Things to do in the Whitsundays
The Whitsundays, where beauty and adventure go hand in hand. Seventy- four islands surrounded by calm waters in many shades of blue, stunning white beaches and secluded bays with rainforests as their backdrop. The colours of the fish and coral will have your senses in “overdrive”. The sunrises and sunsets are magical and the stars, the brightest you have ever seen.
The must see locations are Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet, Heart Reef and everything in between. On the northern end of Whitehaven Beach (situated on Whitsunday Island) is Hill Inlet, a stunning cove, where the tides move the sand and water to create the most surreal palette of beautiful colours. The best place to see this view of a lifetime is from Hill Inlet Lookout, accessed from Tongue Bay.
Another way to see and do it all, stay at Airlie Beach and take a fabulous Airlie Beach Reef Trip, there are plenty to choose from. They pass by many of the islands and resorts such as Hamilton Island, South Molle and Daydream and there are others!
Where is it?
Our Whitsundays Articles
Bus Service: In addition to the airport and train transfers there is a regular bus service between Proserpine, Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour (Whitsunday Transit Timetables)
Taxis: The taxi services does not automatically pick up from the airport, bus or train stations, so book ahead. (Mackay Taxi)
Car Rental: Available from both Proserpine or Airlie Beach (VroomVroomVroom)
Ferry Service: Regular transfers and water taxi service available.
Weather in the Whitsundays
What's the Whitsundays Weather like?
Summer (Dec - Feb): Min 24°C Max 31°C
Avg monthly rainfall 258mm Avg rain days per month 12
Autumn (Mar - May): Min 21°C Max 29°C
Avg monthly rainfall 200mm Avg rain days per month 14
Winter (Jun - Aug): Min 18°C Max 26°C
Avg monthly rainfall 61mm Avg rain days per month 7
Spring (Sep - Nov): Min 20°C Max 28°C
Avg monthly rainfall 59mm Avg rain days per month 5
What's on Whitsundays
Hamilton Island NYE 201731st December, 2016 With events suitable for families or those that want to party the New Year in Hamilton Island is the WHitsunday's top choice to celebrate a new year. More information: Festive Season
More about the Whitsundays
Activities to do in the Whitsundays
- Abseiling & Rock Climbing
- Boating & Sailing
- Bungy Jumping
- Caving & Canyoning
- Dolphin & Whale Watching
- Food & Wine
- Four Wheel Drive (4WD)
- Gardens and Wildflower
- Gliding and Hang Gliding
- Hiking & Bushwalking
- Horse Riding
- Hot Air Balloon
- Jet Boat
- Jetskis, Flyboards & Waterskiing
- National Parks
- Quad Bike / ATV
- Reef Trips, Diving & Snorkelling
- Sand Surfing
- Scenic Cruise
- Seaplane & Sightseeing Flights
- Shark & Cage Diving
- Tree Canopy Walk
- Tree Surfing & Ziplining
- Wind Surfing
- Zoos & Animal Park
What's on in the Whitsundays
Hamilton Island - Hilly Marathon
30th April, 2017
To mark the 10 anniversary, in 2017, there is a half and full marathon on offer. Don't be fooled the island course makes for one tough marathon. There is also a relay event and three flatter options for the children.
More information Hamilton Hilly Marathon
Hamilton Island - Mother’s Day Classic
14th May, 2017
This is a fundraising event for Breast Cancer research and is suitable for most fitness levels. There is a 4.2 klm walk and the 6.7 klm run with side activities focused on the families.
More information: Mother’s Day Fun Run
Whitsunday SUP Challenge
7th to 13th May 2017
In 2017 the focus is not just on the racing but on improving your SUP skills. This year also features a new social format guaranteed to please. Boards are also available for competitors to borrow.
For more information: 2017 Whitsunday SUP
Proserpine - Whitsunday Show 2017
23rd and 24th June, 2017
This is the areas 105th annual show. It is a two-day regional event with a strong agricultural focus, and a range of family oriented entertainment, with the local holiday on the Friday.
More information Whitsunday Show
Hamilton Island - The Great Whitehaven Beach Run
18th June 2017
Imagine the opportunity to run a marathon on one of world's most beautiful beaches? Even if you are not up to the marathon there are also 5 klm and 10klm runs and three kids events. Transfers are from Port of Airlie.
