Whitsunday Islands Travel Guide

Print our full travel guide to Queensland

Whitsunday Islands

Whitsunday Islands © dany13
Discovered by Captain James Cook in 1770, the Whitsunday Islands is an archipelago of approximately 160 breath-taking tropical islands and atolls off the east coast of Queensland's Airlie Beach. The islands were named by Cook when he passed through around Whit Sunday, the seventh day after Easter Sunday, and was immediately struck by their beauty. Set in the crystal clear azure waters of the Coral Sea in the heart of Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsundays are a sailor's paradise and one of Australia's most popular tourist attractions, drawing more than 600,000 visitors annually.

Most tourists tend to stick to the resort areas to enjoy the endless water activities such as scuba diving, snorkelling, fishing, sailing, and relaxing on the sun-drenched beaches, as 70 percent of the region has been declared a national or marine park. The resort islands of Hamilton Daydream, Hayman, South Molle and Lindeman are the most popular destinations with foreign visitors and accommodation is easy to find on these charming islands.

Perfect for a family getaway, a relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of the city, or a romantic honeymoon, the Whitsundays have something for everyone. At the end of a busy day exploring the islands and meeting the marine life off their shores, what could be better than a romantic sunset cruise to round off the perfect day in this small slice of paradise.


Airlie Beach, Queensland © eGuide Travel

Airlie Beach

The gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands, Airlie Beach is a small town in the Whitsunday region and is a fabulous place to soak up all there is in this idyllic part of Australia. With a great variety of activities...  see full details

Hamilton Island, Queensland © Maarten Danial

Hamilton Island

The most developed of the Whitsundays, the privately owned Hamilton Island is also the most populated, boasting some of the most valuable real estate in Australia, and when you take a look at the breathtaking scenery and views, the value of the land...  see full details

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays © IG inK

Whitehaven Beach

Whitsunday Island is a popular tourist resort island for both day-trippers and overnight visitors and is the largest and most popular island of the Whitsundays. Most famous for its 2.8 mile (4.5km) stretch of pristine sugary white sandy beach known as Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday...  see full details