The Whitsunday Islands and Their Wow Factor

It’s no secret that Queensland has some of the best and most spectacular sights for visitors to Australia. Then you see the Whitsunday Islands, and they steal the show. The archipelago of islands that touch the Great Barrier Reef offers some spectacular sightseeing, diving spots and a steady year-round climate averaging 26ºC. On top we have the top-rated beach in Australia along with resorts that cater for high-end luxury, to backpacking options with the eco-minded and the family-friendly side all provided for. But, there’s still a lot more to the Whitsunday Islands than meets the eye.

whitsunday island

Why the Whitsunday Islands?

There are too many reasons to list as to why to visit the Whitsundays.
There is plenty to do on the islands so you shouldn’t treat the Whitsunday’s as a place to use just to see the Great Barrier Reef. Diving and reef cruises are easily booked from the Islands.

While less than 10% of the marine park is made up of the reef itself, the land on the islands is nearly all National Parkland, meaning that the Whitsunday Islands themselves are some of Australia’s best preserved natural areas on the East Coast of Australia.

Bushwalking is a favourite pastime here also, and many of the islands have eco-friendly trails to follow. Everywhere there is a beach, to relax, swim, snorkel or enjoy watersports wherever they are designated. Sailing is also up there with popularity on the islands with a lot of natural shelter on offer from the islands.

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What to do on the Whitsunday Islands

The Whitsundays is the quintessential place that can offer you as little or much of anything as you like, at your pace.

There are prime areas for relaxation, with a large selection of luxury resorts and spa’s throughout. Hamilton Island offers some of the islands best snorkelling and hiking. It boasts the highest spot that from it, you can see one of the best views of the islands. For travellers hot on scenery you get your chance to fly over the islands and for the skydivers – they can dive.

For those of you who like watersports then the islands have plenty to offer.
The currents around the calm bays lends itself to all-year round sailing.

If you are thinking more about a cruise when you already have a destination in mind, you can take a boat out to The Great Barrier Reef, Heart Reef or even try a Reefsleep where you get a night spent over with the island’s natural wonders, bear in mind that this won’t be for everyone.

One of the most tourist-popular areas is Whitehaven Beach located on Whitsunday Island. Just half a day on a standard boat from Airlie Beach, you can be standing on Whitehaven which has been named the world’s best beach more than one time for its pristine white silica sands.

A Rough Guide Itinerary:

Try a 2-Day Reefsleep Overnight

The Whitsundays embrace a long stretch of Queensland’s coast. Squashed and sheltered either side of the mainland and the Great Barrier Reef is the Whitsundays comprising of 74 Islands, seven of which have inhabitants.

  • Hayman
  • Daydream
  • Hook
  • Hamilton
  • South Molle,
  • Long
  • Lindeman

Every island has its own identity from a resort to ecology and beaches, snorkelling or trekking it adds a ‘Wow’ factor to the travel experience here.

When it comes to budget travellers and or adventure seekers the fun isn’t on the islands in the first place. Airlie Beach has a little bit to offer everyone, with various options for cruises, day trips, excursions, flying, watersports and visit to the Great Barrier Reef.

great barrier reef

Airlie provides more diversity in food options compared to the resorts and the hikers finding accessibility to not just the islands but the hinterland as well.

Hamilton Island

For honeymooners looking for relaxation and some pampering Hamilton Island is for you.

The island has numerous luxury resorts ranging from Qualia at the northern tip of the island. Around 70 per cent of it is official National Park, so as a guest you get immersed in the nature wrapped in luxury, it is a real treat.

Whitsunday Island

The namesake of the islands is the largest one in the group and is easily accessible by boat from Airlie Beach or some of the resorts.

The highlight of the visit being Whitehaven beach, view on the horizon is of this island cutting between island’s natural tropical feel with the electric blue waters, it’s almost your screen coming to life, it’s Australia’s most photographed beach and consistently ranked at the top of the tree when it comes to beaches around the world.


Daydream is where you come face-to-face with dolphins, turtles, different rays, sharks and various species of fish and crustaceans.

For nature lovers it must be Hayman Island, silence is abounding here, quiet, refined, luxury experience is to be had, and there’s something for culture lovers on Hook Island where the native Ngaro people who dated back thousands of years have left several caves with depictures and paintings.

Recently upgraded in 2018, Hayman and Daydream are spectacular places to visit. They received upgrades to infrastructure in addition to accommodation refurbishments and various renovation of existing attractions. Daydream was upgraded close to a 5-star world-class island resort.


Best time to Go?

Well, the truth is there’s not a wrong time to visit the Whitsundays. Although the islands enjoy all year-round warm(ish) weather, different seasons bring different aspects into play for different tourists.

Summertime can get a little hot but when you look at the water you can’t complain too much, besides a late night swim is almost customary around these parts. Winter, on the other hand, is usually a moderate daytime heat and then a colder evening and night where you may need a light jacket and shoes. But with winter comes the whales. The season begins in June and lasts until September when the families of whales go home with calves’ en-tow.
If crowds are not your thing and lower prices are what you’re looking for then the autumn and spring seasons will suit you, March to May and September to November respectively would be your best options.

For those of you happy enough to stay on dry land a cruise unlocks the door to the Whitsunday’s, simply depart from Airlie Beach.

Guest Author : Pat is a veteran blogger with a life-long love of global travel and adventure, is now associated with who are experts in sailing the Whitsundays and diving Whitsundays and is keen to share his experiences.
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