More information The Great Whitehaven Beach Run
Airlie Beach Race Week - 2017
10th to 17th August 2017
The Airlie beach festival of sailing is a fun week on and off the water and one of Australia's premier sailing events. Aside from the competition there is a strong social atmosphere at this Festival of Sailing.
More information: Airlie Beach Race Week
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
19th to 26th August 2017
This is Australia’s largest offshore keelboat regatta, and one of Australia's favourite yachting events. For the social events leave the suit and ties at home, smart casual is the required dress code.
More information: Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
Run the Great Whitsunday Trail
September 2017 (to be confirmed)
Held over the 28 klm Conway circuit walking track this run starts at Brandy creek and finishes at Airlie beach
More information: Run the Great Whitsunday Trail
Getting to the Whitsundays
The Whitsundays is serviced by two airports one on Hamilton Island (HTI) and the other at Proserpine (PPP) with Shuttle busses and ferry’s providing transfers to and from the mainland, pre-booking advised.
Great Barrier Reef Airport, Hamilton Island (HTI)
- Sydney four days a week
- Cairns daily flights
- Brisbane five Days a Week
- Sydney four times a week
- Melbourne three times a week
- Daily from Sydney and Brisbane
- Melbourne four times a week
Whitsunday Coast Airport, Proserpine (PPP)
- Daily from Brisbane
- From Sydney four days a week
- Daily from Brisbane
General Getting There Info
Two Airports service the region, one at Hamilton Island (HTI) and the other at Proserpine (PPP).
Airlie Beach is about 7 to 8 hours drive south of Cairns but plan on a little longer as there are heaps of places to visit on the way. The turn off to Airlie Beach is north of Proserpine, but if you miss it the main turn off is just as you enter Proserpine.
From Brisbane it is about 12 hours drive and again there is lot to see in between. The main turn off to Airlie Beach is just as you are leaving Proserpine heading north.
- Greyhound have multiple services daily to both Airlie Beach and Proserpine from either Brisbane or Cairns.
- Premier runs daily services as well as Ozexperience.
Queensland Rail has daily services from Cairns and Brisbane, to Proserpine with transfers to Airlie Beach.
Sailing in the Whitsundays
The Whitsundays, Australia’s sailing paradise, was created by nature so we could have a “sailing playground”. So many bays, coves, inlets, beaches, islands and not enough time!
If you want a sailing holiday in the Whitsundays, there are different options but why not let someone else do all the work? All you need to do is swim, eat, admire the beautiful scenery and indulge in a cocktail at sundown. Sound like you?
The crew know where the best lunch spots, sheltered bays, evening anchorage, and even the best swimming spots are! After all it is their back yard! Perhaps you might like to learn the basics of sailing, the crew will let you help.
Bareboat charters are also available.
Our Sailing Tour Staff Picks
Enjoy sailing through this paradise on one of the fastest commercial catamarans around, on your way to Whitehaven Beach. Enjoy lunch, swimming, snorkelling, turtle spotting, exploring or just relaxing on Australia’s number 1 beach.
- 1.5 hours on Whitehaven Beach
- Explore bays & beaches
- Loads of activities
- Spectacular scenery
Enjoy plenty of time to sail, snorkel & kayak on this two day sailing tour. Have an extended stay at Whitehaven Beach, dreaming it is yours. Add in bush walking, snorkeling and swimming for a well earned break.
- Learn to sail & snorkel
- Whitehaven Beach
- Guided tours
- Big open decks
After coming this far it would be a shame to miss having a night on the water and seeing the stars brighter than anywhere else. On this tour you will have time to relax as well as taking in all the beauty that surrounds you.
- Learn to sail
- Beautiful locations
- Night under the stars
- Great crew
For those who truly want time to relax and not forgo comfort this three night voyage is ideal. You will have time to truly get the feel of this magnificent area. Sail to Whitehaven Beach and hill Inlet and spend the nights in protected bays.
- Visit the best locations
- Sunsets, stars & cocktails
- Fantastic crew
- Queen cabins with en-suites
Whitehaven Beach, 7 kilometres of white sand that squeaks underfoot. Surrounded by swirls of turquoise, blue and green water. Voted by some as the best beach in the world, come see for yourself. The best views of this magnificent beach and the just as beautiful Hill Inlet, is from Hill Inlet Lookout, a short walk from Tongue Bay Beach. Swim in the bays first or climb to the lookout first, decisions! Either way the two go hand in hand.
