The Whitsunday Islands is a collection of islands located on the central coast of Queensland, Australia, and one of the most popular destinations in the country. From backpackers traveling to the island in 2-3 days to people traveling to Whitsunday on their own boat to those who are staying at some of the islands dotted resorts, anyone who visits the east coast of Australia has a tendency to stop here for a while.
Since most parts of this island are national parks, you are going to find the most ancient beaches and dive sites here. The coral walls provide incredible snorkeling and diving, whitewashing whatever is Whitehaven Beach and the clear aquatic is perfect for swimming in warm waters. I loved my multi-day sailing trip around Whitesundes but if you do not plan to visit these islands, this tour guide will help you decide what to see, how long to depart, how to save money and everything in between. can do!
Best time to visit in Whitsunday Islands:
Due to the consistently sunny weather and low humidity, September is a popular time to travel to Whitsunday. It offers great conditions for traveling to and around the area in Whitsunday, while Stinger avoids the season and has school holidays most months. Outside the peak season, September is characterized by comfortable warm weather, with the lowest rainfall of the year, and the rift offers perfect conditions for exploring.
However, in addition to the weather, holidays and stinger seasons, there are many other factors to consider when booking your “once in a lifetime” experience; Weather is generally good in Whitsunday, so it may be worthwhile to look outside the season to avoid the crowds and snatch that great job!
Best Things to Do in Whitsunday Island:
Great Barrier Reef:
Shocking beneath the clear coral sea, the only living structure visible from the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef site. In the Whitsunday Islands, it acts as a soothing coral hug, protecting the water from the vast ocean waters and making it an ideal situation for sailing, cruising, snorkeling and scuba diving.
Reef, one of the world’s richest ecosystems, boasts a wonderful diversity of marine life. In addition to more than 1,625 species of fish and 1,400 types of corals, the sea includes sea snakes, daggers, monsters, turtles, whales, dolphins, sharks and rays. From the air, you can appreciate the huge size of the reef and see the famous Heart Rift. Naturally formed, this heart-shaped splash of coral is a fitting symbol for how travelers feel when they first catch sight of Mother Nature’s most dread-inspiring masterpieces.
One of Australia’s most beautiful beaches, Whitehaven is white silica sand and a high-quality seven kilometers of turquoise sea, located on the island of Whitsunday, the largest island in the chain and a popular place for day trips and picnics. On the walk, you can explore the beach and the island. Haile Inlet is Haile Inlet, a sparkling cove at the north end of the beach where the shifting tides turn bright white sand and water into a marble-colored irl from the irl wind, it looks like an abstract watercolor painting.
Looking at the tongue point provides an impressive view and you can enjoy a bird’s eye view of the island from a seafront or helicopter. Popular anchorage for Tongue Bay Bareboat. If you want to stay on this island, camping is allowed on the southern end of the beach, but most visitors come here for luxury boats, ferries and powerboats. One of the most popular excursions is sea rafting trips to Whitestown Beach. This seven-hour tour aboard the motor gives you time for snorkeling in secret spots, strolling on the beach and exploring the panoramic views of Whitsunday Islands National Park.
Sailing Trips & Cruises:
The best way to admire the beauty of the island paradise is by boat or a high-speed cruise. This enables you to see more than one island in a day. Many tours include snorkel on the reef, hike trails to Whitsunday National Park and enjoy the benefits of resorts. Cruising Whitehaven Beach and Hamilton Island, you can travel on the beach in a high-speed catamaran. The nine-hour tour explores the highlights of this spectacular beach and later sails to Hamilton Island, where you can hike trails, browse boutiques and enjoy an intimate experience with Aussie animals on Wildlife Hamilton Island. If you really want to feel the air in your hair and the salt spray on your face, Sailing Adventure Islands in Whitsunday is a great way to travel. This 10-hour tour takes you to the magnificent Whitehaven Beach with guided hiking excursions for hiking inlet exploration and a snorkel stop at the reef.
