The Whitsundays are one of the world’s most sought-after locations. With incomparable natural beauty, the world’s most pristine beaches, and a plethora of activities to enjoy, it is easy to see why. With 74 islands to explore, it can be hard to decide what to see, where to go, and what to do. Here are 10 things we think you shouldn’t miss on your visit to the Whitsundays.
10. Go snorkeling and diving at Pinnacle Bay.
Just around the northeastern tip of Hook Island, Pinnacle Bay offers some of the best dive sites in the Whitsundays. The corals here rise up rather high, so this is a great spot for snorkelers too! A wide variety of fish are found here, and manta rays are often spotted between May and September.
9. Take a relaxing walk along pristine Whitehaven Beach.
An iconic part of the Whitsundays, Whitehaven Beach, stretching 7 km along Whitsunday Island, is consistently ranked one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Enjoy the soft, white sand and the warm, crystal-clear blue waters. Relax, swim, and take it all in. Paradise.
8. Take a seaplane ride over Heart Reef.
Heart Reef, a picturesque part of the Great Barrier Reef, is best viewed by air. A seaplane trip can take you over the heart, which is incredible to see, in addition to the unforgettable views of the amazing natural wonder that is the Great Barrier Reef itself. This is an experience you won’t ever forget.
7. Create your own whale-watching adventure.
From June through September, whales are seen all around the islands as they head north. Charter a yacht, pack a picnic, and set off on a sailing adventure. If you anchor in a secluded place with a clear view of the open water, you just may be lucky enough to spot a whale swimming past.
6. Explore Hamilton Island via golf buggy.
With no cars allowed, tourists can explore the Whitsundays most populated island by golf buggy. This is a really fun experience, as there is much to see and do on Hamilton Island, and you will enjoy zipping around in the open air, stopping at your leisure. Hamilton is a popular island for restaurants and shopping, so enjoy a great meal and take a stroll around the shops.
5. Find a secluded island site for a night of camping.
With 74 islands in the Whitsundays, there are innumerable secluded and wonderful spots just waiting to be discovered. Many islands offer camping in restricted numbers. If you are able to book campsites in one of these locations, you will be blessed with a lovely, quiet night in the Whitsundays wilderness. A few of the sites we suggest include Maureen’s Cove on Hook Island, Paddle Bay on South Molle Island, and Burning Point on Shaw Island.
Charter a yacht for a few days and navigate your way to unspoilt paradise.
4. Discover beauty and history at Nara Inlet.
Nara Inlet is a breathtaking inlet on the south end of Hook Island. The bay is an easy place to anchor a yacht, so you can head onshore and explore. Walking inland, you’ll find Aboriginal cave shelters, with ancient markings declaring the presence of the Aboriginal people on this island some 8000 years ago. There is also a glorious waterfall to be found nearby the caves.
3. Catch some fish!
The Whitsundays is known as an excellent location for fishing. All kinds of fishing are available. A great place to fish is around the shallow reefs near Bird Island and the fringing reefs in Apostle Bay. There is a wide variety of fish to be caught in these areas including coral trout, tuskfish, and grassy sweetlip. When chartering a yacht, make sure you pick up a fish zoning map, to ensure you are fishing in the proper, unrestricted areas. Happy sailing and happy catching!
2. Find Nemo in Luncheon Bay.
Luncheon Bay, found at the north end of Hook Island, is an extremely popular spot for snorkeling. You can get up close to the anemone fish (clownfish) who protect the spaghetti coral in this bay. Many other species of fascinating fish and beautiful coral are to be seen here. If you want to charter a yacht and check out Luncheon Bay, be advised that there is no anchoring in this area, but a few public moorings are available (and in very high demand!)
1. Jump out of an airplane.
We can’t end our 10 favourite activities in the Whitsundays without a mention of skydiving. Thrillseekers come from around the world, choosing to skydive over one of earth’s most incredible locations: The Whitsundays. If you live for the rush of adrenaline, this is one activity you won’t want to miss. Check out skydiving opportunities in Airlie Beach for the thrill (and view) of a lifetime.