We use cookies on this site to enhance your user experience. Find out more in our Privacy Policy. By clicking any link on this page you are giving your consent for us to set cookies.

The complete guide to the Whitsundays

A couple stand on a wooden lookout as the watch the swirling sand and turquoise water from Hill Inlet in the Whitsundays

From cruising around the beautiful Whitsundays to enjoying a lazy afternoon at Whitehaven Beach. From marvelling at the colourful reefs of the Great Barrier Reef to being charmed by the swirling waters, you'll never run out of things to do on your holiday to the Whitsundays.

Top things to do in Whitsundays

If you're looking for paradise on Earth, your search stops with Whitsundays. Whether you're looking for a relaxing getaway or an active holiday with lots of hiking and bushwalking, Whitsundays won't disappoint. Here are the top things to do in Whitsundays.

Explore Whitsundays with SeaLink

The true beauty of the Whitsundays can be experienced only through a day of cruising around the islands. As you reach the pristine Whitehaven Beach, your eyes are not prepared for the untouched beauty, the turquoise waters against the swirling pure white sand. Breathtaking will seem like an understatement.

SeaLink’s Big Island Day Tour

SeaLink Big Island Day Tour
The best way to explore the Whitsundays is with SeaLink's Big Island Day Tour.

The SeaLink Big Island Day Tour is a one-of-a-kind experience that takes you to places that no other Whitsundays Island tour does. You will cruise in air-conditioned comfort on a catamaran complete with modern facilities, gourmet lunch, and morning and afternoon tea with a side of unparalleled views of the beautiful islands. You will see popular spots like the Hill Inlet, South Molle Island, and Hook Island.

The tour departs Shute Harbour, which is located 10kms from Airlie Beach on the mainland.

Here are some of the spots you’ll see during the SeaLink Big Island Day Tour:

While there are many things to see and experience on the Whitsundays islands, these are just some of the most iconic attractions covered by the Big Island Day Tour.

View from the Hill Inlet
View from Hill Inlet
Hill Inlet

This beautiful lookout is one of the jewels of Whitsundays. And the best part? No two visits are the same as the tide flows and swirling sand keeps shifting shape. The lookout is situated on a short uphill bush walk, which is easy for all ages. If you’re in Whitsundays, you’d not want to give this one a miss. It’s one of the most ‘Instagrammed’ locations in the region and for good reason.

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsyndays
Whitehaven Beach is a popular spot to relax, splash around in the water, and enjoy the best of Whitsundays
Whitehaven Beach

This beach is a personification of heaven on earth. Named aptly, the beach covers 7km in length and is composed of 98% silica sand, which makes it one of the purest sands on Earth. Pack in your bathers and enjoy a day swimming in the clear waters for an unforgettable experience. You can even hike to the Southern Lookout and take in the views of Whitehaven Beach and the surrounding islands. The day tour provides stunning views of the many picturesque islands that make up the Whitsunday region. Make sure to get your cameras ready and click away. There’s a lot of beauty to take in a single day.

Daydream Island

Daydream Island is one of the seven islands that make up the Molle Group of Islands. It is also one of the few inhabited islands in the Whitsundays. Known for its sparkling bays, secluded beaches, and rainforests, the island’s natural beauty is unparalleled.

South Molle Island

This hilly island is home to many bays and inlets. The island is popular for its hiking and cycling trails.

Hook Island

This is the second-largest island in the Whitsundays. It is quite rugged and features inlets and fjord-like recesses.

Hiking in the Whitsundays

Hiking in Whitsundays
Take in the never-ending views of the Whitsundays on one of the many hikes across the region

There is a lot of unspoiled nature to see and experience in Whitsundays. You can take in the never-ending views on many of the hikes across the region.

As part of the Big Island Day Tour, you have the option of including two easy walks to bucket-list viewing platforms at The Hill Inlet and the Whitehaven Beach Lookout. The Hill Inlet lookout is an easy 15-minute walk to the viewing platform where you can enjoy uninterrupted views of the Whitsundays. And the Whitehaven Beach Lookout is slightly longer and steeper but with stairs. Both are suitable for people across age groups and fitness levels.

The Whitsundays Great Walk starts from Brandy Creek and goes all the way to Airlie Beach – it covers around 28km. There are 3 camping grounds, toilets, and water tanks along the way. For a shorter distance, you could opt for the Honeyeater lookout walk, which is around 8km but has a few steep and challenging terrains along the way. If you are looking for a hike that your family can enjoy, check out the Airlie Creek Walk, which is less than a kilometer and promises lush green tropical rainforests, waterfalls, and creeks during the rainy season.

Scenic flight over Whitsundays

Enjoy a bird's eye view of the Whitsundays' 74 islands and one of the most photographed spots on the Great Barrier Reef – the Heart Reef.

Water-based activities on Whitsundays

From jet-ski to kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding to fishing, there are so many water-based adventure activities to get your heart pumping. Head down to Airlie Beach and take your pick.

Whether you're planning a romantic getaway for two, a family holiday, or a memorable trip with your friends, Whitsundays is your perfect bucket-list destination in Australia. And the best way to explore the top attractions in the Whitsundays is with SeaLink's Big Island Day Tour. It's one of the top-rated experiences in the Whitsundays - don't take it from us, here's what our guests had to say.

Plan your trip to Whitsundays

  • Getting to Whitsundays by air

    Whitsundays in Northeast Queensland is made up of 74 islands and sits along one of the most beautiful natural wonders – The World-Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef. Be prepared to be greeted by some of the most pristine beaches, tropical islands, best diving spots, and once-in-lifetime, bucket list-worthy experiences.

    The fastest way to get to the Whitsundays is to fly to either Whitsundays Coast Airport, which is located 25 minutes from Airlie Beach, or the Hamilton Island Airport, which is located on Hamilton Island.

    Getting to Whitsundays by road

    A popular option among travellers – you can drive to Airlie Beach via the coastal Bruce Highway. Once you’re at Prosperine, just follow the signs to Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour.

  • Whitsundays is a great destination all year round. It boasts sunny weather and a temperate climate throughout the year. If you're looking to escape the harsh winters on Australia's east and southern coasts, Whitsundays is a great option for a winter break. The average high during winter months is around 23-24 degree Celsius.

    Whitsundays during spring

    Spring is a popular time to visit the Whitsundays. It can be windy during October, offering perfect conditions for windsurfing. If you're looking to avoid the crowds, come down during November when it's relatively quiet.

    Whitsundays during summer

    December to March is the summer season with an average temperature of 30 degrees Celsius. You can expect some rain, especially during the afternoons. But don’t be put off by a little rain or overcast because rain or shine, the tropical Whitsundays are always beautiful.

    Whitsundays in autumn

    Though there is technically no autumn season in tropical Whitsundays, it may seem like summer with temperatures around 28 degrees Celsius.

    Whitsundays in winter

    Winter season is popular with tourists looking to escape the chilly winters in other parts of Australia. It is also a great time to see the humpback whales making their journey to warmer waters.

Products related to this article