Hamilton Island is the only Whitsunday island with commercial airports, with a plethora of attractions, resorts and activities. Accommodations range from the luxurious Kualaiya Resort in the north of Hamilton to the rhythm-shaded bungalow, family-friendly apartment and yacht club villa. The activities are just as varied. Like all the islands, water sports are the mainstay of tourism and tourists will find plenty to choose from. Highlights of the Great Barrier Reef and stunning Whitehaven Beach trip and the island has its own attractions.
You can play golf and tennis, hike a lot of trails, and explore the island in a rented golf cart, or browse the shops and relax at a restaurant in the marina. Wild cockatoo and rainbow lorikeets often attend dinner here at lunch. Kids will love interacting with Aussie animals on Wildlife Hamilton Island, as well as bowling, speeding around the go-kart track and playing mini-golf. This Island easily accessible by air and sea. Flights are operated directly from Australia’s major cities, while regular ferries provide transfers from the mainland to Airlie Beach; The crossing takes about 30 minutes
Sublime Heyman Island is home to the five-star Intercontinental Heyman Island Resort, which reopened in July 2019 after a $ 100 million renovation of the group’s hottest beach in the Whitman Whitsunday, and guests travel by style to the beach, helicopters or luxury cruises. The Hayman, one of the first islands to buttock for tourism, is incredibly beautiful, with rain forests, rocky coves, mangroves, palm-frying beaches and even botanic gardens. Except on this beautiful shore, guests can board a helicopter to Whitehaven Beach or travel to the outer reaches for the world’s best diving and snorkeling. Kayaking, swimming, boating, golfing at driving ranges and exploring walking trails as landscapes are other popular pursuits. If this is too much effort, then the luxury spa is waiting.
Naturally pre-natured, the smooth and narrow long islands are mostly primitive national parks. The fringing reefs are less than 3 meters from the beach, more than 13 kilometers of walking track through Bushland and secluded coves provide safe anchors for boats. First of all, the island is easy to access. Only a 20 minute walk from Shute Harbor to Ferry. Long Island hosts two beautiful boutique resorts. Opened in 2019, the only eco-resort among luxury adults, Elysian Retreat is the first solar-powered resort in Whitsunday, with a maximum of 20 lucky guests.
Sprawling around the quiet pockets of sand and the ocean, Palm Bay Resorts Whitsundays is a more affordable boutique resort with Balinese-style villas, suites and homes. This resort offers rare self-catering accommodations, so you can cook your own meals. Aside from all other water sports, traveling through national parks is one of the most popular activities done here or looking at the relaxed turquoise sea in the shade of a palm.
A family favorite, Daydream Island is the smallest of the group in Whitsunday and popular with the One Day Tripper closest to the mainland, almost the entire island loyal to the Daydream Island Resort, which reopened in 2019 after a huge encounter.
Despite the petite size, this fascinating resort is filled with amenities including a spa, sparkling lagoon-style pool, a kids club and an outdoor aquarium where guests can hand-feed stingrays and sharks. Water sports abound throughout the three beautiful strands of the beach, and spectacular options include rain forest walks, reef fishing and coral viewing excursions.
Rocky and curvy, Hook Island offers some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in Whitsunday. Many tour boats meanwhile stop along the slopes (Launch Bay, Butterfly Bay and Manta Ray Bay are all favorites). A large part of the island is a national park, where there are trails for rainforest with coral-stretched beaches and sights of a rocky headland. The long, fjord-like slopes of the Naga Inlet provide shelter to many boats on the southern shore, with its sea shelves submerged beneath the river. From here, you can visit the ancient indigenous cave shelter and a beautiful waterfall.
