Though Australia boasts no shortage of idyllic islands to idle on, sometimes flights to these dreamy destinations are a bit dear. But if you’ve been saving up frequent flyer points, then you could nab yourself a reward seat and pay under $80 in taxes for a return booking!

Here are our top five quick picks of island locations you could be planning your next trip to, even against the backdrop of COVID-19. Also, don’t forget to read our five tips for flying domestically in 2021.

1. Hamilton Island, QLD

The brief: Close to the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy sailing and diving; see flora and fauna ranging from coral reefs to wallabies. Perfect for families. Take a cruise out to Whitehaven Beach, which boasts numerous ‘best beach’ awards.

Hamilton Island resort

Getting there: Hamilton Island has an airport with flights by Qantas, Virgin Australia and Jetstar. Business Class seats are available. At the time of writing, direct flights are from Brisbane and Sydney.

Direct flightsQantas Airways Logo Qantas
(Qantas Points)
Virgin Australia Logo Virgin Australia
(Velocity Points)
Jetstar logo - CopyJetstar
(Qantas Points)
From BrisbaneEconomy: 8,000 pts
Business: 18,400 pts
Taxes: $54 one-way
Economy: 7,800 pts
Business: 15,500 pts
Taxes: $60 one-way
n/a
From Sydneyn/aEconomy: 11,800 pts
Business: 23,500 pts
Taxes: $54 one-way
Economy: 9,600 pts
Taxes: $46 one-way

2. Kangaroo Island, SA

The brief: Kangaroos. And sea lions. Off the coast of South Australia, it also boasts natural wonders and gourmet food. Go surfing on the sea or the sand dunes, then kick back on the beach, undisturbed.

Kangaroo Island

Getting there: Apart from sea ferries, QantasLink will get you to Kangaroo Island from Adelaide. There was also a direct service to Melbourne, but this has yet to return as of March 2021.

Direct flightsQantas Airways Logo Qantas
(Qantas Points)
Virgin Australia Logo Virgin Australia
(Velocity Points)
Jetstar logo - CopyJetstar
(Qantas Points)
From AdelaideEconomy: 8,000 pts
Taxes: $38 one-way
n/a n/a

3. Norfolk Island

The brief: Less than 3 hrs from the Eastern States, you’re relaxing on an island paradise between New Zealand and New Caledonia. Except it’s still on Australian territory, so the flight is treated as domestic. Known for its majestic pines forests and colonial history (Devonshire tea, anyone?)

Norfolk Island Pines

Getting there: Air New Zealand was the dominant carrier from Australia to Norfolk Island, but the Airpoints program doesn’t offer reward seats. Qantas now offers direct flights from Sydney and Brisbane, as of March 2021. Reward seats are very limited.

Direct flightsQantas Airways Logo Qantas
(Qantas Points)
Virgin Australia Logo Virgin Australia
(Velocity Points)
Jetstar logo - CopyJetstar
(Qantas Points)
From SydneyEconomy: 12,000 pts
Business: 27,600 pts
Taxes: $137 one-way
n/a n/a
From BrisbaneEconomy: 12,000 pts
Business: 27,600 pts
Taxes: $123 one-way

4. Lord Howe Island, NSW

The brief: One of the most expensive islands to fly to, unless you follow our guide and use Qantas Points to get there from $88. A World Heritage-listed subtropical paradise with sandy shores, crystal-clear waters and excellent hikes. Need we say more?

Lord Howe Island walking

Getting there: QantasLink is the sole commercial carrier with direct flights from Sydney. There was also a route from Brisbane, but this has yet to return as of March 2021. Reward seats are very limited.

Direct flightsQantas Airways Logo Qantas
(Qantas Points)
Virgin Australia Logo Virgin Australia
(Velocity Points)
Jetstar logo - CopyJetstar
(Qantas Points)
From SydneyEconomy: 8,000 pts
Taxes: $88 one-way
n/a n/a

5. Rottnest Island, WA

The brief: Quokka selfies, segway tours and the usual island fun. Rottnest is not a place you can fly directly to with a commercial carrier. But it’s just off the coast of Western Australia and very easy to access from Perth (be sure to check out Fremantle before or after taking the ferry).

Rottnest Island Quokka

Getting there: Since you’re flying to a capital city (Perth), all three major airlines are able to take you there. Taxes will vary, but points needed are quite high due to the city being very isolated from the rest of Australia.

Direct flightsQantas Airways Logo Qantas
(Qantas Points)
Virgin Australia Logo Virgin Australia
(Velocity Points)
Jetstar logo - CopyJetstar
(Qantas Points)
From Sydney
Melbourne
Brisbane
Adelaide
Darwin
Economy: 18,000 pts
Business: 41,500 pts
Taxes: From $38 one-way
Economy: 17,800 pts
Business: 35,500 pts
Taxes: From $31 one-way
Economy: 14,400 pts
Taxes: From $27 one-way

Also read: Five things you should know before flying domestically in 2021 →


Want to be relaxing on those sandy shores sooner? Boost your Qantas or Velocity points balance with our top points credit card sign-up offers.

Fly to these amazing Australian islands for less during Covid was last modified: April 20th, 2021 by Brandon Loo