Happy Valentine's Day to you all. Did you send the usual flowers and chocolates? Or are you in the dog house for forgetting? One sure way to impress your Valentine is to book one of the many romantic Australian Island Getaways.
Australia has in fact over 8000 islands and whilst you would not want to visit every single one, there is something to please every romantic taste.
Whether you need a classic tropical island getaway or fancy a wonderful walking trail, or need value for money, you will find it on one of Australia's Island Getaways.
The most famous and probably most well known are the Whitsundays. These are totally stunning and well worth the expensive trip. Did you know that Hayman Island has more proposals per square meter than anywhere else in Australia? But despite very much on the tourist trail. This article will look at two islands which offer the traveler and romantic something completely different and are off the usual tourist trail. In fact, it's where the locals go.
Magnetic Island, Queensland
Magnetic Island is just 12km from Townsville which is in Queensland. It's a favorite island with the locals because it is one of the most reasonably priced islands in Queensland, particularly when compared to the cost of a holiday in the Whitsundays.
This is the place for you if you want to lounge on a beach, go swimming, snorkel or even do a bit of walking. Magnetic Island has its own National Park and you can not miss Mount Cook which protrudes from its center. The bays are a plenty and very pretty with some lovely walks to enjoy. It's also popular with families as there are plenty of activities to keep the kids busy.
There's lots of water sports on offer too including sea kayaking and sailing around its many secluded bays. It's also an excellent place to learn to dive as the coral and marine life are stunning. Plus the water is nice and warm! If water is not your thing then try horse-riding at horseshoe bay.
The island itself is small enough to drive round in half a day but large enough for their to be a few different settlements, bays, shops and amenities. The accommodation is reasonable and of good standard too.
Seeing the island is also straightforward. You can catch a bus or hire a bike. You can hire a car too but be warned, the petrol on the island is expensive. You can also hire a small mini-like car called a moke which is a great way to see the island.
There's lots of beaches to choose from here but the nicest are probably Florence Bay and Balding Bay. Spend a day at Balding Bay sun bathing and snorkeling. Bring your own food and use the barbie facilities here. Horseshoe bay offers the longest of the island's beaches and is a good place to rent kayaks.
If you like your holiday to be a bit more adventurous and less about lazing around in the sun, then sometimes Hinchinbrook Island is the one for you. The big attraction here is the 32km Thorsborne Trail. This is a moderately demanding hiking track which takes in beaches, mangroves and waterfalls.
The track itself is capable in two days but it's best to take longer than this so you can really take in the scenery. The route goes south to north and while you can do the trek in either direction, I'll start in the south and finish in the north. That way you can relax at the Wilderness Lodge after the walk, which has a pool and a welcoming bar.
The best bits of the walk are probably the stretch between Ramsay Bay and Nina Bay as it follows the coastline and takes in beautiful rainforests. Zoe Falls are also worthy of mention and are particularly stunning.
You can just come here for a day trip and stay at the Wilderness lodge. If you fancy the walk, then make sure you book well in advance. This gets booked up and numbers onto the island are restricted.
You really want to be here in Winter which is between June and October. Outside of these months, it is the wet season so expect to see a lot of rain. Avoid February and March when the rain is at its peak and the ferries stop running from the mainland.