The Whitsunday Islands Holidays

Just off Queensland’s coast you’ll find soul-stirring natural wonders, where emerald-cloaked islands meet the dreamiest of white-sand beaches.

The Whitsundays are Australia’s answer to paradise. This island-hopping heaven is a constant ‘pinch yourself’ kind of place; bucket list-topping beaches are lapped by crystal clear turquoise waters, and the waterfall-strewn rainforest is some of the most spectacular in the world. Then there’s the neighbours next door – gorgeous tiny islands right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Most are uninhabited, but an exclusive few aren’t just for day trips; if you choose right, you can even spend the night.

From giant sandbar swirls fringed by coral-rich waters to island peaks shrouded in scatterings of wild jungle, the Whitsunday Islands are simply gorgeous. Secluded on the fringe of the Great Barrier Reef, they’re remote but accessible.

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The Whitsunday Islands Hotels

Our recommendations for the best places to stay in The Whitsunday Islands

Beach Club, Hamilton Island

Adults-only boutique hotel

qualia, Hamilton Island

This world-class hideaway lies at the secluded northernmost tip of Hamilton Island.

Reef View Hotel, Hamilton Island

Spacious hotel opposite Catseye beach

InterContinental Hayman Island Resort

This stunning resort sits on the fringe of the Great Barrier Reef, and offers luxury and indulgen...

Coral Sea Marina Resort, Airlie Beach

Easy access to the Great Barrier Reef

Daydream Island Resort

This fresh island resort in the Whitsundays has an incredible 'Living Reef' home to over 100 unde...

Get to know the Whitsunday Islands and those important practicalities when planning your perfect holiday.


GMT +10 hours; Queensland does not observe daylight saving time so is 9 hours ahead of the UK during British Summer Time


Australian Dollar


Brisbane: 21 hours (not including stopover time)


Majority Christian


Australia has no official language but the majority of people speak English as their first language. Approximately 250 indigenous Australia languages are spoken.

Where are the Whitsunday Islands?
The Whitsunday Islands are located off Australia’s Queensland central coast and form the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. Access to the islands range from daily boat transfers from the pretty mainland gateway of Airlie Beach to direct flights from most major Australia cities directly onto Hamilton Island where, dependent on where you are staying, onward transfers can be arranged by catamaran, luxury yacht or helicopter.

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Which island?
Family favourite Daydream Island is one of the closest to the mainland, while tiny Hayman Island is the most northerly of the Whitsunday Islands. It’s the nearest to the Great Barrier Reef and is home to the ultra-luxurious InterContinental Hayman Island Resort. Hamilton Island is the Whitsundays’ little slice of resort paradise – where roads are ruled by golf buggies and celebrities flock en masse. It’s a hub of activities; hike to Passage Peak for the five-star views or take the ferry to tee off on a golf course located on its own private island. Come here if you want to day trip across to Whitehaven Beach; its eye-catchingly white, pure-silica sand is world famous for a reason.

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Airlie Beach
Best known as a departure point for the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef, pretty Airlie Beach has a lovely, relaxed atmosphere, excellent restaurants, a live music scene and a wonderful artificial oceanfront lagoon (local beaches are small and not recommended for swimming). Most boats to the Whitsundays depart from Shute Harbour, while flights to Hamilton Island (and seaplane trips) depart from Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) airport.

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Whitehaven Beach
Often described as one of the best beaches in the world, Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island boasts pure white silica sand and stretches for over four miles. At Hill Inlet at the northern end of the beach, the clear turquoise waters swirl with the silica sand to create a breathtaking pattern that’s quite remarkable. Walk up to the lookout at Tongue Point for views of Hill Inlet – make sure it’s at low tide for the best experience.

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The Whitsunday Islands Weather

Apr - Nov