Top 20 Highest Points On Islands in the World

When you think of islands, do you picture a tropical scene with beautiful warm beaches? Yet some islands are bitterly cold and covered in ice and snow. Some islands seem to have it all, from wonderful crashing waves to high peaks that are covered in snow. This is a list of high points for the top 20 islands in the world ordered by their highest point. As we did to illustrate the 20 U.S. National Parks by elevation, including the 20 highest points found in that park, here starting at #20 and counting down to #1 we show the immense diversity of islands. We’ve included an image from each island as well as a photo of the mountain or volcano peak that is the highest point of that island

Starting at #20 and counting down to #1, this is a list of the top 20 ‘highest’ islands in the world, ordered by their highest points.

Ranked at #20 on the list is Seram, Indonesia, where Mount Binaiya (Gunung Binaiya) stretches up to 9,931 feet, or 3,027 meters, making it one of the 100 most topographically prominent peaks on Earth. Jean-Claude Latombe’s Mountaineering, Climbing, and Trekking Page has fascinating photos and the story of treking through Seram island and ascending Mt. Binaiya.

#20: Seram from the sea on top. But trekking deep in the jungle to climb Mount Binaiya, the photographer said, “Encounter with a python that had swallowed a deer. Extremely impressive. It takes about a month for a python to digest such a big animal.”

Sunset with Mount Agung in Amed, Bali. Indonesia, the 19th highest point on islands worldwide. As we pointed out when showing off the 7 Sea Temples of Beautiful Bali, it is also known as the island paradise of 1,000 temples.

#19: Rice fields in Bali with Mount Agung in background. Mount Agung stands tall at 9,994 feet, or 3,031 meters, at the peak.

#18: The Island of Maui ranks at #18 due to Haleakala. This is the scene at the big beach at Makena in Makena State Park, Maui.

Staring down into the crater of Mount Haleakala from the summit during sunrise. In Haleakala National Park on the island of Maui in Hawaii, Haleakala is 10,023 feet (3,055 m) high, making it the 18th highest island point in the the world and the 2nd tallest point of USA islands. Haleakala also takes the prize as 18th for the list of U.S. National Parks by highest elevation.

Beach on Réunion, France, the island with the 17th highest point due to Piton des Neiges.

#17 highest point is Piton des Neiges peak on Réunion island. It reaches 10,072 feet, or 3,070 meters. Sunrise on the Piton des Neiges is rarely clear. The photographer added, “We were lucky because few clouds are shown.”

#16 on the list of islands by highest points is Hispaniola in the Dominican Republic with Pico Duarte.

Pico Duarte is the highest peak in all the Caribbean islands; it reaches 10,164 feet, or 3,098 meters, coming in at 16th.

#15 is Siple Island with Mount Siple, a potentially active Antarctic shield volcano, rising to 10,203 ft (3,110 meters) and dominating the northwest part of Siple Island.

Siple Dome on Mount Siple, Antarctica, the 15th highest point on islands.

Sicily, Italy, with Mount Etna is ranked 14th for highest island point worldwide.

#14: At 10,912 ft, or 3,326 meters high, Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. It’s located on the east coast of Sicily.

#13: Sulawesi island, Indonesia, because of the Mount Rantemario peak.

Summit of Mount Rantemario on the island of Sulawesi, reaches 11,411 ft (3,478 m) to rank 13th.

#12: Colors of a mystic Java sunset. The Semeru volcano on Java is 12th when it comes to highest points of islands worldwide.

Semeru volcano, or Mount Semeru, rises to 12,060 ft (3,676 m) on the island of Java, Indonesia. The photographer said of this Semeru background with stunning star trails, “Another freezing night in the Bromo Tengger Semeru National Park.”

Ranked 11th: Clouds and Northern Lights aka Aurora Borealis over Greenland, which comes in at #11 in highest points of islands. Greenland is also famous for extraordinarily incredible icebergs.

#11: Gunnbjørn Fjeld, or Gunnbjørn, 12,119 ft (3,694 m) is the highest point on Greenland. It is also the highest mountain north of the Arctic circle. Wikipedia adds, “It is a nunatak, a rocky peak protruding through glacial ice. In the Icelandic Sagas, and thus by the Norsemen, the mountain was called Hvitserk, literally meaning ‘whiteshirt’. It is named after Gunnbjorn Ulfsson, the Viking who was the first European to reach Greenland.” The photographer noted, that this shot of Gunnbjørn was “taken during a joint British-Russian expedition in May 2011.”

#10 ranked island by highest point is Tenerife, Spain. This is one of the Canary Islands. Teide Peak stretches to 12,198 ft (3,718 m). The 73 sq mi (18,900 hectares) area surrounding the Teide volcano makes up Teide National Park, which was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This rare capture includes Teide, Luna, Venus and Jupiter.

