1 April 2009 by Pete Mathers
5 top island escapes - To leave the cities behind altogether…
Hamilton Island, Queensland
The easiest accessed of the Barrier Reef islands, offering glorious weather, azure waters, brilliant beaches and awe-inspiring coral reefs.
Heron Island, Queensland
A bird sanctuary, a nesting ground for turtles and an actual coral cay. There’s world-class snorkeling right off the beach and no daytrippers disturbing the peace.
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
An ecological haven just a skip across the water from Adelaide. Koalas cling on to eucalyptus, fur seals frolic on the rocks, possums ponder their food … and there’s the odd roo too.
Philip Island, Victoria
Discover blowholes, caves and rugged ocean beaches, where thousands of tiny penguins are seen waddling home, their bellies full of fish.
Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory
Adrift in the Timor Sea, these Aboriginal-owned islands offer a genuine glimpse of one of the oldest surviving cultures on earth.