AU Queensland Whitsundays Heart Island Pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef Tourism and Events Queensland 139472 3
Aus qld hamilton island resort view
Aus queensland hamilton island koala
Aus queensland whitsundays whitehaven beach
AU Queensland Whitsundays Heart Island Pontoon on the Great Barrier Reef Tourism and Events Queensland 139472 3
Aus qld hamilton island resort view
Aus queensland hamilton island koala
Aus queensland whitsundays whitehaven beach
An absolute tropical paradise

Discover the Whitsundays

Discover 74 tropical islands in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, the majestic Whitsundays. Postcard-picture perfect, this part of Australia is bursting with natural beauty. Be enchanted by pearled-white sand beaches, coral reefs, rainforests, world-class hiking trails, and an abundance of marine life. Spend your days, snorkelling, swimming, sailing, sunbathing, diving, island hopping or simply relaxing!

Where should you visit in the Whitsundays?

Get a bird's eye view of Heart Reef in the Whitsunday Islands
The Whitsundays is a beach lover's paradise
© Tourism Australia

Whitsundays holidays

The Whitsunday Islands are an archipelago of 74 islands, located 55 kilometres off the central Queensland coastline. Approximately 1120 kilometres north of Brisbane and 630 kilometres south of Cairns. An ideal destination for a holiday with a fantastic range of accommodation and activities on offer.

The ultimate tropical escape

Choose from a luxurious resort or try glamping with the Great Barrier Reef as your backyard. Enjoy a multi-day sailing trip and uncover the secrets of this magical part of the world. Visit Hamilton Island, soar over Whitehaven Beach or go snorkelling and spot turtles. Uncover secluded beaches and hidden bays and soak up the laid-back vibes on your dream tropical holiday.

Chill out at Grays Bay in the Whitsunday Islands
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Fly to Whitehaven Beach, one of the world's most beautiful beaches
© Tourism and Events Queensland

Whitehaven Beach

Protected by the Whitsundays Islands National Park, Whitehaven Beach is truly one-of-a-kind. Attracting visitors from all over the world due to its pure pristine environment and bright white sand. Whitehaven Beach has even been voted the world's top eco-friendly beach and Queensland's cleanest beach. In 2021, Whitehaven Beach has been named the best beach in the world.

Absolutely stunning all year-round

Due to the gorgeous tropical temperatures, the glistening water is ideal for swimming and snorkelling year-round. With an average temperature of 26 degrees Celsius, it is the perfect place to visit on your holiday. Whitehaven Beach is accessible by boat, seaplane and helicopter, departing from Airlie Beach. It takes approximately one hour from Airlie Beach on a high-speed boat and up to two hours on a sailing boat to reach Whitehaven.

Soar over Whitehaven Beach together with a local guide
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Whitsunday Islands | Australia holiday
Soak up the beautiful views from the air
© TravelEssence

Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island is 1 of the 74 islands that make up the majestic Whitsundays. Discover a kaleidoscope of coral and marine life! Spend your days swimming in waters that change from crystal clear turquoise to aqua. The coast is fringed by the coral reef and if you’re lucky, you may get a close encounter with a wallaby, kookaburra or koala.

Discover Australia’s tropical island lifestyle during your stay at Hamilton Island

There are plenty of dining options on the island to savour and many local wines to try. Head over to Dent Island for a round of golf. Or play at the Hamilton Island Golf Club, an 18-hole championship course. Head down to Catseye Beach and have a go at some stand-up paddleboarding or kayaking. Or simply relax by the poolside with your favourite book.

Soak up the views of Hamilton Island
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Enjoy a round of golf at the Hamilton Island Golf Course
© Tourism and Events Queensland

How to get to Hamilton Island?

The Hamilton Island Ferry is the ferry service between Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island. This ferry service is operated by Cruise Whitsundays. The crossing takes approximately one hour and ten minutes. You must be checked in at least 30 minutes before departure. The boat leaves from Great Barrier Reef Airport on Hamilton Island to the port of Airlie Beach.

Your island escape awaits

At Hamilton Island airport, you can check-in at the desk of Cruise Whitsundays. We advise you to buy a snack before or during your flight to Hamilton Island. There are no facilities if you have to wait for the boat to Airlie Beach. The boat is air-conditioned and there is a bar onboard where you can buy drinks and snacks.