Whitsunday Islands National Park:
Arguably one of the most beautiful national parks in the world, Whitsunday Islands National Park is one of 32 of these unreal Greek summer islands. Nature lovers will explore both the land of heaven and the surrounding submerged waters. The Negro indigenous people first lived in the area, and one of Australia’s record indigenous groups, first seen by Captain Cook in 1770. You can see some of their rock art at Nara Inlet on Hook Island. Other popular sights to visit include the scenic Whitehaven Beach on the uninhabited Whitsunday Island, and the natural trek from here to the Natural Hill Hill Inlet.
Things to do in this multi-island park include diving and snorkeling along the reefs; fishing; And there is a lot of trail hiking especially in Whitsunday Island, Hook Island, Border Island and Langford Island. Wildlife is also popular. On the ground, look for gnats, ornamental rock-wallabies, flying foxes, and various species of birds. In the water, you will see dugongs, rays, humpback whales, sharks, marine turtles and lively colorful reef fish of different species. The best way to experience the park is to camp on an island. Dugong Beach, Norris Beach and Jose Beach offer shelters on Whitsunday Island, and you can set up camp on small sites on Creefish, Staines and Hook Island at Curlew Beach or Marin’s Cove that offer great snorkeling off the coast. Camping permits should be obtained in advance and all campers must bring their own water supply for drinking and cooking.
A hub of globetrotting backpackers and island day-trippers, Aurelie Beach in the mainland rumbles day and night. Tourism is the mainstay of the gateway to this Whitsunday, where marinas and resorts continue to evolve along the seafront, and Alfresco cafes and restaurants line the streets. With such a touristy focus on tourism, it is a great base for hosting island adventures, many of which leave the Coral Sea Marina. Travelers will find a wide range of accommodation, from youth hostels to luxury hotels. A great way to get a feel for the area, and one of the best things to do in Airlie Beach is to walk along the four-kilometer Bicentennial Walkway, which takes you along the waterfront and past Coral Sea Marina, stopping for a snack or stopping at one of the many cafes or restaurants. Get a drink. Another top attraction is the Esplanade-beach inviting lagoon-style pool not great for swimming due to the potential presence of marine stingers.
Every Saturday from 8 am to 3 pm, tourists and locals alike crowds at the Lions Airlie Beach Markets on the coast to browse for fresh produce, souvenirs, grocery and gift stalls. For a unique outdoor adventure, hike or bike Conway Circuit. This 25km one-way hiking or mountain bike trail takes you through the mountains of the Cono National Park, through the rainforest, and with angry rocks. It’s a rewarding way to experience the frost, the tropical desert, and the spectacular views of the Whitsunday Passage. The trail takes about three days to walk and camp out under the stars, or four to five hours by bike.
Whitsunday Islands Travel Costs:
There are no hostels on the islands as people are staying in hotels or boarding boats. (When you’re searching for hostels, you’ll probably come across some people in Airlie Beach as the main promoter to visit Whitesund, but it’s not actually on the islands!) You can camp on the islands though. There are about 21 campgrounds on the islands. A camping permit costs .5 6.55 AUD ($ 4.70 USD) per person per night. But to get to these sites you will need your own boat and your own food.
Budget hotel prices:
There are a few hotels on the Big Island that are not budget-friendly. The hotels here are like resorts and most start at $ 200 ($ 143) per night on Hamilton Island. A more economical way to visit the islands is to sail the boat that includes food and accommodation – and it will be a much more unique experience. A 2-day, 1-night boat trip starts at about $ 350 UD ($ 250 USD). A 3-day, 2-night boat ride starts at about $ 540 ($ 386 USD). Generally, these tours start from the mainland of Airlie Beach. Even Airbnb is expensive here because there are very few single rooms and entire apartments start at around $ 200 USD ($ 178) per night.
The average cost of food: If you are sailing, all food is provided on the boat, but you will need to bring your own alcohol. You go by yourself, you can buy food at resorts and hotels. Most dishes start at 20 AUD ($ 14) on Hamilton Island! However, there are a few casual and takeaway spots where you can grab a sandwich or bagel for between $ 10-10 ($ 7-9 USD). If you travel around, it is best to bring your own food from the mainland.
