Untouched but accessible, relaxed but energetic, the Whitsundays is paradise found.
An essential Australian destination, these 74 lush tropical islands, located off the tropical Queensland coast, provide an idyllic backdrop, no matter your intentions. Explore the celebrated Great Barrier Reef, enjoy a sea-salty sailing adventure, wine and dine at a luxury resort, or catch some beach time on a famous stretch of sand. This is a place to decompress, but also a place for adventure. Welcome to the Whitsundays. Your journey is just beginning…
With a backdrop of tropical rainforest, Whitehaven Beach is regularly crowned Australia’s No.1 beach. Pristine, pure, perfect. The silica sand here is dazzlingly white, and strikes an impossibly beautiful vista against the Whitsundays’ famous turquoise water. Located on the Whitsundays’ largest island, Whitehaven Beach offers seven kilometres of shore to explore. Swim, snorkel, laze on the sand, or even take a hike through the forest to an ocean lookout or secret swimming spot: your time here can be as energetic or relaxed as you like. But don’t miss the walk over Hill Inlet at Whitehaven’s northern end, where a swirl of sand and water create a breathtaking sight.
Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is seriously impressive – a technicolour mosaic of coral and marine life, tracing the Queensland coast for more than 2300 kilometres. The reef is a World Heritage-listed wonder, and a must-do travel experience. And the Whitsundays is right at its heart. Access to the reef is easy here: step off the sand and see what you can find in the shallows or explore the mesmerising outer reef at Cruise Whitsundays’ permanently moored pontoon, where snorkelling, scuba diving, heli-scenic flights and semi-submarine tours will help you take in this aquatic wonderland.
Located on the same latitude as holiday heavyweights Tahiti, Mauritius and Rio de Janeiro, the Whitsundays is an international sailing hotspot. Local marinas sway with yachts from around the world, as sailors step ashore to enjoy downtime in the Whitsundays’ resorts, and the bars and restaurants along the Airlie Beach waterfront. If you’ve ever dreamed of harnessing the wind and sailing from one idyllic location to the next, the Whitsundays is the place to make those dreams come true. Better yet, a sailing adventure can take you to remote spots and secret beaches. Paradise is yours to explore.
Adrift in the Coral Sea, most of the 74 Whitsunday Islands are uninhabited and protected by the Whitsunday Islands National Park, buzzing with birdlife, and fringed by colourful coral and arcs of golden sand. Other islands, however, play host to sophisticated tropical resorts. Hamilton Island has long been a holiday hotspot for families, honeymooners and global travellers alike while Daydream and Hayman islands are both set to re-open this year. On Hamilton Island, meet local wildlife, enjoy a round of golf, hike to lofty peaks, duck into the shops, bars and restaurants by the marina, cool off at the beach, or order a cocktail at the swim-up bar. Energetic or laid-back, Hamilton Island offers something for everyone.
The Whitsundays’ mainland gateway, Airlie Beach is a vibrant and multicultural town, with an unhurried, beachy soul. A long-time favourite with travellers, families and nature-lovers, Airlie Beach makes it easy to drop down a gear and slip into holiday mode. It’s the kind of place you visit for a day, yet stay for a week. With a range of quality accommodation, buzzing bars and sophisticated dining options, it is the perfect base for exploring the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef as well as the wild rivers of the hinterland. Or just spend a day wandering the main street, browsing the shops and galleries, enjoying a lavish seafood lunch, visiting the Saturday morning market, taking a dip in the lagoon or people-watching over a sundowner.
About Cruise Whitsundays
Cruise Whitsundays is the region’s largest and most experienced marine operator, offering a range of day cruises, overnight experiences, transfer services between islands and the mainland, and connections to Hamilton Island airport.