Whitsunday Islands Guide | Australia

Whitsunday Islands Guide


The Whitsundays are 74 gorgeous islands in the tropical Queensland in the north east of Australia. In this Whitsunday Islands Guide we tell you why you shouldn’t miss this small piece of paradise and inform you about everything you have to know to have the best time on your trip.


Why you should visit the Whitsunday Islands


The Whitsunday Islands are so beautiful, no wonder that when you google the phrase “top places to visit in Australia” websites like Hostelworld and Lonely Planet rank them really high in their list of places you shouldn’t miss in Australia.

From pristine beaches to fascinating marine life and more, the Whitsunday Islands offer something for everybody’s needs.

No wonder that people like Taylor Swift, Ed Sheehan or Oprah Winfrey, just to mention a few, have a house on Hamilton Island an island which is part of the Whitsunday Islands.


What to do


Whitsunday Islands Guide A couple is holding hands while walking in the pristine water of Whitehaven Beach

Visit Whitehaven Beach

Imagine the most pristine water in different shades of blue with beach sand as white as it can be, welcome to Whitehaven Beach.
This beach itself makes the trip to the Whitsunday Islands worth it.
Important: Don’t miss out on the viewpoint, that was one of the best views of our lives so far.


Take a scenic flight

Did you always want to see the Great Barrier Reef from above?
Helicopters and small airplanes departing from the Whitsunday Airport in Flametree near Airlie Beach will fulfil your dream.


Go whale watching

The majestic humpback whales migrating in the Whitsunday Islands area from June to August and the chance to see them is pretty high.


Go snorkelling

The Great Barrier Marine Park is stretching over 2300 km and the Whitsunday Islands are part of it. So when you planned to snorkel in the Great Barrier Reef, here is your chance.
On our trip we saw many beautiful corals different fish species and even a stingray casually crossing our way.
Of course you can also do scuba diving and even get your diving certificate there if you don’t have one yet.


Explore Hamilton Island

Because there are no cars on Hamilton Island, you can rent a golf buggy and explore the island with that by yourself.
With a lot of luck you may see a famous celebrity like Ed Sheehan there.


Do a sailing trip

That’s definitely the best way to explore the Whitsunday Islands: Sailing from one island to another.


The best time to visit the Whitsunday Islands


You can visit the Whitsunday Islands the whole year but many people prefer to visit the islands from November to December during school holidays so that means it can be very busy.

January to March is the rainy season where there could be some rainy days but that’s not the norm. We went in January and had a gorgeous sunny day without any rain. But keep in mind it will be very humid.
This is also the season where you can bargain for the cheapest tours.

Overall the best time to visit the Whitsunday Islands is June to August when the temperature is around 26 degrees Celsius, there is no humidity and where you can spot pods of dolphins or even humpback whales who are migrating in that area during that time.


Important Information:

From October until May there is Stinger season in the tropical Queensland (where the Whitsundays are located).
Stingers are potentially lethal jellyfish like the Box Jellyfish.

But don’t worry, you will be provided with a stinger suit which keeps you safe during that time of the year so you can go snorkelling and enjoy the corals and fish.


How to get there


The starting point to the Whitsunday Islands is Airlie Beach:

How to get to Airlie Beach:

By flight

About 40km away from Airlie Beach is the Whitsunday Coast Airport near Proserpine which is the most convenient way to get to Airlie Beach.

By car

Australia is an ideal country for a road trip and when you find yourself around Cairns, you should definitely check out the Whitsunday Islands.
The distance is 620km and will take you around 7 hours.
That’s too far? Don’t worry, the distance doesn’t have to be a deal breaker: You can stop at the beautiful Mission Beach on the way to break down the long journey.

Attention: Please be careful when you drive around dusk and dawn because that’s the time when Kangaroos and Wallabies are active and many try to cross the highway.


How to get from Airlie Beach to the Whitsunday Islands

You can reach the islands with your own boat. But let’s be honest, most of us won’t be in that position to have their own boat. But that doesn’t matter because there is straight forward way to visit the islands: A Whitsunday Islands boat tour.

From one day tours to multi day tours, there are many options to choose from:

1 Day
2 Days 1 Night
2 Days 2 Nights
3 Days 2 Nights
3 Days 3 Nights

Because the islands are so beautiful, we recommend to spend as much time as possible there.
Of course you can see the main spots like Whitehaven Beach on a one day tour but it will be much more compact because you will have less time at certain places.
And on top of that you may find yourself on a boat with a fun group which you don’t want to leave. 😉


Where to book your trip


We went to the islands with Sailing Whitsundays and had a great experience and can definitely recommend the company in our Whitsunday Islands Guide.

  • the itinerary was well planned
  • we went with a great boat
  • most important: the boat crew was awesome

There is a lunch buffet, snacks between stops and plenty of drinking water included so there was no need for us to bring something with us on the boat.

When you are looking for a reliable Whitsunday Islands tour company, we can definitely recommend them.


Where to stay – Whitsunday Islands Guide


Airlie Beach is the ideal base for the Whitsunday Islands and offers accommodation for every budget:


Low budget:

Magnum Backpackers*
This hostel is central located and has camping, dorm and private room options.
There is a big well equipped kitchen and Coles just around the corner.


Medium budget:

Whitsundays BNB Retreat*
This bed and breakfast is not in the center of Airlie Beach but the great rating, Balinese design and amazing hospitality make it worth the stay.


High budget:

Mirage Whitsundays*
Central located in front of the beach and a nice pool to cool down off, if you want to splurge a bit, this is your place to stay.


Tip: Don’t travel abroad without an insurance.

If you want to know which we are using, have a look here.


*Ref-Link, no extra costs for you


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