The vast coastline that envelops the buoyant waters surrounding Australia brings with it a stunning array of islands. Get away from the madding crowds and step on to their beaches to feel the romance wafting through the sea-kissed air
Think island getaway and it conjures up images of pristine beaches, clear aqua waters, sanguine sunsets and moonlit dinners for two. But, did you know that Australia is home to some of the world’s most beautiful islands? Explore them and the quintessentially Australian experiences they offer.
Phillip Island, Victoria
The multi-faceted Phillip Island can turn into a mecca of romance if you make the right choices.
Take your pick of the many beach locales like Cowes, Rhyll, New Haven or San Remo, and indulge in a homey cottage or beachside resort. From here, you can set out to discover the island and its activities that range from a face-to-face with penguins, koalas, fur seals and wallabies or unwinding on idyllic beaches, to watching the sunset while indulging in some fresh-off-the-boat seafood at an intimate beach-side café.
Getting There: a two-hour drive from Melbourne; 45-minute ferry-ride from the Mornington Peninsula
Romantic Stay: Silverwater Resort; Ramada Resort; Glen Isla House
Must-Do: Phillip Island Nature Park at dusk to watch the penguin parade
Islands of The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland
If you’re looking for luxury at its very best, Lizard Island is the place to go. The 40 villas on the island provide a perfect backdrop for the ultimate romantic getaway. While they are a little heavy on the wallet, the 24 secluded beaches, gourmet dining under the stars and breathtaking marine life will make it all worth it.
Hayman Island in the Whitsundays commands the centre of the Reef with equal parts indulgence and adventure. Another worthy contender here is action-packed Hamilton Island where your choice of stay ranges from rustic bungalows to modern, high-rise hotels.
For some romance up in the air, hop on a seaplane or helicopter and fly above the Heart Reef. Take in the gorgeous sight of a heart-shaped formation of coral in the midst of a sparkling blue sea.
Getting There: Less than an hour from Cairns by boat, ferry or air
Romantic Indulgence: Bedarra Island
Must-Do: The Reef Sleep that puts you in the middle of the Coral Sea as you spend the night under a sparkling canopy of stars.
Lord Howe Island, New South Wales
This crescent-shaped natural marvel, 600 kilometres off the coast of New South Wales, is listed as a World Heritage site for a reason — contained within and around its 11-kilometre length are rainforests, crystal-clear waters, crisp-white beaches and panoramic views from atop its famous twin peaks.
With only 400 people allowed onto the island at a time, privacy is pretty much a guarantee for you two lovebirds. Pack a basket of chilled bubbly and gourmet local produce, and set off to discover the many secluded beaches on offer that can only be accessed by foot or boat.
Be sure to sprinkle some walking tours and easy hikes on to your itinerary because bird watching from Malabar Hill and Mount Gower are not to be missed.
Getting there: a two-hour flight from Sydney
Pampered Stay: Milky Way Villas; Pinetrees; Arajilla Retreat
Must-Do: Boat ride to Balls Pyramid, the world’s tallest sea stack (vertical rock formation) and one of the most beautiful diving sites in Australia
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
As its name suggests, Kangaroo Island is teaming with enchanting native Aussie wildlife. With more than a third of it a conservation park, this is an animal-lover’s paradise with kangaroos, koalas, sea lions and other indigenous species spread across the island.
Enjoy the luxurious indulgences of this island stay as you savour some of Australia’s best seafood produce and local brews. Dig into some delicious marron — a South Australian seafood delicacy similar to lobster — at Vivonne Bay during your stay here.
Getting there: a two-hour drive from Adelaide to Cape Jervis, followed by a 45-minute ferry ride to Penneshaw. Alternatively, you can take a 30-minute flight from Adelaide airport to Kingscote airport, some 14 kilometres from the town centre
Best Stay: Southern Ocean Lodge
Must-Do: Walk among a colony of endangered sea lions at Seal Bay
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