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!

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.


1-Night Whitsundays Tour by Catamaran with Paradise Cove Resort from Airlie Beach

1-Night Whitsundays Tour by Catamaran with Paradise Cove Resort from Airlie Beach

Book 1-Night Whitsundays Tour by Catamaran with Paradise Cove Resort from Airlie BeachChoose the unique overnight resort stay package around the Whitsunday Islands. The all-inclusive combo departs from Airlie Beach and offers an exclusive night’s accommodation at the multiple award-winning Paradise Cove Resort. The custom-built vessel offers a comfortable and smooth ride to Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet Lookout and snorkeling at pristine locations on the fringing Great Barrier Reef. The vessel allows passengers to arrive at the destinations quickly with more time for activities such as sunbathing, swimming and exploring the Whitsunday Islands.


Lady Enid Sailing and Snorkeling Day Trip, Including Whitehaven Beach

Lady Enid Sailing and Snorkeling Day Trip, Including Whitehaven Beach

Book Lady Enid Sailing and Snorkeling Day Trip, Including Whitehaven BeachA true sailing experience through the Whitsunday Islands on board the rare Australian classic yacht Lady Enid. Become involved as much or as little as you like, help set the sails, take a turn at the helm or lean back and relax and enjoy the uninterrupted beauty of the Whitsunday Islands. Barefoot luxury at it's best, sailing to one of the world’s best beaches, Whitehaven Beach and visiting Hill Inlet,  swimming the crystal clear waters of Betty's Beach at Whitehaven and snorkeling the Island Reefs will certainly ensure beautiful memories are made. Your crew will welcome you as their guests, not just a passenger and with only a maximum of 24 guests and up to four crew at your service, you will want for nothing more. The gourmet meals are certainly a feature of this experience, including morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and as you'll sail back to port into the sunset while a glass of sparkling wine and antipasto is served.


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!


Tallship Sailing and Snorkeling Adventure from the Whitsundays

Tallship Sailing and Snorkeling Adventure from the Whitsundays

Book Tallship Sailing and Snorkeling Adventure from the WhitsundaysSpend the day at sea, sailing, snorkeling, beachcombing and enjoying the Whitsunday Islands' spectacular natural beauty. Go snorkeling at a protected beach and enjoy morning tea with chocolate cake, a buffet lunch and afternoon hors d'oeuvres, freshly prepared on board. There’s plenty of room to relax on the tallship’s large deck, ideal for calm sailing in the protected waters of the Whitsundays' fringing reefs. Combining adventure on the high seas, snorkeling and a non-stop smorgasbord of food, a tallship cruise is the best way to experience the beautiful Whitsundays Passage in one day. With numbers restricted to less than 40, you can sit back and relax or join the crew and try your hand at raising the sails!


Whitsundays Jet Ski Tour

Whitsundays Jet Ski Tour

Book Whitsundays Jet Ski TourMulti award winning Whitsunday Jetski Tours offers exciting adventure tours in the Whitsundays and is the first and only guided jetski tour operating from Abell Point Marina, Airlie Beach to the Whitsunday Islands. Guests can ride the latest model Sea-Doo jetski into the beautiful world heritage Whitsunday Island Marine Park.
Four tours operate daily, the Airlie Adventure, also known as the ‘Turtle Tour’ with sea turtles often encountered, the Two Island Safari, exploring the waterways of South Molle and Daydream Islands, the Jetski to Paradise, a jetski adventure visiting exclusive Paradise Cove Resort and the Ultimate Island Trek, an epic jetski journey to the island oasis of Palm Bay Resort. 
No license is required and no experience is necessary!



Book Whitsunday Island Accommodation