Whitsundays Islands

Destination Whitsundays Islands

Lying in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, The Whitsundays Islands are made up of 74 tropical islands.

On a handful of these islands there are some fantastic luxury resorts where you can holiday for a weekend, a week, or even a month. No matter how long you stay, you won’t want to leave.

The resort islands offer a range ouf boating tours, beach activities, restaurants and bars where holiday makers can relax and soak up the tropical sun.

There are also plenty of uninhabited islands where you can take a boat to explore sandy forests, walk along pristine beaches, bathe in warm tropical waters and simply kick back away from the crowds.

About the Whitsundays Islands

The Whitsunday Island, situated between Bowen and Mackay, form a major tourism region with Hamilton Island (the only island with an airport) as the commercial centre. Attracting over 700,000 visitors per year, the Whitsundays is also known as one of the most popular yachting destinations in the Southern Hemisphere.

The naming of the region is actually a bit of a misnomer that comes from Captain Cook’s naming the region Whitsunday’s passage. He believed their ship passed through the region on Whitsunday; the Sunday of the feast of Whitsun. As the International Date Line had not yet been established he had no idea it was in fact a Monday, not Whitsunday.

The islands were originally a large mountain range formed as a result of volcanic activity. With the end of the last glacial period about 30,000 to 50,000 years ago, the sea levels rose and all that remained above the water were the higher coastal peaks. 

Resort Islands

There are only a few islands that offer resort style accommodation where you can get away from the hustle and bustle of the mainland. Choose from resorts that are all inclusive, family friendly, eco-style, activity based, dining focused, or just offering the best in luxury treatment.

Hayman Island Resort Aerial

Staying on any of these islands places you in a prime position to take advantage of all the Great Barrier Reef has to offer. The island resorts can organise for you to join in any number of activities ranging from sailing trips around the reef, coral diving, trips to other islands, and there are even places where you can jet ski around the islands.

Whitsundays Resort Islands

Hayman Island Resort Award-winning Hayman in Australia's magnificent Great Barrier Reef is one of the world's most acclaimed resort destinations and a member of The Leading Hotels of the World. Hayman presents a unique private island experience of natural beauty, tranquility and adventure.

Brampton Island Resort – One of the larger islands, Brampton includes over 700 ha of National Parklands with 11km of walking tracks through hoop pines, tropical rainforest and coastal mangroves. There are 12 beaches to choose from and bays that are perfect for snorkelling. The resort offers a range of sporting activities, day spa services, fine cuisine, bars and live entertainment.

Hamilton Island Resort – One of the better known Whitsundays Islands, Hamilton Island offers over 80 activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy while staying on the island. It’s permanently inhabited but keeps 70% of the island untouched, so you can enjoy the 20km of walking tracks and unspoilt coves. There are a number of hotels and resorts to choose from, offering suites, bungalows and self-contained apartments.

Daydream Island WhitsundaysDaydream Island Resort – The Daydream Island Resort & Spa offers the most modern accommodation in the Whitsundays. There are hundreds of furnished rooms to choose from with seaside views, a number of restaurants, bars, and day spa facilities. This is where you go to really relax.

Lindeman Island – Home to Australia’s only Club Med resort, Lindeman Island is the most southern of the Whitsundays Island and home to a golf course, excellent dining facilities, water sports and a range of other activities. There are almost 20km of maintained bush tracks so you can hike through almost 700 ha of beautiful National Park and even climb Mt Oldfield.

Long Island – The closest to the Whitsundays Mainland, Long Island is mostly National Park and has over 13km of bushwalking tracks around the island. There are three resorts on the island ranging from eco-friendly to luxurious world class.

South Molle Island – Situated in the heart of the Whitsundays Islands, South Molle Island is home to one of the longest established resorts in the region. With plenty of outdoor activities and camp grounds, the resort primarilyu caters for backpackers and adventure travellers aged between 18 and 35.

Uninhabited Islands

Whitehaven BeachThe majority of the Whitsundays Islands are uninhabited, either because of their small size or to protect the flora & fauna of the island. Many of these you can still visit for a day and there are plenty of tour operators organising tours to get you there.

Enjoy walking the trails through these tropical forests or just spend a day relaxing on your own isolated beach.

There are even a few uninhabited islands that you can camp on, giving you the opportunity to experience an eco-friendly, truly outdoor holiday in this tropical paradise. Some of the islands that allow camping include;

Henning Island – The whole of Henning Island is National Park but you can camp here with the right permits and the camp site includes toilets and picnic tables. The island was named after William Henry Henning from a ship called the Salamander. In 1866 he went ashore to do some shooting, unaware that there was an angry wild hermit on the island that hated visitors. The hermit shot Mr Henning through the eye from 70 yards, killing him but at least giving the island a name and an interesting back story. We can assure you there are no more hermits living on the island.

Thomas Island – Part of the Lindeman group of islands, Thomas Island is visitable by boat with a safe anchorage on the northern side. The island is a National Park and while camping is allowed, open fires and generators are not.

Whitsunday Island – While uninhabited, Whitsunday Island is the largest of the 74 in the island group. Known for the 7km stretch of pristine sand known as Whitehaven Beach, it’s one of the most popular islands to visit with plenty of walking tracks, coves, bays and lookout points. Camping is allowed on the island and there is even freshwater available for visitors.

Book Whitsundays Islands Activities!

Sunset Sail In The Whitsundays

Sunset Sail In The Whitsundays

Book Sunset Sail In The WhitsundaysSit back and enjoy a relaxing, picturesque sunset sail on board the catamaran - On the Edge. Unwind with a drink in hand and some light nibbles as you enjoy the spectacular sunset over the Whitsunday Islands.

