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We all probably conjure up a holiday to a tropical island paradise to exotic islands like Bali, Phuket, Fiji, Hawaii, The Whitsundays, Santorini, or Ibiza. However, in Lonely Planet’s new publication titled “The Islands Book”, it unveils some of the more dramatic, diverse, and unusual islands around the world. The world’s most amazing islands can be discovered as far north as the Lofoten Islands of Norway, and as far south as Macquarie Island between New Zealand and Antartica.
The publication is divided into five chapters: Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania. Each chapter contains a variety of islands in that region, that is introduced by a Lonely Planet expert, featuring beautiful images and a bespoke map. You will discover the cultural heritage, natural wonders and secret stories from each remarkable island.
Australia, located within the Oceania category, is blessed with many islands. In fact there are over 8,000 of them off the extensive coastlines of our continent. Many are tropical oases, with sandy shores, fringed by palm trees and surrounded by coral reefs. Others, like Fraser Island, is the largest sand island in the world, or the pristine Kangaroo Island is renowned for its prolific native wildlife.
But I guess if we’re thinking of the most famous Australian island you would have to say it is Tasmania. The “Apple Isle”, called this because of its apple shape, is actually a state of Australia and is located off the southern tip of Victoria. Tasmania is a wonderland of natural attractions, with a fascinating history, a flourishing food and wine scene and vast wilderness areas.
Over on the west coast of our big wide country is Rottnest Island, that is located near Perth. This popular island for holidaymakers and day trippers is a protected nature reserve and famous for its population of cute quokkas.
Oceania islands include Australasia, Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. The book covers Norfolk and Lord Howe islands that belong to Australia; the islands of Stewart, Waiheke, Great Barrier and Codfish Island in New Zealand; the more renowned islands of New Caledonia, Cook Islands, Bora Bora and Mo’orea; Vava’u in Tonga; Yasawa and Vanua Levu Islands in Fiji; and Upolu in Samoa.
What comes to mind when I think of Europe are the glorious Greek Islands. Included in the book are some of the lesser known ones such as the Ionian Islands, Milos, Skiathos, Hydra and Lesvos. Other inclusions are Malta, Sicily, Corsica, Korcula, Vis, Hvar, Cyprus, Ibiza, Mallorca, Sardinia, Elba and Crete – to name a few.
Northern European islands of Isle of Skye, Fair Isle and Islay in Scotland; Clare Island, Inis Mor and Skellig Islands in Ireland; England’s Lindisfarne, Isles of Scilly and Burgh Island; the Channel Islands, and the Faroe Islands, are also featured.
The continent of Asia is abundant with popular, tourist frequented islands. Who hasn’t heard of the famous Bali in Indonesia, Phuket in Thailand, Langkawi in Malaysia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, Maldives and the islands of Japan?
However, this publication has come up with some other wonderful alternatives that are a little less known. For example: Thailand’s Ao Phang Nga, Ko Lanta, Ko Phi-Phi Islands and Trang Islands; Indonesia’s Sumatra, Komodo Island, Sulawesi, Mentaiwa and Raja Ampat Islands; Malaysia’s Penang and Malaysian Borneo.
The majority of islands off the African continent are located in the Indian Ocean, however there are a couple worth visiting in the Atlantic Ocean. For a tropical holiday you would definitely consider islands such as Cabo Verde, Madagascar, Comoros, São Tomé and Príncipe, Zanzibar, Seychelles, Reunion Island and Mauritius.
The Caribbean Sea is brimming with stunning island countries. If you have ever taken a Caribbean cruise you would have visited many of these. Caribbean Islands such as Tobago, Barbados, Dominica, Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico, Bermuda, and Cuba, are some of the islands featured in this publication.
The Hawaiian Islands are also extremely popular tourist hotspots. Canada has its own islands in the Pacific Ocean called Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii. On Canada’s east coast there is Newfoundland and the Québécois Île d’Orléans.
In Central and South America you will find some islands that you may never have heard of, like: Isla Mujeres in Mexico, Little Corn Island in Nicaragua, Islas San Blas in Panama and Isla Barú in Colombia. Easter Island, Galápagos Islands and the Falkland Islands also get a mention.
With far too many to mention, featuring 150 islands and 600 stunning photos, “The Islands Book” by Lonely Planet will give readers a whole new take on an island holiday. It is one of those books that can sit on your coffee table and you will want to pick it up again and again to start planning an island getaway.
The Islands Book retails at AU$49.99 and is available where all good books are sold or at shop.lonelyplanet.com
Kathy was a 50 something year old when she started up this blog 6 years ago, but has since turned over another decade and is now in her early 60s. She is married with two adult children and lives on the Tweed Coast of New South Wales, Australia. Kathy enjoys living life to the fullest and loves to keep fit and active by maintaining a healthy diet and exercising regularly. Some of her interests include reading, photography, travelling, cooking and blogging! Kathy works part-time as a freelance writer but her real passion is travelling and photographing brilliant destinations both within Australia and overseas and writing about it.