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5 private islands you can rent on a budget

Fancy an island all to yourself? Want a place you can rent with a couple of other families and no-one else?

We’ve scoured the Airbnb listings and found it is possible to rent a few private islands in Australia.

Here’s what we found:

Swan Island North East Tasmania

Swan Island Tasmania. You will have to fly here. But once you're on the island you will have it all to yourself.
Swan Island Tasmania. You will have to fly here. But once you’re on the island you will have it all to yourself. Credit: supplied

For $391 per night for four guests this place is a steal. Sure, it’s not a tropical island – but it’s still pretty amazing. Swan Island, off the North East coast of Tasmania, has pristine white sand beaches and a working lighthouse built in 1845.

Guests to Swan Island stay in the four-bedroom, one bathroom lighthouse-keepers cottage. It is the only building on the island and it has a landline phone for you to call the hosts if you need anything.

Read more: Top tips for sailing the Spirit of Tasmania with kids

To get to Swan Island you will need to fly. Transport can be arranged through Flinders Island Aviation. We’re told it’s a pretty spectacular experience.

Review: Location! Location! Location! This spectacular listing is unique in that you are renting a whole island and the experience it provides- walking, beaches, isolation – Louise Jan 2018

Elizabeth Island, Victoria

Can you see the tiny house? It has it's own jetty and hammocks on the balcony.
Can you see the tiny house? It has its own jetty and hammocks on the balcony. Credit: supplied

Swim, fish, walk, cook or just laze around on this private Victorian Island snuggled between Phillip Island and French Island. 

Read more: Accessible Phillip Island – where to stay, play and eat

There are no shops and no roads here. The three bedroom house, which fits six guests comfortably has a private jetty and mooring, modern appliances and essentials are provided. It will set you back at least $550 per night. But you could fit two families in here with five beds on offer. The land is actually a sanctuary so no pets are allowed.

Reviews: Walking the island is adventurous and breathtaking, there are so many little spots to discover. We lived by the tides and the sunrise and moon rise, it is an incredible place to breathe out and find peace. We loved the isolation, it is a unique feeling to be on a private island, and so did the children, they were as enthralled as we were with this patch of paradise. – Melissa

Molloy Island Western Australia

Expect wallabies, water play and bushland adventures if you stay here.
Expect wallabies, water play and bushland adventures if you stay here. Credit: supplied

With a name like The Hobbit House, this one seems like a lot of fun. Or maybe it’s small? 

This private island is in the Augusta Margaret River Region. To get there you will need to cross the Blackwood River on a barge that operates on the hour by island managers and half hour by home owners between 8am to 5pm. If you plan to spend the day travelling to other areas in the Margaret River just make sure you get back before the last ferry.

Read more: Wining and dining in Margaret River with kids

The home has three bedrooms, an indoor fireplace and laundry facilities. The owner has provided two kayaks for use, there’s a lagoon one minute’s walk from the yard and dozens of great walking and biking trails that are often filled with wildflowers. The best part is the price – it’s for rent from $151 per night.

Review: Lovely private house with easy access to river and lagoon. Wildlife visits which are a thrill for kids. – Chris, February 2018

Picnic Island Coles Bay Freycinet Peninsula Tasmania

This house in Tasmania is imply amazing.
This house in Tasmania is simply amazing. Credit: supplied

This one comes with a higher price tag – but you can share it with up to 10 guests for $1475 per night. Split between three families, that’s reasonable. 

Picnic Island is a formed convict quarry 800m offshore from Coles Bay and the Freycinet National Park. It’s just around the corner from Wineglass Bay. 

Read more: An exclusive family escape in Freycinet National Park

Designed by Tasmanian architect, John Latham, the five-bedroom home is copper-clad and features a suspended open fireplace behind a wall of glass cantilevered over the high water mark. 

As the sunsets, the birds come in to roost. During the day you can spot whales, dolphins and seals or fish for Flathead and squid. Explore the rocks and you will find sea urchins and abalone. To get to the island you will need to book a water taxi.

Review: I would highly recommend Picnic Island as a terrific holiday for families with children. Staying on this lovely little island will be an experience that no one will forget. Recommended ages of children >5 due to the set up of the house – Sally Jan 2017

And finally, one in Queensland

Camp Island Lodge, Whitsunday Islands Great Barrier Reef

A Great Barrier Reef island you can have all to yourself? Yes, it is possible.
A Great Barrier Reef island you can have all to yourself? Yes, it is possible. Credit: supplied

You will need a group to book out this island, but it is entirely possible to have it all to yourself. 

Read more: The best Whitsundays trips for kids

Accommodation on Camp Island includes the Guest Lodge, four bungalows (8 guests) and The House (6 guests). That’s space for 14 in total for $1249 per night. 

Note that if you want staff on the island with you – they will need to stay in The House and that will increase your per person cost. If you rent this place you will have exclusive access to the entire island. If you choose to forgo staff, make sure that you organise your own catering and supplies. There are no supermarkets and you will be an hour by boat and car from the nearest mainland port.

This property doesn’t have any reviews yet. 

Want more budget holidays? Check out some of the stories below: 

7 hacks for premium travel on a low budget

Fiji’s best budget stays for bigger families

Ten ways to enjoy family travel on a budget

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