This Sunset Sailing cruise operates in the evenings and runs for approximately 1.5 hours. Perfect for those wishing to experience the spectacular scenery as the sun drifts below the horizon, still leaving you plenty of time to enjoy your evening on land. Operating within sheltered waters surrounding Hamilton Island, this tour provides guests with a relaxing experience.

Whats included:

- 1.5 hour sail through sheltered waters surrounding Hamilton Island
- Complementary beer, wine, bubbles or non alcoholic beverages
- Light nibbles including cheese, dips, nuts and biscuits.
- Informative commentary from our knowledgeable local skippers on the history and ecology of the area


Glass Bottom Boat Discovery Tour Airlie Beach

Glass Bottom Boat Discovery Tour Airlie Beach

Book Glass Bottom Boat Discovery Tour Airlie BeachThis is the only Glass Bottom Boat tour in Airlie Beach, The Whitsundays. Come aboard our 70-minute discovery tour to the gateway to The Great Barrier Reef. Marvel at the rich coral reefs that surround Shute Harbour! Get up close and personal with our resident fish, turtles, rays, and a spectrum of vibrant hard and soft coral. Learn from our expert guides about the diverse marine life, and see what you can spot underwater on our glass-bottom boat tour! Suitable for all ages this tour is the perfect day excursion for seeing the reef without getting wet!


Whitehaven Beach Sailing and Snorkeling Cruise

Whitehaven Beach Sailing and Snorkeling Cruise

Book Whitehaven Beach Sailing and Snorkeling CruiseSail the Whitsundays in a 62-ft gaff rigged schooner. Help out with the sails or chill on deck as the sails fill in the breeze. Head for the Whitsundays' iconic beach - Whitehaven. Disembark at Tongue Bay for a 10-minute walk to the Hill Inlet lookout. Capture some pics of the world's most photographed beach before heading down to experience the soft, white sand. Spend an hour and a half on the beach before heading back for lunch on board as you head for a beautiful snorkelling spot where the water is teaming with fish and the coral is dazzling. Then it's homeward bound while snacking on a fruit and cheese platter and the sails carry you back to Abell Point Marina.


Great Barrier Reef Private Expedition Cruise (min 4 day max 8 guests)

Great Barrier Reef Private Expedition Cruise (min 4 day max 8 guests)

Book Great Barrier Reef Private Expedition Cruise (min 4 day max 8 guests) When you live aboard a boat, your days adventure begins when you wake and continues unabated till well after dark. John & Lynne like to say that “their guests can go snorkelling over colourful corals accompanied by hundreds of friendly fish before breakfast and each day just gets better from there…”

All daily activities are personally guided which ensures your in depth appreciation of the wonders of nature both above and below the water. Lynne has been selected by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA) to be a “Master Reef Guide” (the highest honour that GBRMPA can bestow). She is a “Citizen Scientist” specialising in the Reef World which has been her passion for more than 50 years. John & Lynne have a unique permit issued by GBRMPA granting them access to most of the Marine Park and they have spent a lifetime discovering its secrets that they willingly share with their guests.

Potential guests should read the TripAdvisor reviews for Whitsunday Luxury Sailing


Great Barrier Reef Luxury Expedition Cruise cabin booking 7 days 6 night

Great Barrier Reef Luxury Expedition Cruise cabin booking 7 days 6 night

Book Great Barrier Reef Luxury Expedition Cruise cabin booking 7 days 6 nightThe Great Barrier Reef is the largest & most diverse eco system in the world. It is the world’s largest Marine Reserve, about half the size of Texas. The Reef is visible from outer space appearing as a thin white line along the Queensland coast. Within the Reserve are more than 10% of the world's species of marine fish, over four thousand species of hard & soft corals and six of the world’s seven species of turtles. Giant Humpback Whales migrate to its warm crystal clear waterways every year to give birth to their babies

John & Lynne Boyce are your key to discovering Australia’s most treasured water wonderland. Lynne has been invited by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to become a Master Reef Guide and she has published “Gourmet Sailing..Delicious Dining on the Great Barrier Reef”, a cook book detailing the meals they serve. The duo have been exploring the Reserve for more than 30 years & they look forward to sharing their knowledge and experience


Airlie Beach Glass Bottom Boat Tour

Airlie Beach Glass Bottom Boat Tour

Book Airlie Beach Glass Bottom Boat TourOur 70-minute Glass Bottom Boat Tour is designed for those who want to see the wonders of The Whitsundays and the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef… without getting wet. Suitable for all ages (Infants 0-2 go FREE). This trip cruises the best coral reefs around Airlie Beach, guaranteed to deliver breathtaking coral worlds and marine wildlife such as turtles, rays, and a kaleidoscope of tropical fish.


2-Night Whitsunday Islands Sailing Adventure on Trimaran 'Avatar'

2-Night Whitsunday Islands Sailing Adventure on Trimaran 'Avatar'

Book 2-Night Whitsunday Islands Sailing Adventure on Trimaran 'Avatar'Avatar Whitsundays is the only commercial sailing trimaran in the Islands. What does this mean for you? Minimal lean while sailing, maximum deck space with nets for sun baking, you can soak up the stunning World Heritage-listed Whitsunday Islands while never feeling over crowded. Just the way it’s meant to be. Avatar caters to guests between 18 and 35 years old and the young at heart. She Sleeps 26 guests and 3 crew in a mixture of open plan bunks and private doubles  . All meals are freshly prepared on board and include home cooked roast with trimmings and gravy, spaghetti bolognese, pies, fresh meats, salads, breads, fruits, dips and crackers Plus loads more! You wont go hungry!



Book Whitsunday Island Accommodation