The Whitsundays are where it's at
If you’re looking for an Aussie Adventure, the East Coast has its fair share of ridiculously beautiful beaches and special nature spots. When it comes to Queensland, they don’t call it beautiful one day, perfect the next for no reason.
Jettison yourself (or sit back, relax and take a tour) north to explore the Whitsundays. Located on the Central East Coast between Mackay and Townsville, this picturesque island wonderland is a stand out jewel in the crown of the tropics, plus it’s an ideal passageway to exploring the Great Barrier Reef.
With so many special spots to discover all over the east coast and beyond, it’s well worth taking a tour there. Check out our HOT airfares to Queensland HERE!
When it comes to exploring the Whitsunday Islands, you’re spoilt for choice—there are 74 of them. Undeniably the most famous is Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island with its famous stretch of over seven kilometers of pristine white sand and clear crystal blue waters—you get the picture, it’s tropical Queensland at it’s finest. With the Great Barrier Reef surrounding you, beauty is literally at every turn in this part of the world.
Cruising the Whitsundays
Really want to get a feel for the reef? The best place is on the water. The Whitsunday coast is protected by the Great Barrier Reef creating calm waters perfect for smooth sailing. Consider a few days on board a yacht where the only activities on the agenda are swim, snorkel, relax, repeat. If you don’t exactly know your way around a sailboat, Contiki and Topdeck have excellent tour options that include yachting it up for a night or two on the Whitsundays.
Even if you don’t spend your nights on board, the Whitsundays outpost Airlie Beach is a pretty alright place to sink your anchor for a few nights too. With endless cafes, bars and beach vibes it’s a backpackers paradise.
Using the popular coastal hub as your base, from here you can jump on a number of Whitsunday day trips and enjoy the resort vibes on Hayman, Hamilton and Daydream Island. Even if your budget doesn’t quite stretch to the 5-star luxury stays on these resorts, there’s dining and activities to suit the backpacker on a beer budget (even with champagne taste!)
All East Coast tours and with Contiki and Topdeck make the Whitsundays a highlight stop of their Aussie adventures.
Day trips to the islands make a perfect jumping off point for further exploring the surrounding islands and the Great Barrier Reef. You can snorkel, dive, jetski, sail and even take flight!
Remember that champagne taste? You’ve come this far, it’s worth splashing out for a scenic flight of a lifetime. From Hamilton Island you can fly over the famous Heart Reef (yep, the part of the Great Barrier Reef that’s shaped like a heart—totes worth the investment for the amount of Instagram likes you’re going to get). A 10 minute helicopter ride will set you back around $135, while a one hour plane ride is around $330, but also includes a spin around the stunning Whitehaven Beach.
So between enjoying the beach town vibes in Airlie Beach, laying around in a hammock on a tropical island, sailing through crystal clear tropical waters, hiking along pristine national park coastline on Whitehaven, snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef and flying over this natural wonder of the world—it’s safe to say the Whitsundays is an Aussie destination you don’t want to miss.