Dreaming of an island getaway? With 8000 islands surrounding Australia, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to family holiday destinations. To make choosing the right one a little easier, we’re putting two of our favourites to the test. Hamilton Island, the seasoned favourite takes on the underdog and rising star, Fraser Island. Which island will reign supreme?

Round 1: Activities

Hamilton Island has been the go-to family island holiday destination for years! Which is no surprise considering its bursting with fun activities, quality accommodation and beautiful scenery. Being so close to the Great Barrier Reef, kids have tonnes of opportunities to swim with and learn about native Australia marine life.

While a little bit more expensive, exploring the Whitsundays on your very own hired catamaran is a highlight. Another fun thing for families to do is hire a golf buggy and whiz around the island, taking in the sights at your own pace.

On the other side of the ring, Fraser Island comes out swinging with tonnes of awesome family activities on offer. Nature-loving families will enjoy lacing up their sneakers and hitting the trails to explore the island by foot. Trek up the side of a sand dune then roll all the way down!

Animal lovers will have a chance to see the famous Fraser Island dingoes and even spot a whale or two if they time it right. For those drawn to the water, swimming in one of the Island’s pristine lakes is a great way to fill in an afternoon. Being the largest sand island in the world, the island is only navigable by 4WD, allowing adventurous families to giggle through all the bumps and turns as they explore the bush off-road.

Round 2: Accommodation

Drawing in huge crowds every year, Hamilton Island has grown to cater for all kinds of holidaymakers; particularly families. Choose from beachside hotels and private self-contained bungalows to suit your family’s travel style. Wherever you stay on Hamilton, you’ll always feel the luxury vibe, but be aware, this also comes with a price tag.

Fraser Island, on the other hand, offers less ‘ritz’ and more ‘relax’. This lesser-known island has resort style accommodation, self-contained villas, caravans and campsites to suit every family’s style and budget. With accommodation for as little as $23.50 a night at a campsite or $125/night in a resort, you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy all the bells and whistles of an island getaway.

Round 3: Location

Both located off the coast of Queensland, well-connected with the mainland by plane and boat.

Getting to Hamilton is fairly straightforward. Fly straight into the airport located on Hamilton or take a ferry from the Port of Airlie. Complimentary airport and marina transfers make getting to your accommodation a breeze.

To get to Fraser Island, take a 50 minute flight from Brisbane to Hervey Bay and get the passenger ferry over. For 4WD families, make it a road trip and take your car over so you can explore the island at your own pace.

And the winner is…

We’ll let you decide. Whether you’re after a relaxing, resort-style holiday or a enchantingly rugged island adventure, either of these two Aussie favourites are sure to hit the mark.

To help you get planning, check out these stories:

Island Escape: 5 island getaways for your family

Fraser Island: a fantastic family holiday adventure

Fraser Island for every family

Start wandering about the Whitsundays