Mount Teide, the volcano on Tenerife is ranked 10th. The photographer wrote, “you can gaze at certain times like this in the early morning or in the evening still enjoy almost alone. The picture shows the highest mountain in Spain, the 3718 m high Pico del Teide. The imposing rock in the foreground is the Los Roques.”

#9 highest point is on the island of Lombok, Indonesia. This sunrise on Gili Trwangan has a view of Mount Rinjani in the background.

A small eruption of #9 Mount Rinjani, with volcanic lightning. Lombok’s Mount Rinjani, or Gunung Rinjani, active volcano rises 12,224 ft (3,726 m) and has a crater lake (caldera) known as ‘Child of the Sea.’ The lake is about 660 ft, 200 meters, deep; the caldera also has a hot springs.

#8 South Island, New Zealand, with Aoraki / Mt. Cook in the background and Lake Pukaki in the foreground. Mt. Cook National Park has more than 140 peaks standing over 6,600 ft (2,000 m).

South Island ranked 8th due to 12,320 ft (3,755 m) peak of Aoraki / Mount Cook, seen here with lenticular clouds over the summit.

#7: Endless fields of purple flowers in front of the 7th highest point on an island, Mount Fuji, which is still capped with snow.

Honshu Island, Japan, comes in ranked 7th, since the towering 12,388 feet (3,776 meters) active stratovolcano Mount Fuji.

#6 is Ross Island, Antarctica, with Mt. Erebus seen here with a plume.

Ross Island is 6th due to the 12,448 ft (3,794 m) summit of Mount Erabus. Although considered Antarctica, Ross Island did not belong to a country or territory, so it was claimed by New Zealand.

#5 on the list of islands by highest point is Sumatra, Indonesia, with Mount Kerinci. The photographer said, “Sampan traversing the lake in Kerinci Seblat National Park.”

At 12,484 ft (3,805 m), Mount Kerinci is the highest volcano in Indonesia, the highest peak on the island of Sumatra, and the 5th highest point of any island globally. According to Wikipedia, “It is surrounded by the lush forest of Kerinci Seblat National Park, home to the endangered species of Sumatran Tiger and Sumatran Rhinoceros.”

#4 is Taiwan, Republic of China, with Yushan, also called Jade Mountain, looming up to 12,966 ft (3,952 m).

Sunrise over Yushan, 4th highest point among islands. In the winter, Yushan is often capped with thick snow, making the entire peak shine like stainless jade thus the name Jade Mountain.

The 3rd highest point on an island is Borneo, Malaysia, with Mount Kinabalu.

#3 Mount Kinabalu rises to 13,435 ft (4,095 m) and is protected as Kinabalu National Park, a World Heritage Site. The photographer called this, “Welcome in Mordor.”

#2: Hawaii has Mauna Kea. This little slice of paradise is Green Sand Beach, also called Papakolea Beach, Big Island, Hawaii.

Mauna Kea stretches to 13,803 ft (4,207 m), making it the 2nd highest point of islands worldwide. Hawaii seems to have it all, from gorgeous green or even black sandy beaches, to lava entering the Pacific at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, to the high peak covered in snow as seen here at the Mauna Kea Observatories telescopes.

#1 on list of islands by highest point is New Guinea, Indonesia, with the Puncak Jaya summit at 4,884 m, 16,024 ft on Mount Carstensz. The peak is also called Carstensz Pyramid, locally referred to as peak Jaya; it is the highest peak in Australia and Oceania. The mountain was named Cartensz after Dutch sailor John Carstensz, who saw that the mountain on the equator was covered by ice. In 1623, no one would believe Carstensz’s story about the the existence of the ice caps along the tropical equator. His reports were first met with laughter. These are reportedly the only tropical glaciers in Indonesia, and they are disappearing in what some claim is due to global warming.

To underscore the incredible shrinking Puncak Jaya Glacier, NASA said the top images were photographed by J.J. Dozy in 1936; by the United States Geological Survey during the Carstensz Glaciers Expeditions in 1972; and by a NASA astronaut on the International Space Station in 2005. The bottom Landsat 7 image shows the 4,884-meter-tall (16,024-foot) summit of Puncak Jaya, one of the Seven Summits, the nearby open pit of Freeport mine – one of the world’s largest producers of copper and gold – and three glaciers. The Earth Observatory said, “While Puncak Jaya’s peak is free of glaciers, there are several on its slopes, including the Carstensz Glacier, the Meren Glacier, and Northwall Firn (hanging glaciers).” In this image, “snow and ice appears blue while clouds are white, bare unvegetated land such as the rocky limestone summit ridges appear red or pinkish, the deep purple and grey is the open pit copper mine while the lush rainforest of the lowlands appears green.”