These islands near Brisbane offer different types of experiences, so you’ll want to explore them all. Here’s an overview of what to expect on each of them and how to get there.

1. Mulgumpin (Moreton Island)

From your first step on Mulgumpin (Moreton Island), you straight away feel far away from the city. It’s incredible to have a piece of paradise with splendid white sand and beautiful blue water so close to a major city. You can actually see Brisbane City on the horizon from Mulgumpin (Moreton Island). For many people, it’s the first place that comes in mind when we mention the best islands near Brisbane.

How to get to the island

You can catch a ferry from the Port of Brisbane to Mulgumpin (Moreton Island). Only 4WD vehicles can go on the island, or you can book as a passenger only. The ferry drops you on the beach near the Tangalooma Wreck, and some passenger ferries can take you directly go to the Tangalooma Resort. There are no bus on the island but you can join a tour to see the entire island.

Activities on the island

Where to stay on the island

You can visit Mulgumpin (Moreton Island) on a day trip, but it’s lovely to stay overnight. The Tangalooma Resort is the main accommodation on the island. Many visitors also love camping on Mulgumpin (Moreton Island).

2. Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island)

Every trip to North Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) is an opportunity to see wildlife and enjoy stunning ocean views. It’s a fantastic day trip from Brisbane, but there’s so much to do there that you can spend days on the island. A trip to Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island) is easy to organise and always delivers over expectations. It’s my favourite island near Brisbane.

How to get to the island

Passenger and car ferries regularly connect Cleveland (south of Brisbane) to Dunwich (south of Minjerribah/Stradbroke Island). Public buses can take visitors from the ferry to Point Lookout or Amity Points, with a few stops on the way.

Activities on the island

Do you find scuba diving scary? I know the feeling. I have now done more than 200 dives, so I’ve shared my experience about overcoming my fear of scuba diving in this article; I hope it can help!

3. King Island

King Island is not as exciting as the other islands near Brisbane, but it’s an easy one to get to. It’s perfect if you only have a short time and you’re looking for a quick walk not far from the city. It’s also one of my favourite spots in Brisbane to watch the sunset.

How to get to the island

You can simply walk from Wellington Point to King Island at low tide. It’s the only way to go on the island, so plan your visit accordingly.

Activities on the island

  • Short walk around the island
  • Bird watching

4. Peel Island and Goat Island

Platypus wreck on Peel Island near Brisbane
Platypus wreck on Peel Island near Brisbane

Peel Island and Goat Island are uninhabited islands between the mainland and Minjerribah (Stradbroke Island). Most of Peel Island is protected and inaccessible, but Horseshoe Bay and Platypus Bay.

How to get to the island

There are no ferries going to Peel Island or Goat Island. So you’ll need your own watercraft to get there, or you can hire a sailing boat to explore Moreton Bay.

Activities on the island

  • Snorkelling (especially around the Platypus wreck or near the rocks)
  • Spotting dugongs
  • Fishing

Where to stay on the island

There’s limited bush camping on Peel Island.

5. St Helena Island

From 1867 until 1932, St Helena Island was Queensland’s first penal settlement. Nowadays, it’s a great place to learning more about Australia’s colonial history. The best parts of the island and ruins are only accessible with a guided tour.

How to get to the island

St Helena Island is only accessible by boat and there’s no regular ferry connecting it to the mainland. If you don’t have your own boat, you can join a tour to get there. It’s the best way to visit St Helena Island.

Activities on the island

  • Walks and tours to visit historic relics

6. Coochiemudlo Island

How to get to the island

It only takes 10 minutes on a ferry from Victoria Point to reach Coochiemudlo Island.

Activities on the island

  • Walk around the island (1hr)
  • Water-based activities (kayaking, aqua biking…)
  • Snorkelling (north side of the island)

7. South Stradbroke Island

Only about 40 people live in this 1800-hectare conservation park near the Gold Coast. You’ll find the calm waters of the Gold Coast Broadwater on one side, the ocean on the other and untouched native bushland in between.

How to get to the island

Surfers sometimes paddle the 300m in the Gold Coast Seaway to reach South Minjerribah (South Stradbroke Island). But there are many easier ways to get to the island. You can hop on a ferry or a water taxi, or hire a jet ski or a kayak or charter a private boat.

Are you thinking of buying an inflatable kayak? We love how we can now explore more places easily since we got one. Check out my tips on how to choose an inflatable kayak and the most important questions to answer first.

Activities on the island

  • Bushwalking
  • Surfing
  • Beach fishing
  • Water-based activities from the resort (kayaking, SUP…)

Where to stay on the island

Couran Cove Resort* is the most famous place to stay on the island. There are also three campgrounds on the island, and two have self-contained cabins (South Currigee and Tipplers).

8. Bribie Island

Sunset from Crest Park on Bribie Island
Sunset from Crest Park on Bribie Island

Bribie Island will please everybody with both calm bay beaches and surf beaches on offer, but also opportunities to spot wildlife or have fun with water-based activities. But Bribie Island can sometimes get busy as Woorim Beach is one of the closest patrolled beaches from Brisbane.

How to get to the island

Bribie Island is the only island near Brisbane and in the entire state that is connected to the mainland by a bridge. However, you’ll need a 4WD to visit the northern part of the island.

Activities on the island

  • 4WD on the beach
  • Surfing
  • Cycling
  • Kayaking and SUP
  • Camping
  • Fishing

9. Cook Island

Cook Island is closer to the Gold Coast than Brisbane, but I think it still deserves to be mentioned on a list of the best islands near Brisbane. Every time we visit Cook Island, I feel lucky to have such a place close to home.

How to get to the island

You actually cannot go on Cook Island, but you can approach it by boat. Tours from Tweed Head will take you there.

Activities on the island

10. Mudjimba Island

Mudjimba Island is on the Sunshine Coast and is a great alternative to Cook Island if you’re looking for an island near Brisbane, but in the north.

How to get to the island

Like Cook Island, you cannot go on Mudjimba Island. You’ll need your own vessel or a tour to reach Mudjimba Island. It’s a short boat ride from Mooloolaba or about 2.5km from Mudjimba Beach. Local scuba diving shops in Mooloolaba regularly organise trips to Mudjimba Island.

Activities on the island

  • Snorkelling
  • Scuba diving
  • Bird watching

11. K’gari (Fraser Island)

K’gari (Fraser Island) is the most famous island near Brisbane. It’s also the furthest one on this list and it requires a lot of planning to organise a trip there (unless you join a tour). Check out these tips for your itinerary. K’gari means paradise, and it’s one of my favourite places in Australia.

How to get to the island

You can take a ferry from Hervey Bay or Rainbow Beach to go to K’gari (Fraser Island).

Activities on the island

  • 4WD on the beach and inland
  • Hiking
  • Swimming in pristine lakes
  • Wildlife encounters

Where to stay on the island

Beach camping is very popular on K’gari (Fraser Island), but make sure you have the necessary permits and are aware of the rules. The most famous resort on the island is Kingfisher Bay Resort*, and they also organise tours or hire 4WD. If you prefer to stay near the main beach, K’gari Beach Resort* is another popular one on the east coast of the island. We stayed in a glamping tent at Beach Camp Eco Retreat* and loved it.

Have you visited these islands near Brisbane? Share your experience in the comments below!

Where are these islands near Brisbane?

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