoon is a 100 km depression between high sand dunes and is part of the Park.

Because of the mix of fresh and salt-water and the sizeable high-quality aquatic bird habitats, Hindmarsh is home to a wide variety of fish and bird species, making it an ideal place for birdwatchers and fishermen.

The Island has a marina on the Western shore and is supposedly the largest freshwater marina in the southern hemisphere. This huge Marina gives great opportunities for many water-based activities, and in particular sailing.

By Ian W. Fieggen - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Bushwalking and camping are also popular on the Island, as are eco tours, cruises into Coorong National Park, boat and skippered yacht charters, diving and snorkelling and golfing.

Being so close to the mainland and so easily accessible, there is a vast range of accommodation on the Island and these include a peaceful homestead where you can chill out and do as much or as little as you want, and this is in a forest/bush area.

There is also accommodation for families accommodating up to 9 people, and these overlook the Lower Murray River. Prices are varied for these accommodations, and you can find more information on this area here.

Hook Island
Hook Island is the second largest of the Whitsunday Islands off the Queensland coast. It is one of the more rugged, uninhabited islands and therefore suitable for those who do not like large resorts, and a lot of people.

Hook Island
By Niki Gango - Cropped slightly from File:Hook Island Panorama.JPG., CC BY-SA 3.0,

Being about 58 sq kms, most of which is a National Park, it is a haven for diving and snorkelling enthusiasts. It has two fjord-like inlets on the southern side of the Island and these are about 5 kms each and yachts can anchor offshore from here.

The island is mountainous with the largest peak, Hook Peak which has freshwater streams which boat owners can use to refill their water tanks.

This Island is separated from the mainland by a deep water channel called the Hook Passage and turtles, fish and whales are frequently seen in this Channel.

Visitors to Hook Island can come and escape the hustle and bustle of the bigger, more inhabited islands, and have a very quiet, peaceful holiday.

Hook Island Reef
By portengaround - Hook Island Reef, CC BY-SA 2.0,

The only accommodation on the island is provided by the Hook Island Wilderness Resort, a low-key resort run by a relaxed management team. The resort caters to families and couples.

Resort Hook Island

Guests can snorkel right in the bay or can join a boat trip to Crayfish Beach or Pebble Beach, which are further afield but offer better coral reef snorkelling opportunities. You can also use the resort kayaks and there is an underwater coral viewing platform though this only has small windows.

For those who do not dive, other things to do are take a ride in a semi-submersible boat and see coral, fish, and other marine life.

You can also arrange other boat trips visiting good reefs around the island.

The resort arranges transfers to and from the island daily.

Woody Island
Woody Island is one of more than 100 islands and inlets that make up the Recherche Archipelago, a group of islands ranging 230km from Esperance, WA to the Great Australian Bight. Surrounded by pristine bush land and ocean, there's plenty of time for bush walking, hiking, swimming, snorkelling and fishing.

You can swim in crystal clear waters of Shearwater Bay, as well as explore the marine life while you snorkel.

Woody Island, Esperance

There are walks where you can see birds, lizards as well as views from the southern side of the Island.

On the northern side there is a meandering walk to Skinny Dip Bay, and you can perhaps also swim there if you forgot your bathers!

Skinny Dip Bay
By Aussie Oc at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

There are several other walks which range from easy to medium difficult and last up to one hour, and on some of these walks there are stunning views to the mainland as well as other islands in the Recherche Archipelago.

The island is named for its stands of tall trees, a rare sight in this Archipelago. This is an interesting island as there are no snakes or other predators which make wildlife timid.

Accommodation is provided at Woody Island Eco Stays and the Island is approximately 30 minutes from Esperance by boat. Please enquire with Esperance Island Cruises for transfers as well as accommodation.

Bribie Island
You can learn a lot about Bribie Island here

Basically, it is an Island 65 km north of Brisbane, and it is linked to the mainland by a road bridge making it easy to come and go from.

By Kgbo - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Bribie Island National Park covers nearly a third of the total area of the island, and access to the National Park now requires a permit to be purchased.

Bribie Island offers beautiful coastal scenery, low-key bush camping spots, several boating and fishing areas in the Pumicestone Passage, excellent bird watching opportunities as well as delightful spring wildflowers.

By Vmenkov - Own work, GFDL,

Sheltered, with calm waters, the Woorim Beach on this island is a delightful way to relax and spend time in the sun and surf.

Swim in the surf at Bribie Island
By Kgbo - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Bribie Island, due to its proximity to the mainland, has several shopping Centres, as well as two large, modern hotels—the Bribie Island Hotel at Bellara, and the Blue Pacific Hotel on the 'surf side' of the island at Woorim.

There is also a well-established golf club at Woorim, with a second golf course and club house recently completed at Banksia Beach as part of the Pacific Harbour development.
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Why? For a quiet holiday on pristine islands
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Your Comment
A good selection Finy especially for those of us who prefer a quieter more scenic holiday.
by Gayle Beveridge (score: 3|5994) 524 days ago
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