Explore the 74 tropical islands of the Whitsundays to discover white sand beaches, colourful coral and some of the world’s most exclusive resorts for an ideal island escape.
Start your explorations in Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands. It’s one of the best places in Australia from which to access the Great Barrier Reef, offering plenty of opportunities to sail, dive or snorkel this incredible natural wonder. There are only a handful of islands where you can stay overnight, most of which offer luxurious accommodation, gourmet food and exclusive activities. Try qualia on Hamilton Island, InterContinental Hayman Island or Orpheus Island Lodge for a true taste of the good life.
When to visit
Located in Tropical North Queensland, the Whitsundays region experiences a ‘wet season’ (January to March) and a ‘dry season’ (April to December). The wet season generally brings higher temperatures and humidity and can be prone to fleeting tropical showers. The area is also prone to tropical cyclones between November and April, although bad weather is not guaranteed. The best time to visit the region is during the dry season when daytime temperatures are cooler and water temperature is still warm. Enjoy calmer waters, spot migrating whales and soak in the peaceful surrounds. It’s also outside of stinger season, meaning snorkellers and divers don’t have to wear full-body wetsuits when jumping into the water to explore the Great Barrier Reef.
Find out more about seasonal weather in the Whitsundays.
How to get there
The easiest way to reach the Whitsunday Islands is by plane. The largest inhabited island of the Whitsundays, Hamilton Island, has its own airport (Great Barrier Reef Airport), to which you can fly direct from the cities of Brisbane, Cairns, Sydney or Melbourne. Alternatively, fly into nearby Whitsunday Coast Airport, on the mainland near Airlie Beach. From Airlie Beach you can board a ferry or take a helicopter transfer to the island of your choice.
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