Queenslands coastline is lined with magnificent islands, many of which are set amongst the spectacular Great Barrier Reef. The southernmost island in Queensland is South Stradbroke Island, which until 1896 was adjoined to North Stradbroke Island, although a storm split the islands in two. You can visit South Stradbroke Island from the Gold Coast if you want to get away from it all and relax amongst the quiet landscape.
There are several smaller islands surrounding Stradbroke Island along the coastline of Brisbane including Bishop Island, Eden Island, Fishermans Island, Green Island, Karragarra Island, King Island, Lamb Island, Macleay Island, Mud Island, Peel Island, Russell Island and St Helena Island. You can visit the National Park on St Helena Island, where you will see the remains of the high security prison which used to be active on the island. There are numerous tours around the park. Just north of Stradbroke Island is the beautiful, sandy Moreton Island.
Further north is Bribie Island which is home to the Pumicestone National Park, and can be accessed from Caboolture on the Sunshine Coast. North again is the popular Fraser Island which you can get to from River Heads and Hervey Bay on the Fraser Coast.
The next group of islands that you will come across are the Bunker Group of Islands and the Capricorn Group of Islands, just off of the Capricorn Coast and the Southern Reef Islands. These islands are set within the southern areas of the Great Barrier Reef and are great for diving. They include Lady Elliot Island, Curtis Island, Great Keppel Island, Heron Island, North Keppel Island, Lady Musgrave Island, North West Island, Tryon island and Wilson Island.
North again, off of the Whitsunday Coast, is the Cumberland Group of Islands and the Newry Group of Islands. Brampton Island is part of the Cumberland group and like Carlisle Island (of the same group) is a mountainous island offering good beaches and fringing reefs. You can stay in the Brampton Island Resort, although you will have to camp on Carlisle Island. You can get to Brampton Island by boat or by plane, and then from there can walk across to Carlisle Island. Newry Island and Rabbit Island (both of the Newry Group) offer accommodation. Newry Island has a resort, although you will have to camp within the National Park on Rabbit Island. To stay on Rabbit Island you need a permit so call the Mackay EPA Ph: (07) 4944 7800.
Probably the most famous of all the Queensland Island are the Whitsundays which include 74 different islands. Several of the islands include Border Island, Daydream Island, Hamilton Island, Harold Island, Haslewood Island, Hayman Island, Henning Island, Hook Island, Lindeman Island, Long Island, Maber Island, Mansell Island, North Molle Island, Pentecoast Island, Planton Island, Shaw Island, South Molle Island, South Repulse Island, Tancred Island, Thomas Island and Whitsunday Island.
In North Queensland the islands continue, with the next major island being Magnetic Island. North again is Orpheus Island, which is part of the Palm Group of Islands and home to magnificent National Park and fantastic wildlife. There is a small resort on the island although camping is also possible.
North again is Hinchinbrook, which is also home to a fabulous National Park. There are some fantastic bushwalks around the island, and plenty of wildlife to see. A popular walk is the 5 day Thorsborne Trail from Ramsay Bay to George Point, via Zoe Bay. Make sure you boil all water you collect, and watch out for rats and crocodiles. There are a number of camping areas along the trail, although you need to take all supplies, and book well in advance from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Centre in Cardwell Ph: (07) 4066 8601. There is also resort style accommodation available. You can get to the island by Ferry.
The next group of islands are the family islands which include Bedarra Island, Combe Island, and Wheeler Island. Camping is available on Combe and Wheeler Islands, although there is a rather exclusive resort on Bedarra Island. Nearby Dunk Island also has a resort, as well as camping. There are fantastic walking trails on Dunk Island through its magnificent rainforest.
In Far North Queensland off of the coast from Cairns there are a number of islands from where you can visit the Great Barrier Reef. Many of the islands are National Parks where the only accommodation is camping (which you will need a permit for), including the Frankland Islands.
The next group of islands are the Torres Strait Islands, off of the northern tip of the Cape York Peninsula.
Queensland has some of the most beautiful islands in Australia. Each island is unique with plenty of experiences and activites available.