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Whitsunday IslandsAustralia

The Australian Tourism Board were right to choose this cluster of tropical islands as the face of Australian tourism, as they are as idyllic as they come.

When people dream of the white-sand beaches of northern Australia, it’s probably this group of islands that have inspired them. Rising from the turquoise waters just off the coast of Queensland’s central coast, the Whitsunday Islands are an idyllic tropical escape. They are considered one of the best destinations in the world for sailing holidays, and are located in the Coral Seabetween the Great Barrier Reef and Queensland's tropical north coast.

The Whitsundays is comprised of 74 separate islands. A handful of these have townships and resorts while many are completely unspoiled. Take the family to Hamilton Island which has a major resort and plenty of activities, while nearby Hayman is perfect if you are looking for a more exclusive experience. If you are the adventurous type, consider chartering a yacht for a few days and explore the islands at your leisure.

Bring your snorkel to come face to face with the tropical fish and colourful coral beneath the surface of the Coral Sea. Dive operators are based out of Hamilton Island and offer experiences tailored to all experience levels. While boating is a great way to reach the more remote parts of the island group, swimming straight off the shore is one of the most popular activities in the region.

Take a day trip to Whitehaven Beach to witness the bright, white sand that stretches for nearly 7 kilometers (4 miles). The rainforest that runs almost to the shore of most islands offers excellent hikes, and the view from Whitsunday Peak on the main island is breathtaking.

The Whitsunday Islands remain warm year round, making it a popular destination in winter for visitors from the south of Australia. Airports on Hamilton Island and at Proserpine on the mainland service the islands. Regular charter boats and ferries run between Airlie Beach – the gateway to the islands – and Hamilton Island. Once on the islands boats can be hired or chartered to move amongst them.

Top hotels in Whitsunday Islands

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Whitsunday Apartments
Whitsunday Apartments
4 out of 5
14 Resort Drive, Hamilton Island, QLD
The price is AU$350 per night

Offering direct access to the beach, this Hamilton Island aparthotel is in a national park and within a 15-minute walk of Catseye Beach and Hamilton Island Marina. ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (2,029 reviews)

"We had a sea view room and this was excellent, we enjoyed sitting on the couch with our coffee and watching the ferries go past. We liked having our own kitchen facilities, though the stove top, toaster and kettle were looking pretty dated. Wonderful staff that were always helpful."…"

Reviewed on 1 Apr. 2020

Whitsunday Apartments
Daydream Island Resort
Daydream Island Resort
4.5 out of 5
Whitsunday Islands, Daydream Island, QLD
The price is AU$375 per night

Nestled on the beach, this Daydream Island resort is steps away from Daydream Beach, Daydream Port and Daydream Reef.

3.6/5Good! (89 reviews)

"I loved waking up to kangaroos at patio door, the sun rising over the water. The room was lovely and a good size. It is unfortunate that everything is so expensive although it is a resort so it is to be expected. We went in winter so it would be nice if they had some winter options like an outdoor ..."…"

Reviewed on 24 Jul. 2020

Daydream Island Resort
Reef View Hotel
Reef View Hotel
4 out of 5
12 Resort Drive, Hamilton Island, QLD
The price is AU$390 per night

Located in Hamilton Island, this beachfront hotel is in the city centre and within a 15-minute walk of Catseye Beach and Hamilton Island Marina. Coral Cove and ...

4.2/5Excellent! (997 reviews)

"Great view Good location Property is older but being kept up ok"…"

Reviewed on 9 Mar. 2020

Reef View Hotel

Popular places to visit in Whitsunday Islands

Whitehaven Beach
Image for Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach

4.5/5(287 reviews)

Stroll along this famous beach on Whitsunday Island to experience its dazzling white sands and gently lapping waters in different hues of blue and green.

Catseye Beach
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Catseye Beach

4.5/5(154 reviews)

Swim, stroll, try exciting watersports or simply recline under the shade of palm trees and enjoy the views from one of Hamilton Island’s main beaches.

Hamilton Island Marina
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Hamilton Island Marina

4.5/5(257 reviews)

Cruise in for a visit or begin your boating adventure in the Great Barrier Reef from this world-class marina and make use of its fantastic facilities and great dining.

Top activities in Whitsunday Islands

Great Barrier Reef Day Cruise to Reefworld
Image for Great Barrier Reef Day Cruise to Reefworld

Great Barrier Reef Day Cruise to Reefworld

AU$182
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
Whitehaven Day Sail & Snorkelling in the Whitsundays
Image for Whitehaven Day Sail & Snorkelling in the Whitsundays

Whitehaven Day Sail & Snorkelling in the Whitsundays

AU$173
Per adult
98% of travellers recommend
Hamilton Island Freestyle
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Hamilton Island Freestyle

AU$155
Per adult
80% of travellers recommend
Camira Whitehaven Beach Sailing Adventure
Image for Camira Whitehaven Beach Sailing Adventure

Camira Whitehaven Beach Sailing Adventure

AU$165
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
Hamilton Island Family Day
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Hamilton Island Family Day

AU$132
Per adult
Whitsunday Islands and Heart Reef Scenic Flight - 60 minutes
Image for Whitsunday Islands and Heart Reef Scenic Flight - 60 minutes

Whitsunday Islands and Heart Reef Scenic Flight - 60 minutes

AU$278
Per adult