A chain of 74 islands, four of which boast renowned luxury resorts, the Whitsunday Islands are found in the middle of the incomparable Great Barrier Reef just off the coast of Queensland. Surrounded by the natural wonders of this marine paradise, you couldn’t be better placed to explore this natural marvel.

The waves of its crystal-clear blue waters wash onto silver beaches beneath the warm sun. It comes as no surprise that these parts are celebrated as some of the finest beach spots in the country. Airlie Beach, in particular, is a great starting point, a coastal town from where you can set off on your adventures, exploring the hidden secrets of the region and the allure of the Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy great snorkelling spots or scuba diving sessions amongst the coral, interacting with curious fish and other marine creatures. Or simply relax on a stylish cruise, cocktail in hand and camera at the ready.

The Whitsundays are renowned across the world as a yachting destination, also operating as a hub for kayaking, sailing and powerboating. But it’s not all about the ocean. There are numerous rivers, creeks and streams that run through brilliant trails and walking routes. Because of its high number of uninhabited national parks, there is always the chance to go on nature tours and journeys and spot wildlife such as enormous saltwater crocodiles.

Set sail on an overnight trip through the Whitsundays and you definitely won’t be disappointed. You’ll spend the daytime exploring the largest living thing on Earth, The Great Barrier Reef, snorkelling, diving or swimming amongst countless colourful fish, turtles, starfish and if you’re lucky like me you might get to swim with a reef shark! Then spend the most magical evening stargazing from your deck in the middle of the Coral Sea before sailing back to shore the next day. That’s a night I’ll never forget.

Ellie Khoury
Travel Designer

What to do

  • Enjoy a scenic yacht trip along the coast
  • Snorkel or dive around the colourful coral
  • Set off on a hiking trail in one of the parks or reserves
  • Relax on the famous Whitehaven Beach
  • Fly over the Whitsunday Islands in a seaplane

When to Go

The Whitsundays enjoy a tropical climate of hot summers and warm winters. Average daily temperatures are around 23°C (73°F) in the winter months of June and July, and up to 30°C (86°F) during December and January during the height of summer. Sea temperatures sit at around a balmy 25°C (77°F) year round. The tropical wet season lasts from January to March with the summer heat often broken by tropical showers.


Whitsundays travel guides