PEDESTRIAN.TV has teamed up with Tourism and Events Queensland to get you amped for your post-iso travel plans.

For a lot of us, our hopes of international travel have been well and truly extinguished in light of recent pandemics.

That is, until now. Through a divine loophole (aka Queensland), we’ve figured out a way for you to kick back on a secluded beach, away from the hustle and bustle, all without having to leave the country (which you still can’t do).

The following islands will give you that perfect holiday vibe and get you away from your mentally draining day-to-day routine, yet they won’t be overrun with people and you can leave your passport at home.

A sunny island getaway without the 20-hour flight, swaths of people and blatant disregard for post-pandemic precautions? What a result.

Obviously, you’ll have to check with the Aus government for permitted travel dates, so just think of this article as one to pin for later.

Great Keppel Island

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If anyone’s seen the movie The Lighthouse, please correct me if I’m wrong because all I know is that it’s about two lads who chill in the middle of nowhere, minding their own business and frankly that sounds like absolute bliss at this point.

No, the film was not shot on Great Keppel Island (that I’m aware of), but the island itself has its own lighthouse which is what inspired this longwinded rant about a movie I’ve never seen.

Moral of the story is that Great Keppel Island is the perfect place to hit up as soon as we’re given the all-clear to get out of our stank abodes and journey further than a mate’s place.

Not to sound like a Great Keppel Island ambassador (yet) but can you do all of this from your couch?

  • Explore coral reefs on a cruise while snorkelling right off the beach
  • Give your pasty legs some much-needed vitamin D on any of the 17 (!) white sandy beaches
  • Cruise around on jet skis
  • Kick back with a book you pretend to read in your own beachfront cabin
  • Hit up a tropical bar for some R&R (rum and rum)
  • Discover hidden caves you certainly can’t find in Melbs

I think not.

Pro tip: venturing to the island during winter will increase the likelihood of spotting a dolphin or whale (or a whale and dolphin holding flippers if you’re lucky) making their commute to warmer waters – not dissimilar to southerners, actually.

Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island)

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Ahh, Stradbroke Island. Straddie, as it’s affectionately known. I personally go so far as to call it Stee-Rad but unfortunately, it’s yet to hit the mainstream.

The quaint island 30kms southeast of Brisbane has become clued-in couples’ wedding venue of choice in recent years, and it’s hard not to see why – it’s bloody beautiful.

But don’t let this tidbit dissuade anyone who’s not having a wedding from venturing there, as Stee-Rad holds its own in all the other areas you look to tick off on an island retreat.

Stree-Rad is suitable to visit all-year-round, which is ideal for anyone who had their travel plans kiboshed earlier this year. The self-anointed ‘slow island’ is perfect to just take a foot off the accelerator and bask in paradise, letting the ocean waves (and let’s face it, numerous Pińa Coladas) wash the bad taste of 2020 straight from your mouth.

The second-largest sand island in the world also has a wealth of history, so it’s a primo location for the inquisitive traveller. Familiarise yourself with the culture of the Quandamooka Peoples – the rightful owners of Stradbroke Island – and always remember to be respectful.

Not a lecture, just a friendly reminder. I’m chill. But you also have to be chill. That’s friendly reminder #2.

Lady Elliot Island

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I know it might be weird to start planning a trip given the dumpster fire that is/was 2020, so to ease your hesitation, why not consider the hardcore eco-adventure that is Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort? It’s easy on the planet and you get to give that worrying brain of yours a break, which is what they call the ‘best of both worlds’ in Hannah Montanna‘s universe.

This eco-friendly break-from-the-mess (an apt term I coined for ‘vacation’) lets you snorkel and dive among 1,200 different species, bushwalk, sleep, swim at a leisurely pace, nap (sleep’s little brother), and befriend Manta Rays, all the while focusing on sustainability.

If you have a peruse of the accompanying picture above, you’ll notice the entire resort is covered in solar panels, should that give you an indication of just how dedicated the team behind this getaway are to keeping our earth tip-top.

Pumpkin Island

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If islands were given awards for the best location to travel to post-isolation, Pumpkin Island would be given gold.

The whole island in the southern Great Barrier Island can be rented out for you and 34 of your fellow self-isolating mates for around $147 each per night.

An entire island filled with only people you know (and therefore trust have practised social distancing) for the price of a mid-range hotel? Not only that, an entire island that’s carbon-positive and removes more carbon dioxide from the environment than it produces?  I just…I simply cannot see a downside.

Hell, fork out a bit more, halve your list of friends to 17 and you can almost have an entire side of the island to yourself. My word, it’s like Castaway but I want to be there, there’s spectacular accommodation and I know I can get home safely without having to scrounge together a raft out of palm trees and such.

Whitsundays

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If you’ve been guilty of chucking up a tonne of throwback Insta posts of your time sailing in Croatia (probably with a #takemeback hashtag you basic bread), your prayers have been answered.

Whitsundays has often been touted as the Aussie version of Sail Croatia, but again, I can’t stress this enough – without the 20-hour flight.

We’ve raved about the Whitsundays for yonks now, but a destination that cops such consistent praise often warrants it.

Helicopter rides, seafood buffets, island-hopping, jet skiing, albino sandy beaches, crystal clear water, nature – there’s nothing you can’t do on Whitsundays. Except, perhaps, climb the Eiffel Tower? I dunno, you can probably do that too and I wouldn’t even be surprised.

Get around booking times for sailing trips and all the fancy things in life here.

Wilson Island

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Wilson Island will officially be re-opening to travellers, so if you’ve got money you were supposed to spend on a cancelled trip burning a hole in your pocket, might I suggest jumping on this opportunity pronto?

Known to attract snorkelers from around the world, Wilson Island truly is the cream of the crop when it comes to islands across the globe.

Big call, care to rebut? Didn’t think so.

The restaurants boast Australia’s top fresh produce, the oceans boast sealife so vibrant they can basically reenact the musical numbers from The Little Mermaid and the accommodation boasts the schmickest setups you ever laid eyes upon.

For those who aren’t the biggest fan of ‘family-friendly vacations’ (hard agree, personally), you’ll be stoked to learn that the entire island can only hold a certain capacity and that capacity is all over-18, so a child won’t be taking up one of your mate’s slots. If Lord of the Flies has taught me anything, it’s that kids and islands don’t mix – especially if they’re knocking over my cocktails and what not.

I’m not telling you how to plan your next trip, I’m just strongly steering you in a particular direction that happens to point towards Wilson Island.

Image: Supplied