Backpacking the Whitsunday Islands: Suggested Budgets
The cheapest one to visit Whitsunday is to expect on a boat trip, which costs about $ 180 USD ($ 128) a day (based on a 3-day, 2-night ride). It covers Airley Beach, food, all sights and activities (such as snorkeling) and all the transportation you need to spend an amazing time in the islands in your native Whitsunday. (Remember: your excursion does not include the buzz pick up a box of Go Gundy!) This is how most backpackers come around and even though it is not cheap, most travelers plan for it in advance and spread out on this activity.
At a mid-range budget of around $ 395 ($ 7277), you can take a ferry from Airlie to Hamilton Island, stay at a resort or rent an Airbnb apartment, have a takeaway meal at local café or have a meal (with some cooking). Together with your meal, if possible), and even a full-day boat ride from your hotel At a luxury budget of $ 875 + AUD ($ 611 + USD), you can take a ferry from Airlie to Hamilton Island, book a stay at a super high-end resort, eat for all your meals (and have a cocktail with your dinner). )), And rent a buggy to get closer to Hamilton. You can also take part in any tour you want: a full-day boat trip, a flight over the Heart Reef, or learn how to sink. At this price point, the most expensive is accommodation and tours/diving.
Money Saving Tips:
Travel by ferry: Ferries are a good option if you are just planning to visit an island. However, since there are many luxury resorts on the larger islands, a boat cruise is a better value.
BYOB: You can bring your own alcohol onboard, except for day trips on big boats with licensed bars. To keep up with your budget, most travelers bring a box of goons (cheap wine) for travel.
Camp: If you enjoy the outdoors, there are about 21 campgrounds on the islands. It’s the cheapest way to stay on the islands! But to get to these sites you will need your own boat and your own food.
How to Get Around the Whitsunday Islands:
Sailing: Sailing is the best way to see the islands in Whitsunday. Sailing trips depart daily from Airlie Beach and usually include meals. You can travel longer or shorter if you want, but the 2-day, 1-night ferry starts at around $ 350 ($ 250), while the 3-day, 2-night ferry starts at about $ 540 ($ 386 USD). Read about my 3-day cruise trip for more details!
Ferry: Cruise Whitsundays is the main ferry operator operating a transfer to Whitsunday, which provides transfers between Dedream Island, Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach (on the mainland). The ferry between Airley and Hamilton Island costs $ 62 USD ($ 44 USD) and Whitsunday Airport (yes, there is a smaller airport) and Hamilton Island cost $ 83 USD ($ 59 USD).
Buggy Rental: You can rent buggies to get around, On Hamilton Island Prices start from $ 59 AUD ($ 42 USD) for two hours, AU 69 AUD ($ 49 USD) for four hours, or $ 87 USD ($ 62 USD) for 24 hours.
How to Stay Safe in the Whitsunday Islands:
The islands in Whitsunday are very safe. Your problem will not be scandal or theft or anything like that. It is going to be in nature. The Whitsunday Islands’ unique climate and wilderness provide some potential risks. From mid-October to May, known as the “Stinger Season”, when box jellyfish and Irukandji are plentiful and can provide severe painful stings (or even a deadly lethal), make sure you have plenty of sunscreens and stay hydrated as much as possible. Bring a mosquito repellent. Be on the lookout for snakes and spiders and if you are bitten, take immediate care. Furthermore, if you are swimming, listen to the red and yellow flags. Yellow flags indicate that swimming conditions can be dangerous; Red flags mean the beach is closed.
The tropical climate here means that unexpected storms can pop up with thunderstorms. Before you do any of the activities, check the weather forecast in advance. You don’t want to be trapped in a tropical storm! The National Park Service also advises against swimming in Sid Harbor, as there have been several shark attacks in recent years. The most important part of the security advice I can offer is to buy good travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you from illness, injury, theft, and cancellation.