Sailing, flying, snorkelling, diving: the Whitsundays are your one-stop-shop for fun in the sun.  

The Whitsundays are one of the best spots to experience the beauty and diversity of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. There are some stunning island resorts on Hamilton Island, Daydream Island and at Airlie Beach. However, you've got more exciting things to do than reclining on a sun-lounger. It’s easy to create your own perfect Whitsundays day here. Choose from sailing adventures, a scenic flight over Heart Reef, fun day tours, try sailing the Whitsundays, or explore the national park and pure white sand on one of many Whitehaven Beach boat tours. On a day trip you'll have time to explore Whitehaven Beach and walk up to Hill Inlet Lookout, play a game of beach cricket and go for a refreshing swim.

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Tailor-Made trips

Take four or more on an exclusive trip and tailor your itinerary

Highlights of the Whitsundays

Whitsundays sunset sail

Sailing the Whitsundays

Sit back and relax with a cool drink and watch the sun bathe the water in a soft orange glow on a sunset cruise around the Whitsunday Islands. Enjoy views of the national park and distant resorts as the sky is bathed in purples, pinks and blues. If you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the sparkling Southern Cross twinkling overhead. 

Whitsundays scenic flight

Scenic flight

See a different side of the Great Barrier Reef with a one hour scenic flight that takes in the best of the Whitsundays, from Whitehaven Beach to Hill Inlet, Hook Passage and myriad Whitsunday Islands including heart reef. Rainforest tumbles down rugged hillsides, idyllic rocky bays beckon and shimmering, crystalline blue waters beg to be explored. 

Whitsundays National Park

Whitsunday Islands National Parks

Spend time at pristine South Molle Island and explore The Whitsunday Islands National Parks on a Whitsundays Camping Adventure. If you aren't into camping, take a day trip instead and explore some of the island's walking tracks, many of which come with spectacular views. With hikes to suit every level of fitness, it's a great way to see more of the Whitsundays. 

Couple overlooking Whitehaven Beach

See Whitehaven Beach

Take a full day tour to Whitehaven Beach and relax on the pure white sand of what is arguably one of the world's most famous beaches. You'll have time to explore the national park, play a game of beach cricket, enjoy a beach barbeque and even climb to the top of Hill Inlet Lookout on the northern end of beautiful Whitehaven Beach. 

Whitsundays sailing adventure

Sailing adventures

Pack your swimmers and get ready for a day out on the water on a sailing adventure around the Whitsunday Islands. Sunlight sparkles on the ocean, the sun warms your back, and colourful fish tempt you to slip on your mask, snorkel and fins and jump in the water. 

kayaking in the whitsundays

Whitsundays day trip

Whether you would like to go kayaking, go on a snorkel or dive trip, take a semi-submersible ride around the reef or simply sit back, relax and watch the world go by from the comfort of a motor cruiser, there is a day trip to suit every budget and every type of traveller in the Whitsundays. 

Whitsundays tour reviews

Whitsundays FAQs

Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards

From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises). However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.

Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.

Learn more about Intrepid's COVID-19 proof of vaccination policy

The Whitsundays can be accessed via one of the coastal towns on the mainland, with the most popular jumping off point being Airlie Beach, or on a flight from one of Australia's major cities. There are two main airports in the Whitsundays, Great Barrier Reef Airport which is located on Hamilton Island, and Whitsunday Coast Airport at Proserpine which is the closest airport to Airlie Beach. If you fly into Whitsunday Coast Airport, you will need to drive or take a transfer to Airlie Beach. This is easy to arrange with buses meeting all incoming flights. The transfer from Whitsunday Coast Airport to Airlie Beach takes around 25 minutes. 

Learn more about how to get to the Whitsundays

Passenger ferries operate a regular daily service between the mainland and the major islands. Day tours are popular and offer another way to explore the Whitsundays' many highlights. 

Anytime of year is a good time to visit the Whitsunday Islands. Summer is hot and humid and perfect for swimming. Spring and Autumn are cooler and the islands tend to be quieter. In winter, whales are frequently spotted in and around the Whitsundays. If you are visiting the Whitsundays between October and May and swimming in the ocean, it is advisable to wear a 'stinger suit' to protect yourself from possible jellyfish stings. 

Learn more about when to visit the Whitsundays

The Whitsundays tend to be a casual place so you can leave your fancy clothes at home. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat are a must, even in winter, as the sun reflects off the sparkling blue water and white sand. Bring all the essentials such as basic medications with you, as shops are few and far between on the islands. 

There is no need to get dressed up, even if you are staying at one of the resorts in the Whitsundays. Casual clothes or active wear are fine during the day. Smart casual is the norm for restaurants at the resorts.

You will find a WiFi signal near major tourist hubs such as Hamilton Island, Daydream Island and on the mainland at Airlie Beach. There is limited or no WiFi available in some parts of the Whitsundays, particularly when you are sailing from one island to another or exploring one of the more remote islands.

A mobile phone can be used in and around major tourist hubs such as Hamilton Island, Daydream Island and on the mainland at Airlie Beach. There is limited or no mobile phone coverage in some parts of the Whitsundays, particularly when you are sailing from one island to another or exploring one of the more remote islands. 

Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. The abundance of sand in some parts of the Whitsundays such as Whitehaven Beach can make walking difficult for travellers who are less mobile on foot. However, we’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.

Learn more about Accessible Travel with Intrepid

Read more about the Whitsundays