The Whitsunday Islands
The Whitsunday Islands
Flung off the beautiful tropical coast of Queensland are the 74 wonderful Whitsunday Islands. This archipelago is renowned for its crystal-clear tropical waters and pristine beaches such as the stunning Whitehaven Beach – home to the purest white sand in the world. The Whitsundays are perfect for sailing as the Great Barrier Reef creates naturally calm waters, all ripe for exploration. Cast anchor and explore islands such as South Molle or Long Island, where you can saunter along hiking trails that take you through rainforests and past rocky headlands, or laze by secluded beaches in palm-shaded hammocks.
Great Barrier Reef
The sun-soaked isles that make up The Whitsundays sit inside the Great Barrier Reef, making them a great place to explore one of the world’s richest ecosystems. Indeed, it's home to over 1,500 species of fish and, if that wasn’t enough to whet your appetite, you can also spot turtles, whales and dolphins. From the Whitsunday Islands you could also take a flightseeing tour over the Great Barrier Reef, during which you can spot the iconic Heart Reef, s well as appreciate the grandeur of this natural phenomenon. Ask your friendly Travel Expert about adding this experience to your holiday and they will ensure that you can see this unique formation on your Whitsundays visit.
Different in almost every way from its American counterpart, this Long Island, in The Whitsundays, is the closest to the Australian mainland. This tranquil, 5.5-mile-long spit of land has over 10 miles of walking trails and is just 400m wide at its widest point – a recipe for some spectacular views of the tropical flora, surrounding reefs and beaches. The best way to reach this island is by water ferry, ask one of our lovely Travel Experts to arrange this for you so you can kick back, relax and explore the island at your leisure.
As the only island with a commercial airport, not to mention a variety of attractions, resorts and activities, the car-free Hamilton Island (or “Hamo” to the locals) is one of Australia’s most desirable holiday destinations and a fantastic base for some Whitsundays exploration. Unwind on this island and watch your worries disappear as the sun sinks beneath the Coral Sea horizon. We love the world-renowned Whitehaven Beach or, for something more private, Betty’s Beach.
“Hamo” has a diverse range of activities, including golf, tennis, quad biking, mini golf, off-road ATV tours, kayaking or sailing. It's a great place for a touch of luxury too, so if you are looking for a little opulence (and let’s face it, who isn’t?!) then follow in the footsteps of Oprah, Taylor Swift and Leonardo DiCaprio with a stay at qualia. This decadent resort boasts 60 pavillions, two world-class restaurants and a spa, all designed with the surrounding environment in mind.
Vibrant and laid back may not be words you automatically put together, but when it comes to Airlie Beach they complement each other perfectly to describe this town. As a starting point for most visits to The Whitsundays, this mainland hub is a fabulous place to experience that easy-going Queensland living whilst being able to explore the reef. Stroll through boutiques, cafés and alfresco restaurants, sample some of the delicious local produce such as sumptuous seafood, and venture to The Whitsundays for your pick of exhilarating excursions. Speak to our friendly Travel Experts for recommendations on the best snorkelling spots, secluded beaches and rambles through the tropical terrain.
There's so much marine life to see around The Whitsundays that there’s no excuse not to explore beneath the waves. The largest visitors to frequent the waters here are whales, which are best viewed from June to September. During this time humpbacks put on a brilliant display and can be seen breaching, fluking and slapping their pectoral fins; dip your head below the surface for a chance of hearing whale song, which can carry for miles through the water.
It's not only some of the world's largest creatures that frequent these waters. Often dolphins will frolic playfully in the bow of sailing boats and turtles are a common sight during snorkelling excursions. Your lovely Travel Expert can advise on the best way to view the plethora of stunning marine life, so pick up the phone and let them tailor-make it easy.
Sink your toes into some of the most pristine white sand on Earth and hear them squeak! This four mile stretch of heavenly shorefront can be reached by boat from Airlie Beach or via Catamaran from Hamilton Island and is popular amongst most sailing trips around The Whitsundays. Let your friendly Travel Expert arrange you a flight above this spectacular landscape to get a truly breathtaking view of the beach itself, as well as the shifting sands of the Hill Inlet.
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