With more than 8200 islands sprawled around Australia, there’s a good chance you can’t name them all.
They come in all shapes, sizes and climates – from large tropical islands off north Queensland to tiny crags along our most southern reaches.
So to inspire your next getaway, here are some of amazing destinations that don’t require a passport.
Orpheus Island, Queensland
At just 11 kilometres long and a kilometre wide, what Orpheus Island lacks in size it makes up for in glitz and status.
Over the years it has hosted celebrities including Elton John, Chris Hemsworth, Phil Collins, Vivien Leigh and Mickey Rooney.
“I love Orpheus, as it’s surrounded by so much natural beauty,” travel photographer Mark Fitz said.
“There are rays and baby reef sharks that come right up to the shoreline, stunning granite boulders dotted all over the island [and] its close proximity to Hinchinbrook Island [national park].
“It’s only a short boat ride to the outer reef, with some of the best snorkelling I’ve ever done.
“When you combine this with their luxury accommodation and divine food, it really is paradise.”
Cocos (Keeling) Islands, WA
Nestled in a remote part of the Indian Ocean, it is no wonder the Cocos (Keeling) Islands market themselves as “Australia’s last unspoilt paradise”.
Its two atolls comprised of 27 islands boasts clear turquoise water, white sandy beaches and incredible snorkelling and diving.
The islands have a rich history, having served as a military outpost during both world wars before officially becoming an Australian territory in 1955.
Visitors were uncommon until commercial flights from mainland Australia were introduced, and nowadays there are two flights a week from Perth that take about four hours’ travel time.
“It is cheaper and quicker for people to fly to somewhere like Bali instead of the Cocos, so that has a lot to do with not many people visiting,” ABC journalist Emma Wynne said.
“But when you land, it is like you have landed in a tropical paradise from a movie.”
Montague Island, NSW
“Montague Island is home to one of the country’s most playful and amazing seal colonies – every time you enter the water it is playtime,” photographer and regular visitor Matt Testoni said.
“Diving off their rocky beds to join you underwater, the seals love playing a variety of games with divers, from copying twist and turns to having comical stare-offs.
“It’s definitely one of the top five dive spots in Australia.”
The island is accessible from Narooma on the NSW south coast (about five hours’ drive from Sydney) and is restricted to tour groups accompanied by a National Parks and Wildlife Service guide.
Overnight conservation tours are also held regularly by Conservation Volunteers Australia, while visitors can stay in the refurbished lighthouse keeper’s quarters, originally built in 1881.
Keswick Island, Queensland
When it comes to breathtaking tropical islands, Queensland has them in spades, with some 900 islands dotted along the Great Barrier Reef.
Just a 10-minute flight from Mackay, Keswick is regarded as one of the secret islands compared to bigger-name counterparts such as Hamilton and Lady Elliot.
The island is a natural wonderland, with national parks and rainforests fringed by white sands and a vibrant coral reef.
There is also an array of hidden bays around the island if you are looking for a secluded swim.
Keswick has a number of accommodation options ranging from camping to relaxing retreats.
Raymond Island, Victoria
Despite being just 200 metres off the mainland, Raymond Island still packs plenty of island charm.
Situated in the Gippsland Lakes in eastern Victoria, the island offers a getaway from the hustle and bustle of Melbourne and attracts nature lovers for its large koala population.
Raymond Island can be accessed via a chain ferry that links the island to Paynesville on the mainland.
While you are there, take a walk on the island’s koala trail, have a scenic picnic lunch, or cast a line at one of the island’s popular fishing spots.
Abrolhos Islands, WA
Picture yourself snorkelling at one island in the morning, hopping over to another and sunbaking at midday, then finishing the day watching sea lions at play.
About 60 kilometres west of Geraldton, the Abrolhos consist of 122 islands that form one of Western Australia’s most diverse marine ecosystems.
Its waters are home to sea lions and bottlenose dolphins, while on land you might be lucky enough to see a tammar wallaby – think of a quokka, but bigger.
While there is no accommodation, booking a three- to nine-day charter will allow time to explore the islands fully.
But if staying on a boat is not your thing, you can access the islands by air, with tourism operators offering two-hourly, half-day or full-day flights.
There’s certainly more to Christmas Island than its controversial immigration detention facility.
“People think it is a prison island, but it has a much more beautiful local history and culture,” says ABC journalist Tom Joyner, who visited as part of a Connecting Communities program.
“It’s culturally closer to Indonesia and Malaysia than mainland Australia, and for that reason alone it is fascinating.”
Located about four hours by plane from Perth, Christmas Island is famous for its annual crab migration, which Sir David Attenborough described as “one of the world’s great natural wonders”.
The tiny speck in the Indian Ocean is also home to an underwater playground of coral and sea life for diving enthusiasts, and an impressive food culture courtesy of its Indonesian and Malaysian communities.
“It really hasn’t been touched much by tourism and the locals are very receptive to visitors,” Joyner said.
“Go there with an open mind and get amongst the exploring, diving, hiking and swimming on offer.”
Flinders Island, Tasmania
For a tiny island, Flinders punches above its weight — fresh food, local markets, stunning landscapes, exotic wildlife and top-shelf wine are just the start of what is on offer.
Located in the north-west of Tasmania, Flinders Island is the largest of the more than 50 islands that make up the Furneaux Group.
Luke Tscharke, who manages the Instagram page @beautyoftasmania, said it was the beautiful seascapes that kept him coming back.
“It has beautiful sandy beaches with aqua waters, which are met with rounded granite rock that’s coated in vibrant orange lichen,” he said.
You can get to Flinders Island by ferry from Bridport or by air from Launceston or Melbourne.
Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory
It is hard not to fall in love with a place that calls itself the “Island of Smiles”.
Sitting 80 kilometres off the coast from Darwin, the Tiwi Islands offer a unique twist on life in the Top End.
The two islands – Bathurst and Melville – are bursting with stunning scenery, beautiful arts and traditional culture, and some of the best fishing in the Northern Territory.
“The Tiwi Islands come with a showcase of spectacular surrounds and history in what could be described as a different world, and it’s right on the doorstep of Darwin,” local Yolanda Lombardo said.
“This place houses people who are just so nice and friendly. They love to tell their history and stories, along with incredible artwork and weaving skills.”
The Tiwi Islands can be accessed by a 20-minute flight from Darwin or two-and-a-half hours by ferry.