Photo Credit: tourismwhitsundays.com.au
f you are looking for an escape from reality to tropical paradise, look no further than the Whitsunday Islands. The Whitsundays are a group of 74 islands and is the world’s largest Archipelago off the coast of Queensland and located in the heart of The Great Barrier Reef. The 74 islands are classified into 4 groups based on locale: The Whitsunday Group, Lindeman Group, The Molle Group, and Northern Group. An amazing getaway awaits, with something for every type of holiday seeker, whether you are looking for a quiet and relaxing escape or a tropical island sporting adventure; The Whitsunday Islands are diverse enough to have it all.
The Great Barrier Reef Photo Credit: tourismwhitsundays.com.au
How to Get to the Whitsunday Islands
Hamilton Island Photo Credit: tourismwhitsundays.com.au
Located along a stretch of the Queensland coast and just off the mainland, the Whitsunday Islands are in the warm and tropical waters of the Coral Sea. It is located in between Bowen to the north and Mackay to the south; Brisbane is about 900 kilometres further south. There is a Whitsunday Coast Airport located close by. Once you get to the coast, there are walking trails to some of the islands and coastal peninsulas, seaways that can be navigated by kayaks, sailing, or power boats. Other islands in the Whitsundays can be reached by ferry or seaplanes. There are resorts and plenty of destinations with great holiday adventures on all 74 islands.
Things to do on Holiday in The Whitsunday Islands
Heart Reef Photo Credit: tourismwhitsundays.com.au
Hamilton Island Spa Getaway Photo Credit: tourismwhitsundays.com.au
The Whitsundays are the most popular yachting destination in the Southern Hemisphere, so there are always boating and yachting opportunities for visitors to take advantage of. In addition to boating and cruises, there is of course, snorkelling and SCUBA diving in the Great Barrier Reef where you can experience the glory and wonder of one of the 7 natural wonders of the world close up and personal. You can go jet skiing, skydiving, and every tourist’s desire in between. You can do everything or nothing but lounge on the secluded beaches and lavish in hotel spas and dining. The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living organism in the world; the warm and shallow waters of the Whitsundays are home to the colourful fish and other amazing species and sights of the reef. Staying in the Whitsunday Islands is the only place where you can stay in a hotel and spend the night right on the reef. In addition to the natural attractions throughout the Whitsunday Islands, there are also national parks, reserves, aquariums, zoos, sanctuaries, and wildlife parks. With so much to do, it is definitely a good idea to plan your visit out ahead of time and check the calendars to see what’s on and look for special events.
Here are 10 Activities to Consider when Visiting the Whitsunday Islands:
- Whithaven Beach is one of the most famous destinations in the Whitsunday Islands. It is labeled as one of the “must see” places in the Whitsundays and consistently named one of the top beaches in the world. Once you experience the awe inspiring beauty of this beahch you will understand why it is the most photographed beach in Australia.
Whithaven Beach Photo Credit: Wikipedia
- Whale season in the Whitsundays is June through September. The Whitsundays are a birthing destination along the whales’ migration route. The warm and shallow waters are a safe haven for newly born calves. There are many boating tours year round and during whale season, whale watching is an added bonus to the excursions.
- Shopping. Any holiday must include shopping. Airlie Beach is the shopping hub of the Whitsundays, but all of the islands have great eclectic shopping destinations.
- Go on a Crocodile Safari. The Proserpine River Wetlands is salt water croc country. It is exciting to see crocodiles in their natural habitat, but what is also wonderful is catching a glimpse of nature. The tours are eco-friendly and allow you to safely see these amazing animals as well as other mammals and birds that make up this wild and unique ecosystem.
- Cedar Creek Falls is one of those beautifully scenic places that you dream about visiting after seeing something similar in a movie. The water falls are set in a natural rock amphitheatre and the base of the falls is a natural swimming pool. Besides the beautiful falls, the flowers, fauna, and unique vegetation in the area are a sight to behold.
- Visit Conway National Park. This gorgeous national park is located right on the coast with a spectacular variety of landscapes. In one park you can see beaches, the sea, inlets, water falls, mountains, hills, rainforest, valleys, and wild animals. The lookout points on the mountains and hills have a scenic variety like no other in this world. Once in the park in addition to all of the sightseeing, you can go camping or have a picnic in paradise.
- Checkout the Historical Proserpine Museum. If you decide you want to take a break from the outdoors, you can learn all about the area and its cultural history instead.
HillInlet Photo Credit: Wikipedia
- Tour the Ngaro Sea Trail. In many cases, the natural beauty of a place like this takes on even more meaning when you learn about and experience the culture there. The Ngaro People are native to this land and carry a great deal of history and culture. There are tours available that follow the footsteps of the Ngaro people through a 170 metre guided trail that combines walking and boating through the islands. Along the way you can learn about the original owners of this land and see Aboriginal cave paintings and much more.
- Fishing charters can take you to the fishing hotspots. The variety of fish in the Whitsunday Islands include blue and black marlin, bass, bream, sailfish, 6 species of mackerel, 7 species of coral queenfish, barramundi, 5 species of tuna and much more.
- Experience fine dining and nightlife on the islands. All of the Whitsunday Islands resorts have dining options for you to choose from that offer great food and fun with a stunning view. Arlie Beach features restaurants, bars, cafes and live music. Other locations like Proserpine are more laid back with cafes and pubs with a friendly hospitality.