It’s no secret that Queensland is home of a whole bunch of stunning beaches and islands, but a lot of them require a full-on vacay to make the trip worth your while. But what if you just want a mini break? Sometimes a weekend is all you have, or need, for an island vacay so what do you do? You head to one of these 5 islands that are just a short trip from Brisbane.

5 Islands That Are Surprisingly Easy To Get To From Brisbane

1. North Stradbroke Island

I spent my last couple of high school years living on the mainland across from North Stradbroke Island, or as per the endearingly bogan local nickname ‘Straddie’. It’s a local favourite, thanks to its chill vibes and undeniable beauty. The short ferry ride across the mainland with or without your car also helps.

Go for a bushwalk along North Gorge Headland, spot a whale, hang 10, eat your little heart out or just chill on the beach all weekend with a good book. Did I just describe my ideal weekend? Yes, I absolutely did.

2. Moreton Island

As much as snorkelling or kayaking in crystal clear waters around shipwrecks sounds like a movie scene, it can be your real and best life on Moreton Island. About a one and a quarter hour ferry trip from Brissy, this island is so chill it has less than 100 residents and no bitumen roads. So yeah, you will probably need a 4WD or join one of many tour groups to get around the place. Or you know, just chill out on/in the ocean. Also a fab option.

3. Coochiemudlo Island

It’s literally 5 square kilometers and a short 10 minute trip from the mainland so you can easily see the whole place in a day. You can also hire aqua bikes, canoes, kayaks or tinnie boats to see the place from in the water. Water taxis, ferries and barges depart from Victoria Point (shout out to my old ‘burb’) on the mainland regularly, so it’s easy to access.

4. Macleay Island

If you like a little more civilisation with your island trips, Macleay Island is for you. Besides the gorge beaches, you’ll also find a bowlo, boat club shopping centre, art gallery, skate park and plenty of restaurants. So yup, have your beach and enjoy your culture too. Oh, and a farmers market every Wednesday and Saturday, so you’re set.

5. Peel Island

I’ll admit the name leaves something to be desired, but the island itself definetly doesn’t. Sitting between North Stradbroke and the mainland, heritage-listed Peel Island is a hidden and restricted oasis. The restriction is to preserve both Teerk Roo Ra National Park and important historic remains – yup, there was a leper house – and only Horseshoe Bay and Platypus Bay are open ot the public. So you’ll proabably want to book a day trip with Aria Cruises, or book ahead if you’re lucky enough to have your own boat.

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Image: iStock Images / [wosabi]