Looking for an island adventure that has it all?
The Whitsundays comprise 74 picturesque islands, as well as the mainland coastal towns of Airlie Beach, Proserpine and Bowen, which are often easy launching pads for island explorations.
Only eight of the islands are inhabited. The remainder are little patches of perfection shimmering in the turquoise sea.
Here are five reasons we love the Whitsundays:
Whatever your accommodation style, there’s an island to suit – from motels to beachside bungalows to the ultimate indulgence (Qualia, we’re looking at you).
The revamp that has everyone talking is Daydream Island. The popular tourist spot was hit hard by Tropical Cyclone Debbie in April 2017 – and consequently closed for refurbishment. Due to open in November, after a $100 million revitalisation, Daydream Island Resort will have 290 tastefully appointed rooms and brand new facilities, including an Asian fusion restaurant. Much-loved experiences such as the Living Reef,a collection of fish-filled coral lagoons that weave their way through the resort, are back bigger and better than before. It’s what daydreams are made of.
Hundreds of beaches fringe the islands. But a few warrant a special mention. Whitehaven Beach is renowned as one of the most beautiful beaches in the country, with seven kilometres of blinding-white sand that feels as fine as talcum powder. Heart Reef is another crowd-pleaser – a beautiful coral configuration that has naturally formed into the shape of a love heart. This incredible sight is best viewed from the air in a helicopter or seaplane.
Under the sea
Divers flock to the Whitsundays to explore one of the best underwater realms in the world. Whether you’re snorkelling or scuba diving, the coral formations in this part of the Great Barrier Reef are heaving with marine life. Jump in and swim around with hundreds of species of colourful fish, manta rays and turtles for an unforgettable holiday experience.
Sailing in this part of Queensland is superb, thanks to the shelter of the Great Barrier Reef. Take a sailing lesson, skipper your own bareboat yacht, or book a relaxing tour where all you need to do is turn up and enjoy the view. Be sure to bring a camera. Hire a a kayak and explore hidden coves for a more secluded escapade.
Onshore visitors will love shopping at Airlie Beach on the mainland. The Whitsundays region also has incredible fresh seafood, whether served fried and wrapped in newspaper or as fresh five-star dining. Most of the islands, particularly those that are uninhabited, have exquisite hikes. Or you could simply grab a good book and relax on the beach.
Looking for a holiday in Australia? Check out our Australia travel deals.
Fancy an island escape? Why not try Heron Island.
Or read about the Aussie island that celebrates Thanksgiving.