Hamilton Island pavillon bathroom
Enjoy one-of-a-kind accommodation
Soak up the holiday vibes on Hamilton Island
© Tourism and Events Queensland

Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach is a laid-back Australian resort town and the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands. This region is the perfect place to enjoy activities on the water in a relaxed tropical atmosphere. Take a dip in the lagoon, stroll through boutiques and try some local fresh seafood at a bustling seafood cafe. Or, have a picnic at one of the family-friendly beaches and parks.

The best of the East Coast

Spend your days swimming: at Cedar Creek Falls, Hideaway Bay, Dingo Beach, and Boathaven Beach. Be sure to spend a day swimming at Hill Inlet and soak up the view from Hill Inlet Lookout. Explore the ocean by sea scooter or visit the Whitsunday Saturday Markets and cool off at the Airlie Beach Lagoon.

Soak up the holiday vibes in Airlie Beach

The main street of Airlie Beach is the hub for shopping. You'll find everything including souvenirs, art galleries and swimwear by Australian companies. If you are feeling active, hike to Coral Beach or take the Conway Circuit. Conquer the Wompoo Walk, a seven-kilometre track that takes approximately four hours and is part of the Great Whitsunday Walk.

Airlie Beach is the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands
© Tourism and Events Queensland
There are many sailing excursions departing Airlie Beach to the Whitsundays
Aus Waterlilies in Kakadu Darwin NT

Would you like to learn more about the Whitsunday Islands?

Join one of our live and informative presentations, hosted by one of our travel specialists. And find out how to travel to Australia in a uniquely local way. There are also plenty of opportunities to ask questions!

Take advantage of our local knowledge


Whether you prefer a sailing adventure, a scenic flight or snorkelling, there are plenty of great outdoor activities to keep you entertained during your Whitsunday holiday. If you have limited time, there are also many day trips to choose from departing from Airlie Beach. Otherwise, enjoy one of the many multi-day trips and discover the breathtaking scenery.

Fill your days with a great selection of water activities
© Tourism and Events Queensland
Whitehaven Beach is a must-do!
© Tourism and Events Queensland

Where to stay?

Make your trip extra special by experiencing a unique stay from our large collection of hand-selected accommodations located in the Whitsundays and beyond.

A journey where your accommodation is an experience in itself

Whether you prefer an apartment with ocean views, a self-contained cabin with the beach at your doorstep or a luxury resort on Daydream Island. Your travel specialist will match you up with an accommodation that suits your wants and needs.

Hamilton Island bedroom view
The Whitsundays as your backyard on Hamilton Island
Relax and rejuvenate in a tropical paradise

Sleep above the Great Barrier Reef

Experience the majestic Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef in a unique and memorable way with a Reefsleep experience. Over two days and one night, cruise this slice of paradise on a high-speed vessel. A place with sparkling aqua water, over 70 tropical islands and the fascinating Great Barrier Reef.

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to sleep under the stars

Spend your day snorkelling and exploring an abundance of marine life including various types of fish, turtles and possibly dolphins. Enjoy Aussie tucker (food) along the way, including a buffet lunch. Soak up the afternoon sun on the deck. At dusk, watch out for turtles nibbling on seaweed by the pontoon. As night approaches, watch as the sky starts popping and filling up with shiny stars.

The Great Barrier Reef as your backyard
Savour fresh seafood
© Tourism and Events Queensland

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Why book with us?

  • A well-designed holiday, just for you
  • Small-scale accommodations run by friendly local hosts
  • Carefully recommended activities based on your interests
  • A travel tempo and driving distances that match your needs
  • Ingrained sustainability in all facets of your holiday
  • 30 years of experience in travel to Australia

Let's design your holiday together

We'll take the time to get to know you to match your fully bespoke holiday with your pace, your interests, and anything you desire. Combined with first-hand, local knowledge, you'll receive a mapped out itinerary from us - but the process isn't done until you are 100% satisfied. We take care of every detail, so you can focus on relaxing, rejuvenating and reconnecting with yourself and the world around you. Get in touch to get started now.

Ready for the holiday of a lifetime?

Discover a world beyond ordinary

At TravelEssence, we specialise in crafting custom-made holidays that take you off the beaten path and create memories to last a lifetime. We believe in connecting with the heart and soul of a place, introducing you to the locals who call it home. Engage in conversations with fascinating individuals who will share their stories, traditions, and way of life, leaving an indelible mark on your journey.