The Whitsundays are your one-stop-shop for fun in the sun

Welcome to the Whitsundays, an archipelago of 74 tropical islands off the coast of Queensland. As a gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsundays tick all the boxes for a sun-kissed adventure. Jump aboard a sailing boat to explore remote islands where lush rainforests give way to crystalline waters. Slip on a snorkel and flippers to explore colourful coral gardens and get close to inquisitive sea critters. Or marvel at the beauty of the world-famous Whitehaven Beach — with 98% pure silica sand, this is about as white as a beach can get.

Our Whitsundays tours

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See the natural wonders of Queensland and New South Wales on an adventure through the...

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Discover K'gari (formerly Fraser Island), the Whitsundays, Great Barrier Reef, Mission...

13 Days From 3590

Bask in the beauty of north-east Queensland on an adventure that takes you to the Great...

12 Days From 3590

12 days to uncover Queensland’s best, from Brisbane to K'gari (Fraser Island), the...

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Travelling from Sydney to Cairns, soak up the best of Australia’s east coast beaches,...

Tailor-Made trips

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

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From Brisbane, you’ll visit Noosa Heads, K’gari (Fraser Island), Hervey Bay, Airlie...

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Travelling from Sydney to Cairns, soak up the best of Australia’s east coast beaches,...

19 Days From 5175

Tour from Sydney to Cairns, taking in the splendour of the Great Barrier Reed, K’gari,...

Highlights of the Whitsundays

Couple overlooking Whitehaven Beach

See the famous Whitehaven Beach

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 and climb to the top of Hill Inlet Lookout on the northern end of the beach where you'll be treated to unforgettable views.

Whitsundays sailing adventure

Go on a snorkelling adventure

Pack your swimmers and get ready for a day on and in the water. The Whitsundays are located in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park which is home to abundant marine life including turtles, reef fish, dolphins and manta rays. 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

Go whale watching

Every year from June to October, humpback whales migrate north from Antarctica to birth and nurse their calves in the warm waters along the East Coast. Humpbacks are inquisitive and playful, and you may be lucky to see them breaching and slapping their tales on the water.

Whitsundays sunset sail

Enjoy a Whitsunday sunset

Sit back 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 lights up with strokes of purple, pink and blue. If you're lucky, you might catch a glimpse of the sparkling Southern Cross twinkling overhead.

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. There are two main airports in the Whitsundays: Great Barrier Reef Airport on Hamilton Island, and Whitsunday Coast Airport in Proserpine which is the closest airport to Airlie Beach.

If you fly into Whitsunday Coast Airport, you'll 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 Whitsunday islands. You can also do a sailing day tour to explore the archipelago's many highlights.

Any time of year is a good time to visit the Whitsundays. As a tropical destination, the archipelago experiences hot, rainy summers and warm, dry winters. Average high temperatures linger between 23°C and 31°C, while lows average a mild 17°C to 25°C. The water temperature averages a pleasant 23°C to 28°C throughout the year.

If you want to go snorkelling or diving, you may be better off planning your trip in the winter (dry) season. Rainfall in the summer tends to come in the form of brief tropical downpours, but it can impact water visibility. Whales can also be spotted in winter from May to October during their annual migration from Antarctica.

If you visit between October and May, AKA stinger season, take extra caution when swimming in the ocean by wearing 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. As a top destination for water-based adventures, swimwear is a must. The same goes for sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat (even in winter) as the sun reflects off the water and white sand. Bring all the essentials, including basic medications, as shops are few and far between on the islands.

There's no need to get dressed up, even if you're staying at one of the resorts in the Whitsundays. Casual clothes or active wear are fine during the day. Smart casual (think jeans and a t-shirt) is the norm for restaurants at the resorts.

You'll find wi-fi in bars, cafes and restaurants in major tourist hubs like Airlie Beach, Hamilton Island and Daydream Island. There's limited or no wi-fi available in some parts of the Whitsundays, particularly when you're sailing or exploring more remote islands.

You'll pick up mobile phone signal in and around major tourist hubs such as Airlie Beach, but there's limited or no mobile phone coverage in some parts of the Whitsundays, particularly when you're out at sea or on 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

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