© George Apostolidis

There are hundreds of thousands of islands dotting our oceans and lakes—as many as 180,000 in Finland alone—but only 10 of these enticing, secluded spots get to crown Travel + Leisure’s annual World’s Best Islands list. 

No. 4 Tasmania, Australia

7 of 11

Score: 88.32

Readers raved about this Australian state, calling it a little known treasure that’s unmatched by any other island destination. Its diverse and stunning landscape is nearly hallucinatory: rolling dunes covered in psychedelic banksia wildflowers, granite formations that erupt from the beaches, and the wonder of the tessellated pavement at Eaglehawk Neck. Trek the 600,000 acres of pristine coastal wilderness and look out for hyena-like Tasmanian devils, wallabies, and the duckbill platypus. Despite its remote location, Tasmania has a freestyle culinary scene, thanks to local ingredients like handpicked sea lettuce, local game like opossum, and organic Tassie wine. Best of all? The air is as clean as it is in Antarctica, making it the ideal place to take a breather.  

Tasmania

World's Best Islands

No. 4 Tasmania, Australia

Score: 88.32

Readers raved about this Australian state, calling it a little known treasure that’s unmatched by any other island destination. Its diverse and stunning landscape is nearly hallucinatory: rolling dunes covered in psychedelic banksia wildflowers, granite formations that erupt from the beaches, and the wonder of the tessellated pavement at Eaglehawk Neck. Trek the 600,000 acres of pristine coastal wilderness and look out for hyena-like Tasmanian devils, wallabies, and the duckbill platypus. Despite its remote location, Tasmania has a freestyle culinary scene, thanks to local ingredients like handpicked sea lettuce, local game like opossum, and organic Tassie wine. Best of all? The air is as clean as it is in Antarctica, making it the ideal place to take a breather.  

© George Apostolidis

World's Best Islands

Discerning readers have ranked their favorite island oases in Travel + Leisure’s World’s Best Awards, and this year’s results prove that no destination is too remote when pristine, white-sand beaches and exotic fauna await.

For the third time in the World’s Best Awards two-decade history, the wild islands of the Galápagos secured the No. 1 spot. Despite being 600 miles west of South America, this primordial sanctuary continues to lure travelers with the promise of encounters with playful sea lions and flamboyant blue-footed boobies.

With untamed Tasmania, the jagged mountains peaks of Moorea, and Australia’s vibrant Great Barrier Reef islands rounding out the list, this year’s selection is a clear departure from 2014, which reflected a certain national pride (Hawaiian islands filled four of the top 10 overall spots). Now, distant and unusual shores are back on travelers’ minds.

Not that there’s anything wrong with fulfilling fantasies of coconut palms and luaus. And for that reason, Maui and Kauai are back again, marking 20 consecutive years on the Top 10 Overall list.

Plot your next getaway to one of these incredible islands, where being encircled by water is only part of the appeal.  

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