The Whitsundays The Whitsundays

Your guide to theThe Whitsundays

The Whitsundays is made up of 74 magnificent islands, including the four resort islands – Hamilton Island, Hayman Island, Daydream Island and Long Island. The primary towns on the mainland welcoming visitors are Airlie Beach, Bowen and Proserpine.

The Whitsundays offers sun-drenched beaches, island escapes, sailing and water sports or simply the opportunity to relax and unwind at one of the island resorts.

The best time to visit the Whitsundays is anytime, with mild temperatures and clear skies and 300 days of sun each year. Average temperatures range from 22 to 23 degrees Celsius in the winter months and up to 29 to 30 degrees Celsius in the height of summer. The tropical wet season during January to March sees the steamy summer heat often broken by tropical showers.

Here’s our pick of the best things to do in the Whitsundays to make the most of your next Whitsunday getaway.

Getting to the Whitsundays

Getting to the Whitsundays is easy. Serviced by two airports, Great Barrier Reef Airport (HTI) located on Hamilton Island and Whitsundays Coast Airport (PPP) located on the mainland near Proserpine, approximately 25 minutes from Airlie Beach.

Cruise Whitsundays operates ferries from Hamilton Island to transfer passengers to Airlie Beach and other island resorts. Buses and Taxis meet each flight at Whitsundays Coast Airport to transfer guests to ferry terminals or Airlie Beach. Car hire is also available at the airport.

Best things to do in the Whitsundays

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Sailing & Catamarans

The Whitsundays is arguably one of the best sailing destinations in the world. Explore the Whitsundays by water by either taking a day tour, charter a boat or skipper one yourself called “bareboating”.

For those with an adventurous spirit, sail Whitsundays in a catamaran without the captain with a bareboating experience. For a Whitsundays day cruise exclusively for adults, consider Lady Enid for a luxurious day cruise to Whitehaven Beach.

Ocean Rafting & Diving

If it’s adventure you seek, choose an ocean rafting tour or diving experience in the Whitsundays. Ocean Rafting takes you on an exhilarating ride to world famous Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet Lookout and pristine snorkelling reefs all via a super fast inflatable vessel, offering a day of fun and adventure.

Swim, snorkel or scuba dive and witness diverse marine life, brightly coloured fish and corals of the outer Great Barrier Reef in the Whitsundays. The Whitsundays offers plenty of perfect dive sites depending on your level of experience.

Take a dive under the watchful eye of an instructor if you’re a beginner, or take a multi-day outer reef tour if you already have your dive certificate. There are plenty of tour operators to choose from and Diving Whitsundays can help you book the scuba diving experience best suited to you.

Thrill Seeking (Skydiving & Jet Skiing)

For the ultimate adrenaline rush, try jet skiing, jet boating or skydiving your way into the action at Airlie Beach. Whitsunday Jetski Tours is the only tour operator to offer guided jetski tours from Airlie Beach to the Whitsunday Islands. For thrill seekers, jump from Australia’s highest altitude and skydive with Skydive Airlie Beach the only skydive company jumping in Airlie Beach.

Choosing Where to Stay on the Whitsundays

Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, family holiday or honeymoon you’ll find the perfect Whitsundays accommodation to suit your style and budget. From Whitsunday apartments, resorts and luxurious Whitsunday island accommodation there are plenty of options to stay on the mainland or on the Whitsunday islands.

Luxury Hotels & Accommodation

If it’s an escape to island life you crave, for the ultimate luxury Whitsunday accommodation, get away from it all at qualia considered as one of the world’s best luxury resorts. Hayman Island reopens in 2019 after a multi-million dollar renovation, bringing a new level of island luxury to the Whitsundays. The exclusive Elysian Retreat is a luxury resort nestled on the southern point of Long Island in the Whitsundays that accommodates a maximum of 20 guests at any one time. Heart Hotel & Gallery Whitsundays offers luxury accommodation in Airlie Beach to rival the islands.

B&B’s & Apartments

The Whitsundays offers a choice of B&B’s, Apartments and resorts. Mirage Whitsundays offers luxury-serviced apartments on the serene waterfront of Airlie Beach. If you enjoy the warm hospitality of B&B style accommodation, check-in to Airlie Waterfront Bed & Breakfast.

If you’re seeking Whitsunday islands accommodation, Hamilton Island Beach Club Resort provides an adults-only oasis right on Catseye Beach overlooking the Coral Sea. There are a host of family friendly places to stay on Hamilton Island, the most popular, the Palm Bungalows.


Camping in the Whitsundays allows visitors to take full advantage of the natural beauty, stunning views and abundance of wildlife in the region. The Whitsunday Islands National Park are custodians of 32 islands including the world-renowned Whitehaven Beach which unbelievably permits camping! The most popular islands for camping in the Whitsundays are Hook Island and Whitsunday Island.

If you’re looking for a family-friendly holiday in the Whitsundays, the award-winning BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort offers everything from powered camping sites to cabins and the biggest lagoon-style pool in Airlie Beach and mega waterslide park to keep the kids entertained.

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Best Ways to Experience the Whitsundays

Boat Tours

The best way to see the Whitsundays is by water with a boat tour. Cruise Whitsundays offer day cruises and experiences exploring the Great Barrier Reef, Whitehaven Beach, Hamilton Island and more. The unique Reef Sleep cruise, allows you to sleep under the stars, 39 nautical miles off shore on the Great Barrier Reef. Choose your favourite mode of transport from chartered yachts, catamarans or traditional sailing boats with plenty of quality, accredited tour operators available in the Whitsundays.

Helicopter Rides

Can you imagine a more memorable way to see the Great Barrier Reef than with a scenic flight? You can fly over the most photographed reef in the world, Heart Reef with its magical natural heart-shaped formation that inspires many to declare their love. A Whitsunday scenic flight is possible with GSL Aviation on either a fixed wing or helicopter for an unforgettable way to see the Whitsundays.

Whitsundays Packages and Tours

If you’d prefer to take the hassle out of organising your Whitsunday holiday, consider booking Whitsunday packages and tours. Many Whitsunday hotels and resorts offer packages including accommodation, tours and attractions providing great value and access to popular experiences.