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Nothing says summer holiday more than swinging in a hammock on a sandy island. Australia - the world's biggest island - is surrounding by 8222 smaller ones. That's a lot of islands to choose from. Here are ten of the best:
Rottnest Island, Western Australia
Rottnest, or Rotto as it's called locally, is just a short ferry ride from Perth. It's home to some of Australia's best beaches, as well as unique plant and animal life, including the quokka - a small kangaroo-like marsupial. The island is a car free zone and the best way to get around is by bike. You can also explore colonial buildings, the lighthouse and visit the Rottnest Museum to learn about the island's role in World War I and II.
Lord Howe Island, New South Wales
The island, which is about two hours by plane from Brisbane and Sydney, is a World Heritage-listed wonder. One of its 11 beaches, Neds Beach, is part of a marine reserve and was voted Australia's cleanest beach in 2004. To get close to hundreds of fish all you have to do is step into the water to see them swimming around your ankles. You can hire snorkelling equipment from the shack on the beach, which operates on a honesty system.
Cockatoo Island, NSW
If you feel like escaping Sydney then Cockatoo Island, the largest island in Sydney Harbour, is a great places to visit. The island's prison buildings were added to UNESCO's World Heritage list along with ten other Australian convict sites in 2010. Large workshops, slipways, wharves and residences retain the texture of the island's industrial past.
Bruny Island, Tasmania
Pristine and remote Bruny Island is surprisingly easy to get to - just 60 minutes by car and vehicle ferry from Hobart. On the island you can venture into the wilderness on one of the many Bruny Island bushwalks. You can also take a cruise to explore the island's dramatic coastline. Look out for fur seals, fairy penguins and white wallabies.
King Island, Tasmania
This small island off the north of Tasmania produces some of the best brie and soft cheeses in Australia. It's an island of long, empty beaches and clean, fresh air, offshore reefs, rocky coasts, lighthouses and more than 70 shipwreck sites.
Tiwi Islands, Northern Territory
The Tiwi Islands - 80km north of Darwin - are a perfect destination for a day trip. Dubbed the Islands of Smiles, here you can experience how The Tiwis ("We People") live and see how they create their vibrant paintings. The landscape is stunning and features pristine sandy beaches, clear rock pools and dense rainforest. Tourism is restricted on the islands and for most tourists the only way to visit is on one of the daily organised tours from Darwin.
Kangaroo Island, South Australia
KI is located 45 minutes by ferry from Cape Jervis in SA and is home to abundant wildlife, native bushland and pristine beaches. Covering almost 4,500 square kilometres it is Australia's third largest island and offers the best of the mainland on a smaller, more intimate scale.
Philip Island, Victoria
Besides being well known for its Grand Prix Circuit, the island is also famous for the penguin parade - one of Australia's most popular wildlife attractions. Every sunset, the little penguins emerge from the sea and waddle across the beach to their sand dune burrows. The little penguin is the world's smallest penguin species and the only penguin permanently found in Australia.
Wilson Island, Queensland
This tiny coral cay in the Great Barrier Reef, about 72km off the Queensland Coast, is home to sugar-white beaches and rare turtle and bird breeding grounds. Only 12 guests can stay on the island at any one time in tented accommodation. You can get to the island by boat transfer or helicopter from Gladstone to Heron Island, then a 40-minute boat transfer.
Fraser Island, Queensland
Located just a 40-minute ferry ride off Queensland's coast, this thin, drawn-out territory is famed for its wildlife and long white beaches. Spindly Fraser measures 123km in length and 22km at its widest point and is crammed with ancient rainforests, coastal heaths and eucalypt forests. Its World Heritage listing ranks it alongside the likes of Uluru, Kakadu and the Great Barrier Reef.