This easily accessible sand island, only a 75-minute ferry ride from Brisbane, is impressively 95 percent national park. Visitors hang out at the beaches, visit the five lighthouses, let loose on sand trails Snorkelers and divers travel to Moreton Island from around the world for the Tangalooma Wrecks, a grouping of purposefully sunken ships designed to serve as a breakwater.

The 13 Most Beautiful Islands in Australia

Moreton Island, Queensland This easily accessible sand island, only a ferry ride from Brisbane, is impressively 95 percent national park.

A journey on the Kuranda Scenic Railway is one of the highlights of our Australia & the Ghan rail tour http://www.greatrail.com/tours/australia-and-the-ghan-.aspx

The World's Scariest Train Rides

Kuranda Scenic Railway, Australia - The World's Scariest Train Rides

Palm trees and sand beach host a single luxury resort and research station on Heron Island, at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. While tourists head north to the developed vacation playground of the Whitsunday Islands, locals seeking a more rarified experience book a stay on Heron. From October to March, hundreds of Green and Loggerhead turtles return to breed here and the resort teaches its guests how to responsibly turtle-watch.

The 13 Most Beautiful Islands in Australia

Just off the coast of Townsville, Queensland and yet seemingly a world way on the Great Barrier Reef, Magnetic Island has a reputation as an island that enjoys nature during the day, and parties through the night. Some 800 koalas call the island home, neighbors to rock wallaby and over 180 species of birds. Divers flock to Magnetic Island for the wreck of the SS Yongala,a passenger ship that sank in 1911 in only 100 feet of water.

The 13 Most Beautiful Islands in Australia

Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, Margaret River, Western Australia.

Leeuwin-Naturaliste National Park, Margaret River, Western Australia.

Rottnest Island. The unappealing name is due to the island's population of quokkas, friendly and harmless little marsupials not found anywhere else in the world, who were mistaken for large rats by Dutch sailors in the 17th century. Visitors rent bikes to reach lighthouses, inland lakes, and the ocean beaches with renowned snorkeling.

The 13 Most Beautiful Islands in Australia

Two men walk past a shark warning sign on a beach in Newcastle (January 2015)

Man dies in Australia shark attack

A man is killed in a shark attack on the New South Wales north coast, police say, a day after another man was injured by a shark in the same area.

Australia's bowling attack has been spearheaded by Mitchell Starc, left, rather than Mitchell Johnson during the Cricket World Cup. Photograph: Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images

Cricket World Cup: Farewell also-rans as big four save best until last

Australia's bowling attack has been spearheaded by Mitchell Starc, left, rather than Mitchell Johnson during the Cricket World Cup.

Jan. 12, 2015. Roger Federer of Switzerland plays tennis with Lleyton Hewitt of Australia between speedboats on Sydney Harbour ahead of their Fast 4 Exhibition match in Sydney. (Photo: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

The Best Pictures of the Week: Jan. 9 – Jan. 16

Roger Federer of Switzerland plays tennis with Lleyton Hewitt of Australia between speedboats on Sydney Harbour ahead of their Fast 4 Exhibition match on Jan. 2015 in Sydney, Australia.

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