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Home » 10 Awesome Facts About the Whitsundays

Considering visiting the magical Whitsunday Islands? You can’t go wrong with this spectacular destination, especially if you choose to explore it via a bareboat yacht charter. What makes the Whitsundays so special? Plenty! But today, we’re sharing just 10 hand-picked, interesting facts about these QLD islands—facts that will both intrigue and inform you. Perhaps these tidbits will help you decide that you can’t go another year without seeing these fabulous islands for yourself. Read on to discover 10 awesome Whitsunday facts.

The Ngaro Aboriginal people likely lived in the Whitsunday Islands as many as 8,000 years ago.

This is suggested by archaeological evidence. It is clear that they were certainly there some 2500 years ago. When visiting the Whitsundays, check out the fascinating Aboriginal cave paintings at Nara Inlet.


Englishman Captain Cook and his crew were the first recorded Europeans to set sights on what are now known as the Whitsunday Islands, in the year 1770.

Cook was not the first European to land in Australia, however. It is documented that Willem Janszoon, a Dutch navigator, arrived in 1606.


The Whitsundays may have been mistakenly named!

The Whitsunday Passage was christened by Cook who believed the date to be the calendar day of Whit Sunday, the 3rd of June 1770. Interestingly, he was off by one day, and was sailing instead on June the 4th, a Monday. His small error changed the course of naming history!


The Whitsundays are one of Australia’s leading tourist destinations, with statistics noting that 3.5 million visitor nights are spent here yearly (Source

This may be an astounding figure, but it’s no surprise. The Whitsunday Islands are consistently among the top spots in Queensland for visitors both domestic and international.


The Great Barrier Reef stretches for over 2600 km, is comprised of more than 2900 individual reefs, and can be seen from outer space.

A world wonder for sure!


Whitehaven Beach is consistently rated as Australia’s #1 beach and as the 5th best in the world.

The swirling patterns of turquoise waters on top of pure white silica sand make this an iconic feature of the Aussie coast. It’s one of the most photographed beaches on earth.


However, geologists are not certain what makes Whitehaven Beach so unique.

The bright, powdery sand is not found elsewhere on the islands and the theory stands that it may have drifted there many, many years ago. Thus, Whitehaven Beach retains a touch of mystery.



70% of the Whitsundays are national park. Australia’s most treasured islands are the Whitsundays, and much of the region is covered with national park status.

Indeed, countless individuals and organisations are devoted to the protection and conservation of these incredible islands and to the neighbouring Great Barrier Reef.


An estimated 1500 people get married each year in the Whitsunday Islands.

There are no hard numbers, but the popularity of the Whitsundays as a wedding and honeymoon destination is indisputable. These islands are incomparably romantic and serene.


You might spot giant clams when diving in the Whitsundays.

These 73 islands and the waters surrounding them boast some very unusual and beautiful wildlife, but the giant clam may be one of the most extraordinary! You just might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of one of these fascinating molluscs on your undersea adventures.

Facts are exciting, but nothing compares to exploring the Whitsundays for yourself! Get in touch with Queensland Yacht Charters to plan the holiday of a lifetime. Your chartered sailing catamaran, monohull, or power boat awaits you.


Are you ready to charter a boat? No licence required.

No licence is required for a Yacht Charter in the Whitsundays, unlike other locations worldwide. We offer a brief training session before you head out, for either sailing or powered yachts.

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