3a. Lady Elliot Island

By the books, Australia has a whopping 8,222 islands, the largest of which is mainland Australia itself. A large majority of these islands are quite small and for the intrepid explorer, a number of these small islands are a bounty to be disovered. Our friends at TripAdvisor have compiled a list of the top-rated islands to visit and explore around Australia. Here are their best recommendations.

Queensland

Lady Elliot Island, Bundaberg

Lady Elliot is a coral cay located at the southern tip of Australia's iconic Great Barrier Reef north of Fraser Island. The island is regarded as one of the best diving and snorkelling locations on the Reef. Why? Pristine coral reef life and a wide array of spectacular marine life.

Boating at Lady Elliot Island

Western Australia

Penguin Island, Rockingham

45 minutes south of Perth is Penguin Island - an unspoilt nature reserve that acts as home to WA's largest colony of little penguins, as well as dolphins, sea lions, stingrays, pelicans and ospreys. It's fantastic for swimming, snorkelling, having a picnic or just enjoying some of the best coastal scenery in Perth.

Beach at Penguin Island

South Australia

Granite Island, Adelaide

Enjoy the coastal scenery and discover the island's interesting history along the Kaiki Walk or go fishing from the jetty or causeway. If you get to visit between June and October, stay on the lookout for the southern right whales!

People walk on the Kaiki bridge

New South Wales

Cockatoo Island, Sydney

Cockatoo Island has opened its doors to all with the mission to give new life to its storied history. It has become an escape from the hustle and bustle of Sydney, a canvas for creatives and cultural events, a home to the world’s first urban waterfront campground and a beautiful holiday accommodation.

View of Cockatoo Island