Australia – Amazing islands to stay in Queensland

Cementing the Sunshine State’s position as the ultimate tropical holiday destination, five Queensland islands have been named in the top ten for Wotif’s Best Island category in the online travel provider’s Uniquely Aussie Awards.

Whitsundays hotspot, Hamilton Island, took out second place on the leader board, followed closely by the world’s largest sand island K’gari (Fraser Island) in third place. Magnetic Island, just a twenty-minute fast ferry from Townsville, was voted fifth, with Heron Island on the Southern Great Barrier Reef and Moreton Island in Brisbane rounding out the list at number nine and ten respectively.

With summer just around the corner, book a holiday to one of these ten island stays, including any of the five Queensland destinations rated in the top ten by Wotif and welcome in the warm weather.

Luxurious lie ins on Hamilton Island

As far as beachfront stays with incredible island views go, the luxe oasis that is qualia on Hamilton Island takes the cake. With views across the Whitsunday Islands this lavish property offers 60 individual pavilions tucked away on the northernmost point of the island. Turn up the privacy even more and holiday like a celebrity, by staying at Papillon or Aquila luxury holiday homes (next door to qualia), just as George Clooney and Julia Roberts did while filming the 2022 romantic blockbuster, Ticket to Paradise.

Kick back on the sand at K’gari (Fraser Island)

Switch the dial from ultra-luxe holiday homes fit for Hollywood royalty to no fuss beachfront stays and camp on the world’s largest sand island – K’gari (Fraser Island). Here, outdoors buffs can choose from 45 camp sites, many only a few barefoot steps to the beach. Set up camp at one of the eight sites along the eastern side of the island for jaw dropping sunrises, and for breathtaking sunsets head to the western side facing the mainland. More experienced campers can go off grid and pitch a tent at one of ten isolated campsites rarely accessed by other travellers. By day, explore the island’s most iconic landmarks including the freshwater oasis that is Lake McKenzie, hit the sand and 4WD along 75 Mile Beach or wind down with a float along Eli Creek.

Beachfront on a budget at Magnetic Island

When it comes to accommodation with a view, Base Backpackers at Magnetic Island has the best of both worlds. Not only is it easy on the wallet, but the youth hostel also just happens to boast the most spectacular outlook from each of the five private oceanfront bungalows (some with en-suite). Wake up and look beyond the edge of the double bed over the iconic Magnetic Island boulders to some seriously Instagrammable Pacific Ocean views. Not bad considering these rooms start at around $133 per night!

Switch off to reconnect at Heron Island and Wilson Island

A coral cay located on the Southern Great Barrier Reef, Heron Island is fringed by white sands, crystal clear water and gardens of coral that are home to vibrant marine life. For an unforgettable escape for two, snaffle up the Point Suite featuring a private terrace with water views. The island is famous for its incredible scuba diving and snorkelling, with more than 20 dive sites available. Famous oceanographer, Jacques Cousteau ranked it as one of his ten top dive sites in the world.

For a total digital detox, take a 40-minute slow boat from Heron Island to neighbouring Wilson Island and camp out in style. Just 5.4 hectares in size, this pint sized gem packs a punch when it comes to secluded island stays. The island hosts nine beachfront glamping tents surrounded by coastal trees just above the shoreline. Wilson Island is so remote; there’s no emails. No Facebook. No phone. Just you, the sand, the reef and sunshine

X marks the spot just a 75-minute ferry from Brisbane

Cruise just 75-minutes from Queensland’s capital and stumble upon an island treasure where a unique ‘x shaped’ holiday home awaits. Perched on the hillside above the western beach of the world’s third largest sand island, the X House offers an affordable island stay with a funky, new age design featuring corrugated iron exteriors and popping red accents. The house sleeps up to eight guests across two levels and comes with beautiful views across Moreton Bay. While away the summer days basking in the cool ocean breeze from the deck or take a stroll down to the beach and dive the iconic Tangalooma wrecks, walk along the beach at sunset or join Tangalooma Island Resort’s Eco Rangers in hand feeding wild dolphins down by the jetty each evening.

Splash out at The House on Lizard Island

The House is a newly holiday home and cottage accommodation perched atop a pristine headland of the exclusive Lizard Island. Having opened its doors in July 2022, this modern manor is accompanied by The Cottage (collectively known as The Estate), which combine to offer a luxurious and private stay on the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef, surrounded by three white-sand beaches perfect for swimming, snorkelling and lazing away the day. The Estate caters for up to eight guests for an all-inclusive stay on a secluded corner of the island with prices from $28,000 per night for the entire House and Cottage (maximum eight guests) or $16,000 per night across a 3-night minimum stay for two guests. Located 240km north of Cairns and 27km off the coast of Queensland, Lizard Island is accessible via breathtaking scenic flight from Cairns.

Beachfront Bliss at The Pavilions on Hayman Island

InterContinental Hayman Island Resort has recently welcomed 12 new ultra-luxury Beachfront Pavilion suites to the island, providing an ‘adults-only’ escape with uninterrupted ocean panoramas. Step out the onto the popping green grass that fringes each of these stand-alone pavilions and with just a few steps, feel the sand between your toes. Inside, the spacious king size bedroom compliments the separate living area which opens out onto a tranquil outdoor deck, topped off with a private heated plunge pool, perfect for a sunset soak.

Drift to sleep floating in an island lagoon

If it’s 360-degree water views and one picturesque island vista you’re looking for then book an overnight stay on Lady Musgrave HQ, where eight unconventional beds float blissfully in the middle of a pristine lagoon on the Southern Great Barrier Reef. Departing Bundaberg, the overnight experience sees guests sprawl out on one of the Queen-size glamping beds (each with roll down canvas walls) on the top deck of a 35 metre long pontoon, 65km from the mainland. The joy of this island escape is felt as soon as day trippers depart leaving overnight guests to snorkel or dive undisturbed, before tucking into a sunset dinner overlooking Lady Musgrave Island.

Rugged luxury on Haggerstone Island

An all-inclusive barefoot luxury resort, Haggerstone Island is located approximately 600km north of Cairns, and just a stone’s throw from the waters of the Torres Strait. Individually designed with a Papua New Guinea and African inspired style in mind, the five beachfront villas feature jaw-dropping ocean views. Haggerstone Island liberates guests from modern life: no phones, no emails, no time constraints, no stress. Hosting a maximum of twelve guests hundreds of miles from civilisation, this island calls to those holidaymakers seeking a mindful escape from everyday life.

Go all out and hire a whole island for less than an arm and a leg

Pumpkin Island might sound like the title of a spooky Halloween movie, but this lesser- known Great Barrier Reef island is far from frightening. One of Australia’s hidden gems located just 14km off the coast from Yeppoon, Pumpkin Island offers a low-key escape for couples, families and larger holiday groups. The six-hectare island is available for exclusive hire from just $2,400 per night and is accessible by private boat or by the scheduled island ferry, from Keppel Bay Marina in Yeppoon. The island has five eco-friendly self-catering cottages and two beach bungalows, sleeping a total of 34 guests.

Whether it’s a luxury beachfront getaway, an eco-focused escape, a family coming together or a secluded couples retreat that tops your holiday list, Queensland’s world class islands feature a line-up of stunning, unique and attention-grabbing stays that will be the envy of any Instagram feed. Plan and book your next island hideaway at