It’s not news that city living can be noisy, overpopulated and expensive. Simply put, the hustle and bustle just isn’t for everyone. Come to think of it, neither is the mainland.
Are you looking for a bit of peace and quiet? Maybe, a serene seaside setting? You work remotely or don't mind a bit of boating? Perhaps you really enjoyed the movie Cast Away?
You may want to consider island living. Australia’s coastline is as picturesque as it is long and most of our islands are so close to shore, even Tom Hanks might consider them. Finding your own corner on a beautiful archipelago doesn’t have to be a sacrifice, in fact it could save you money and could even be a comparable commute time to mainland living.
Kick off those shoes and imagine the sand between your toes - here’s some of Australia’s best island homes for under $500k.
Nestled near the southern part of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Coochimudlo Island is a small community with a population of just over 700 people. The scenery includes crystal clear waters, wrap around sandy beaches except for rocky cliff faces to the south west and mangroves skirting the western foreshore.
The island is serviced by ferries every half hour between 5:00am and 11:00pm, the ride only minutes to the mainland and an overall commute to Brisbane City in 45 minutes. Featuring a library, gym, tennis courts, football and cricket pitches and even a 9 hole golf course ‘Coochi’ as the locals adoringly call it, feels like a holiday, everyday.
$470,000: 6 Shirley Street, Coochiemudlo Island, QLD 4184.
3 Bedroom, 2 Bathrooms 2 parking
Sturdy, low maintenance brick home, which features two family sized living areas and tiling throughout; suitable for a young family. Includes covered outdoor entertaining area and a master bedroom with walk-ins, air con and en-suite.
$295,000: 4 Aminya Street, Coochiemudlo Island, QLD 4184
2 bedroom, 2 bathroom
Perfect little getaway shack for fishing weekenders or even to rent out as an AirBnb. It has a hip setup, with a bar on the front deck, perfect for enjoying a cold one, as well as a studio style kitchen.
$369,000:62 Elizabeth Street, Coochiemudlo Island, QLD 4184
4 Bedroom, 2 bathroom and 3 parking
A classic Queensland style family home, with two living areas a formal lounge and open style kitchen family area. The large balcony has ample room for entertaining and the property sits next to a natural reserve, a home to flocks of native birds.
Macleay Island also sits in Queensland's Moreton Bay area, however it is slightly larger with a population of around 3000. With the larger island comes more facilities including cafes, restaurants, a bowls club, golf course and boat club.
For the creative types there’s an Arts Complex with a studio, gallery and pottery shed; in fact Macleay is home to 250 writers artists and musicians, the amazing scenery a continual inspiration. Other than the beautiful beaches, the island is a significant spiritual site for Indigenous Australians and there is a number of heritage listed sites including a sugar mill.
$330,000 Cooee Cresent, Macleay Island, QLD 4184
3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, 2 parking
Modern three bedroom home, including a swimming pool for resort style living. Balcony for entertaining, as well as a private balcony attached to the main bedroom. Also features a water tank, so you can fulfill that veggie patch dream.
$200,000 16 Noogie, Macleay Island, QLD 4184
Being sold by Sandra Hutchison of Raine & Horne, Macleay Island
3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 2 parking
Vintage charm, with ornate ceilings, picture rails, bay windows and a terrazzo bathroom floor. Set in a quiet street with shops at the end of the road and beaches perfect for swimming a few minutes away. The adjoining block is also available for $34,900 if you want to carve out your ideal slice of paradise.
Phillip Island is known for its wildlife, namely the Phillip Island nature park, in fact 3.5 million tourists visit each year, so there must be something pretty special. Phillip Island supports a large population of fairy penguins and is an ideal vantage point to view whales as they migrate south.
It’s also on the map for its world famous motorsport track. 9000 people call this scenic destination home, which has a particularly convenient land bridge, no boats needed. The island sits 140kms south-east of Melbourne, under a two hour drive.
$129,000: 197/2124 Phillip Island Road, Cowes VIC 3922
2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom
Located within the popular Ramada Resort, this awesome house is an ideal holiday home. With built-ins in each room and a spacious deck, it’s perfect for kicking back. The resort also offers pools, BBQ facilities, tennis courts, spa and gymnasium, and a short drive will take you into the Cowes township.
$489,000: 55 Lock Road, Rhyll, VIC 3923
Being sold by Brian Silver and Greg Price of Alex Scott and Staff - Cowes.
3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 4 parking
Sitting in a the quiet fishing village of Rhyll, this modern house is walking distance to the boat ramp and local shops. It has a double garage and carport for all your boating or caravan needs and the rear covered alfresco area has water views!
It's Australia’s largest island, of course. Tasmania is known for its spectacular scenery and protected areas cover roughly 42% of the island, including the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area - home to the infamous cradle mountain.
Tassie also punches above its weight in the culinary sense with boutique cheeses and seafood being star attractions. Hobart’s Salamanca markets, held every Saturday, draws tourists and locals in the thousands, all keen to sample fresh produce and handmade goods.
Evidently the most populous island on this list, with roughly a half a million citizens, Tasmania has many places that offer a combination of serenity and convenience.
$395,000: 4561 Bruny Island Main Road, Lunawanna TAS, 7150
Being sold by Jude Viney and Chris Viney of Fall Real Estate - Northern Hobart.
3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 parking
This property is truly blessed - it’s a 90 year old renovated and extended church. It has buckets of charm and is close to the Lunawanna boat ramp, sandy beaches, shops, schools and healthcare. Lunawanna is a small town on Bruny Island that sits just south of Hobart.
$245,000: 12 Gunter Street, Lady Barron TAS, 7255
Being sold by Colin Wilson, Roberts Real Estate - Flinders Island.
2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1 parking
Open plan and low maintenance, this house is perfect for a getaway or retirees. Stylish Tasmanian Oak makes a theme throughout, bringing a homely warmth. The house sits on a quarter acre block and is just a short stroll to the shops, tavern or wharf.
Australia’s third largest island behind Melville Island and Tasmania, Kangaroo Island has a lot to offer. A third of the island is consumed in nature reserves, home to sea lions, koalas and birds. Another popular animal, especially with tourists, is the Southern Rock Lobster which is caught on the southern coast.
If you like your seafood served with a glass of your favourite drop, say no more, the island is also home to 30 wine growers and 12 wineries.
With passenger and vehicle ferries taking 45 minutes to the mainland, this island is as charismatic as it is convenient.
$265,000 26 Willoughby Crescent, Kingscote SA, 5223
Being sold by Michael Barret of Century 21 Kangaroo Island - Kingscote
3 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 3 parking
With well established gardens, fully fenced yard and solid brick veneer, all this comfortable place needs is you. The level yard and established pathways make it very suitable for the older buyers and the close proximity to town makes visiting the shops a breeze.
$345,000 152 A Jeffs Road, Porky Flat SA 5222
Being sold by Paul Gibson of Cliff Hawkins Pty Ltd - Kangaroo Island
4 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 6 parking
Located on the southern side of the island, this property is a whopping two hectares. With an open plan living room, an outdoor firepit and entertaining areas out the front and rear, this place is livable all year round. It includes large outdoor veggie gardens, fruit trees and rainwater storage and would suit those with a bit of a green thumb.