The Whitsundays

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Welcome to the Whitsundays

Swirling white sand and crystal-clear, turquoise waters, The Whitsundays are what dreamy, idyllic holidays are made of. Located right in the centre of the Great Barrer Reef, The Whitsundays are a collection of 74 beautiful and diverse islands surrounded by rainbow-coloured, lively reef ecosystems. An enviable holiday destination, islands like Hamilton, Daydream and Hayman play host to many luxurious resorts while many others are home to natural and protected wonders like the famous Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet, Heart Reef, lush National Parks and more.

Mainland Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach, a tropical resort town along with the coastal mainland hub of The Whitsundays, is your gateway to the islands. Surrounded by beautiful beaches, the town is home to delicious dining options, holiday accommodation and plenty of water sports and activities to explore the tropical region. Entertainment and nightlife here are a must in the warm balmy summer evenings. Perfect beach weather persists almost year-round, and the blissful holiday vibes are truly infectious. Access the islands via plane or boat from Airlie Beach, Shute Harbour or Hamilton Island Marina.

Your Kind of Stay

The variety of accommodation options in The Whitsundays is as interesting as what you’ll find under the sea. Luxury resorts abound on land, while adventurous types will love options for camping or glamping under the stars and caravanning in approved sites.

Holiday Parks are perfect for families after relaxation and fun, while honeymooners and groups of friends may wish to drop anchor and enjoy nights spent on the calm Coral Sea. Emerging for incredible sunrises from cabins onboard yachts, schooners, catamarans or sailing vessels is simply breathtaking.

The pièce de resistance of accommodation in these parts comes in the form of a ‘reef sleep’. From sharing a Sunlover pontoon in the middle of paradise to an exclusive stay on Hardy’s Reef with Cruise Whitsundays in a deluxe swag – a stay on the water’s surface, just above the world’s largest coral reef system is simply a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Go one step deeper – four metres to be exact – and stay underwater in one of two Reef Suites at Port of Airlie, Australia’s first underwater accommodation with floor-to-ceiling glass walls. Complete with chef-prepared dinners and reef tours, this multi-award-winning Whitsundays stay is one for the ages.

Reef By Sea, Air and Land

See the world’s most diverse coral reef ecosystems by boat, plane or helicopter, but be sure to submerge into the pristine waters to truly experience this world-famous destination. Hop a cruise to the outer reef and snorkel or dive beneath the sparkling Coral Sea.

Book a private charter to sail around and explore the wonderland of incredibly diverse corals, fish and marine life beneath. Barebottom and glass-bottom boats are perfect for those after the excitement of underwater adventure without getting wet. For something new, try Snuba, the perfect medium between snorkelling and diving for those who are unable to go too far below.

See the unforgettable Heart Reef from the air, this picture-perfect, heart-shaped reef looks as good in your photographs as it does on postcards.

With your feet on terra firma, be sure to book a tour to trek through an abundance of culturally significant, rich bushland and rainforest and spot hundreds of species of birds and wildlife.

Island Paradise

Whitsunday Island, the largest and one of the most well-known is home to the seven-kilometre stretch of white silica sand, unique only to this part of the earth, on Whitehaven Beach. The white and blue, ice-cream like swirls of sand and see can be seen with a walk up to Tongue Point Lookout and the famous Hill Inlet, one of the most spectacular views available.

Relax and explore one of the most popular resort destinations, Hamilton Island. Visit Catseye Beach and enjoy kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, snorkelling and more. Pamper yourself at an indulgent day spa and sip tropical cocktails at the many exquisite dining venues overlooking the Coral Sea. Why not check out Wild Life Hamilton Island and have breakfast with a koala, or explore further to the likes of Hideaway Bay, Escape Beach, Coral Cove and Passage Peak surrounding this island’s coastline.

At the northernmost point of The Whitsundays, you’ll find Hayman Island, home to InterContinental Hayman Island Resort. Explore and rejuvenate in luxurious surrounds, the sprawling resort pool dotted with sun lounges, towering palm trees and umbrellas, is the perfect spot to float about and look out across the changing colours of the sea and lush green islands offshore. Hike through rainforest and bushland for the best views from Whitsunday Passage Lookout, Cooks Lookout and Dolphin Point Lookout or just bliss out on Blue Pearl Bay.

One of the seven islands of the Molle Group, Daydream Island is a 30-minute ferry ride from the mainland. Established as a tourist resort in the 1930s, it’s a stunning place to relax. Appease your curiosity of what lies beneath, right on the island. Home to the Living Reef and underwater observatory, see over 100 types of fish and sea life, just by stepping outside your luxurious resort room.

Land Adventures, Activities and Tours

From blissing out on a tropical island to skydiving, helicopter or seaplane experiences, ways to enjoy The Whitsundays are endless. Enjoy an island evening on Daydream by ferry for dinner and a movie under the stars or get to know Airlie on a Just Tuckn Around tour.

From resort islands to deserted ones, hop a boat or seaplane and explore lush rainforest, secluded beaches, incredible walks and sea tails. Register for the Ngaro Sea Trail around Hook, Whitsunday and South Molle Islands. Stop at Nara Inlet on Hook Island to see the Ngaro Cultural Site and witness indigenous rock cave art. Go on a fishing adventure with one of the many private charters or book a tour with Salty Dog Seakayaking for a relaxed paddle from Shute Point. See estuarine crocodiles in the wild on crocodile safaris along Proserpine River and Goorganga Plains.

Why not visit one of Australia’s largest rainforests and swim in the watering hole at Finch Hatton Gorge or Broken River. Head out to the pristine Eungella National Park known as the “Land of the Clouds” by local Aboriginal tribes. Just under two hours from Airlie, here you’ll experience waterfalls, swimming holes, berries, plant life and if you look hard enough, the elusive Platypus. Eungella National Park is home to a variety of birds and the Eungella Honey Eater found only in this national park.

Exploring the mainland is just as exciting with destinations like Lake Proserpine, Abel Point, Downtown and Port of Airlie, Cannonvale Beach, Conway National Park, Whitsunday Great Walk and seeing the kangaroos on the beach at Cape Hillsborough.

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