Five affordable island getaways

Queensland and the surrounding islands have long been the holiday destination of choice for many Australians who want to escape the cooler climate of the southern states during winter. And, due to Queensland’s popularity as a tourist magnet, the ‘sunshine state’ does have a reputation of being an expensive place to visit. But don’t let that stop you from heading over for its warm weather and sandy beaches, because we’ve dug up some of the more affordable holiday options, so you can have a taste of the high life, with a lower price tag.

Daydream Island

Daydream Island is home to secluded beaches and is a pristine island hideaway, so it’s perfect for coupleswho want to inject a bit of romance into their lives. But it’s just as ideal for long solo strolls along the beach or for pampering yourself in one of the many rejuvenation day spas. Or you may choose to kick back and relax poolside with a nice cold beverage.

A stay at Daydream Island will set you back on average around $280 per night, but at this time of year, there aremany online specials being promoted.So keep an eye out for discounted travel deals on your favourite discount websites, as well as Daydream Island’s own website.

Magnetic Island

Some may question whether Magnetic Island is named for the high number of tourists it attracts. The island is only a 20-minute ferry ride from Townsville, but it feels a world away.

This perfect island getaway boasts 23 beautiful bays and beaches, plus a plethora of walking tracks.For more active outdoor adventurers, it also offers water sports, jet skiing, snorkelling and great fishing.

Magnetic Island has a range of accommodation options to suit any budget – ranging from $30 per night for a dorm to $220 per night for a luxury room. If you’re lucky you may even be able to snag a townhouse for up to seven people for as little as $140 per night.

Fraser Island

There’s a lot more to Fraser Island than the native dingoes for which it’s known. Get stuck into the many outdoor activities on offer, such as water sports, hiking and island tours, fabulous fishing holes and amazing beaches. Or you could relax and book in a solid session of self-love at the Kingfisher Natural Therapy salon.

You can stay on Fraser Island in a nice room from $240 per night twin share, or for the more budget-minded, a dorm will set you back around $29 per night.

Heron Island

Heron Island, situated on the outside of the Great Barrier Reef, is an island getaway made of dreams. Relax on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world orgounderwater sightseeing as you snorkel the outer reef. Whether you’re into nature watching, unwinding or being active, Heron Island has something for you.

A stay at the Heron Island Resort starts from $320 per night(including breakfast), but you can find yourself a great deal by keeping an eye out on the Heron Island website for special offers and discounted accommodation.

Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island is one of Australia’s most popular holiday locations and if you’ve ever been, you’ll know why. But if you haven’t, then it may be time to get acquainted with this gem.

As with Queensland’s other island hot spots, Hamilton has its share of pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters along with the associated activities. But Hamilton Island is the only island to have its own golf course, so if you’re a golfer, then this is the destination for you. And even if you’re not a golfer, there’s the opportunity to hire a golf buggy and explore the island from coast to coast.

Hamilton Island offers self-serviced apartments from $300 a night;some even include complimentary buggy hire. Keep a keen eye on the island’s website for specials and discounted packages.

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Publisher of YourLifeChoices – Australia's most-trusted and longest-running retirement website. A trusted voice on Australia's retirement landscape, including retirement income and planning, government entitlements, lifestyle and news and information relevant to Australians over 50. Leon has worked in publishing for more than 25 years and is also a travel writer and editor, graphic designer and photographer.

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