We may be the world's largest island but we are surrounded by dozens of smaller wonderful islands, I'm looking at you Lord Howe!
So with this is mind here are some of our favourite island walks. "But what about coronavirus?" I hear you say. We'll we're not saying you can do these walks RIGHT NOW but you will be able to sometime in the future. Promise!
Fraser Island, Fraser Island Great Walk – 90km
Stretching over 123km in length, this World Heritage listed island has an area of 184,000ha to explore. Situated next to the Great Barrier Reef, Uluru and alongside Kakadu, Fraser Island is the largest sand island in the world, formed by shifting sands over millions of years. Walk the 90km Fraser Island Great Walk between Dilli Village and Happy Valley taking 6-8 days to complete or split it into sections for shorter walks to enjoy at a slower pace. Make a stop at Lake Boomanjin - the largest perched lake in the world and trek through the Valley of the Giants, home to giant rainforest trees.
Hinchinbrook Island, Thorsborne Trail – 32km
Located within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, Hinchinbrook is a favourite for bushwalkers, fishermen, photographers and kayakers. Discover the island on one of Australia’s top 10 walks – the Thorsborne Trail – but get in quick because only a maximum of 40 people at a time can do the walk. This wilderness track isn’t graded or pathed so prepare for steep embankments, boulder hopping and mountain stream crossings. Access to the island departs from Cardwell or Lucinda via transfer operator or private vessel.
Whitsunday Island, Ngaro Sea Trail Network – 3-76km
A popular tourist destination the Whitsundays is home to a mix of 74 uninhabited and inhabited islands within the Great Barrier Reef. Whitsunday Island NP protects 32 of the islands, including the Whitsunday Island, Hook Island and South Molle Island, which makes up the Ngaro Sea Trail network. From short to long walks throughout the islands, this trail has something for everyone. Try the 3km Dugong-Sawmill Track that takes you through giant rainforest trees and palms, or if you’re up for the challenge, climb Whitsunday Peak for 360° views over the Whitsunday Islands and mainland.
Moreton Island, Telegraph Road Trail – 16km
Off the coast of south eastern Queensland is the world’s third largest sand island. Apart from the small area of sandstone at Cape Moreton, the island consists entirely of sand built up over 400,000 years. Home to the highest coastal sand dune in the world, Mount Tempest stands at 285m and provides spectacular views at its peak. Roughly 98 per cent of the island is under Moreton Island NP. Try the Telegraph Road Trail, taking you through differing vegetation scapes and a perched swamp found atop a dune ridge. Link it with the 2.5km Mount Tempest walk for picture-ready views.
Maria Island, Mount Clerk – 17km
A mountainous island under the Maria Island National Park, this island is located off the east coast of Tasmania in the Tasman Sea. Hike to the peak of Mount Clerk, through grasslands, open forests, tall woodlands and rocky slopes, boulder scrambling to find stunning views of the island and Tasman Sea. Go birdwatching (11 of the state’s 12 endemic species can be spotted here), and find Tasmanian devils, wombats, kangaroos and wallabies. Maria Island is accessible via a 30-minute ferry from Triabunna, 1.5 hours from Hobart or 2.5 hours from Launceston.
King Island, Naracoopa-Currie – 32km
On the opposite end of Tasmania in Bass Strait lies King Island. Because of its location, the island can be reached via plane ride from either Melbourne or Tasmania. In March each year the island holds a coast to coast walking event traversing from east (Naracoopa) to west (Currie). Try it off season for a challenge, but if you prefer to see what scenic surprise the island has to offer, hike The Copperhead Walk – a short 1.5km walk (on mostly boardwalk) along the rugged cliffs and remains of the 7,000-year-old Calcified Forest.
Pinetrees Lodge – Seven Peaks Walk Lord Howe Island, 5 days
For experienced hikers that like to be physically challenged but also love the luxuries in life – this is a tour for you. Get guided along the premier Seven Peaks Walk, taking you from beach to forest. You will need to be fit with a head for heights - sections of the walk wind along Mount Lidgbird on exposed narrow cliff ledges – strapped on of course. After working hard each day, rest in luxury each night at Pinetrees Lodge – day spa anyone? The tour includes breakfast, lunch, four-course dinners and snorkelling trips. Bliss!