Nearby is the famous heart shaped island called Heart Reef, be sure to take a helicopter flight over it. These wonderful treasures of the Whitsundays are not to be missed and we promise they are as good, if not better, than the brochures.
Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet & Reef Tours
This tour is full of action, the rafts are fast & fun, and they go right up onto the beach at Hill Inlet. This tour gives you additional snorkeling time yet still leaves you with ample time to enjoy Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet.
- Whitehaven Beach & Hill Inlet
- Learn to snorkel
- 2 snorkel sites
- Reef & island talks/walks
A fun tour, with longer time on Whitehaven Beach and free lessons on how to snorkel. The focus of this tour is maximum time at Whitehaven Beach while still giving you time to go snorkeling or take a guided walk.
- Whitehaven Beach & Hill Inlet
- Learn to snorkel
- 1 snorkel sites
- More beach time
Six hours of fun cruising the Whitsundays, lunching on Whitehaven Beach, seven kilometers of the most pristine white sand beaches in the world. All the swimming & snorkeling you desire and time to explore.
- Picnic lunch on Whitehaven Beach
- Snorkelling & swimming
- Guided walk to lookout
- Hill Inlet
Only have a few hours and desperately don’t want to miss the best beach in the world, this tour is for you. Still get up to 2 hours at the Southern end of Whitehaven Beach to swim, explore snorkel or just relax.
- 1.5-2 hours on Whitehaven Beach
- All water activities
- Views of Whitsunday Islands
- Commentary on-board
Airlie Beach & Shute Harbour
Airlie Beach, is the gateway to the Whitsundays. A great way to explore the area is to base yourself at Airlie and do daily trips to the different parts of the Whitsundays.
Airlie Beach has undergone major renewal in the past few years and is looking better than ever. The Marina has been upgraded and is attracting world class boats. Along the boardwalk you will find quality restaurants.
Airlie Beach Tours
Short on time, love adventure and want to see parts of this paradise then jump on a jetski with us. It's loads of fun and the guides tell you about the area as you visit Daydream Island and zoom past South Molle Island.
- Fast & fun
- Learn to ride a jetski
- Great scenery
- Visit Daydream
3 Days and 3 Nights of great experiences just waiting for you, a day on an outer reef pontoon, a day to explore Airlie Beach and her surrounds and a day of sailing to Whitehaven Beach. You can tick it all off with this tour.
- Reef Pontoon
- Whitehaven Beach
- Beautiful bays & coves
- Explore Airlie Beach
You will be amazed with what your getaway will give you. A day of sailing to Whitehaven Beach, a cruise to the pontoon for the best snorkelling, an Island Hopper ticket to check out the different resorts and a day to discover Airlie Beach
- Whitehaven Beach
- Reef pontoon
- Island Hopping
- Discover Airlie Beach
Take a 20 minute scenic flight over the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef, then hold on for the experience of a lifetime. Free fall from 14,000 feet over the beautiful Airlie Beach. Accommodation transfers included.
- Spectacular views
- Up to 14,000 feet
- 60 seconds free fall
- 20 minute scenic flight
Islands in the Whitsundays
The Whitsundays located in the Coral Sea is made up of 74 islands, only 8 of the islands have resorts on them. We have listed some information below on some of the popular islands:
Hamilton Island is the most developed resort in the Whitsundays, it has so much to offer right in the middle of paradise.
The island has many different areas. You can discover Australian Native Wildlife at Wildlife Park, scenic lookouts await your camera. You can swim at Catseye Beach or one of the many pools.
You can travel the island by golf buggy or shuttle bus. To keep you busy the island has shops, restaurants, art galleries and a marina.
South Molle Island
South Molle offers many activities. Most of the island is a national park with many trails to be explored. There are bays and sandy beaches for your relaxation.
Daydream Island is closer to the mainland and also caters for day trippers.
It is home to the world’s largest outdoor aquarium. With 80 different types of sea life and 50 different corals it is not to be missed.
The island offers many activities on land and sea. There is an outdoor cinema and what a backdrop it has.