qualia, Hamilton Island
qualia, Hamilton Island

The Whitsundays

Explore turquoise waters and colourful marine life, stroll along the idyllic Whitehaven Beach or explore national parklands in this tropical oasis adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef. Whether you’re looking for water-drenched adventure or resort luxury, the Whitsundays are calling your name.

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Places to stay

Even more of this tropical region is now in holiday reach with Qantas flying direct to Proserpine Whitsunday Coast Airport from Brisbane, as well as to Hamilton Island's Great Barrier Reef Airport — and with so many activities, adventures and sights to explore by day, you’re going to want the perfect home away from home to base yourself by night. You’ve probably already heard of the four main resort islands of Hamilton Island, Hayman Island, Long Island and Daydream Island, but you can find holiday apartments, Airbnbs, full-service resorts, hotels and campsites across many more of the 42 Whitsunday Islands.

Holiday with the entire family at Daydream Island Resort, featuring a kids’ club, pools and restaurants, unlimited access to water sports and its own living reef on site where marine biologists host fish-feeding and educational tours for the entire family. For an option that’s great if you’re driving, Airlie Beach’s At Marina Shores offers free parking, an outdoor pool and rooms to sleep up to seven guests.

Enjoy landscaped gardens, restaurants and poolside relaxation at one of Hamilton Island’s offerings like the Reef View Hotel, Palm Bungalows — or Whitsunday Apartments which has self-catering facilities and rooms to sleep up to five guests.

If it’s romance or luxury you’re here for, settle into one of qualia’s 40 secluded pavilions on Hamilton Island, or add Intercontinental Hayman Island Resort to your wish list and surrender to fine dining restaurants, poolside sun lounges and a full-service spa. 

Things to do

With sea views and warm weather the norm in these parts, you don’t need any more from your holiday than a resort pool and your book, but if you’re looking for activity and adventure, you’re also in luck. With so many activities, every day can feel like an entirely new holiday in the Whitsundays. 

Sail the seas on a day tour by catamaran, luxury yacht or glass-bottomed boat, or even skipper your own vessel bareboating-style. If you're celebrating a special occasion, why not round up your nearest and dearest and treat yourself to a day on the water with a premium custom boat charterOpens external site in a new window. Visit in August to get into the sailing spirit even further with both Hamilton Island Race WeekOpens external site in a new window and Airlie Beach Race WeekOpens external site in a new window held during this month. For a bit of holiday exercise in the name of exploration, rent a kayak, snorkel or stand up paddleboard. Many resorts and hotels offer non-motorised water sports for free. 

Snorkel among the stingrays and colourful fish that frequent the waters or take advantage of the world-class scuba diving with tour options ranging from beginners’ discovery dives to multi-day liveaboards to the outer reef. 

Meet kangaroos, colourful native birds, dingoes and even have breakfast with the koalas at Hamilton Island WIldlife ParkOpens external site in a new window. If you’re lucky enough to visit between June and October, it’s whale season — walk through ancient rainforest at Conway National Park or Hill Inlet and you might even spot a passing humpback whale.

First Nations tour in the Whitsundays No Description

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Where to go

With 42 tropical islands and a scenic coastline stretched along the mainland, we don’t blame you for wanting to see it all. But where to start?

Whitsunday Islands Where to go Whitsunday Islands
Visit Whitehaven BeachOpens external site in a new window Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach

The picturesque strip on Whitsunday Island is a popular daytrip destination and the most famous of the region’s beaches for good reason. With 7km of pristine white sand, bright blue waters and palm-trimmed lookouts, it doesn’t get more tropical than this. 

Explore the 7km Chance Bay Track through lush forest to a private bay or the 1.2km Solway Circuit winding up to views from a rock ledge overlooking the surrounding islands.

From the northern end of the beach, make the 20-minute climb to Hill Inlet Lookout and you will be rewarded with breathtaking birds eye view over swirls of sand and turquoise water. 

Visit Whitehaven BeachOpens external site in a new window
Discover Airlie BeachOpens external site in a new window Phillip Island

Airlie Beach

Considered the gateway to the Whitsundays, Airlie Beach is a holiday favourite in its own right and the perfect launchpad for many of the Whitsunday Islands day trips, boat transfers, tours and activities. 

Here you can soak up the spectacular sunsets with sundowners by the beach and enjoy live music, casual pubs or upmarket restaurants.

Browse the shops, visit the local Saturday market, stroll along Bicentennial Walk along the water — or take a side-trip to the neighbouring Conway National Park or Cedar Creek Falls, where the falls are particularly spectacular after rain.

Discover Airlie BeachOpens external site in a new window
Car hire information Sailing Whitsundays

Getting around

From Proserpine Whitsunday Coast Airport: Taxis, private transfers and rental cars are available from the airport terminalOpens external site in a new window. An airport shuttle serviceOpens external site in a new window departs regularly for Airlie Beach where ferries and tours depart to the Whitsunday Islands.

From Hamilton Island Great Barrier Reef AirportThe airportOpens external site in a new window on this car-free island is located in close proximity to many resorts. Transfer servicesOpens external site in a new window are available to your hotel or resort as well as a marina service for those transferring on to neighbouring islands. A free public shuttleOpens external site in a new window and on-demand minibus service are also available to get you around Hamilton Island.

Cruise WhitsundaysOpens external site in a new window operates ferries between Hamilton Island, Airlie Beach and other resort islands. Contact your chosen accommodation provider directly for advice on the best transfer option for you. 

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Important information

Disclaimer: ^ Qantas Frequent Flyer members will earn 3 Qantas Points per A$1 value unless otherwise specified, for hotel stays booked through qantas.com/hotels, except Classic Hotel Rewards and Airbnb bookings. Points Club members will earn 25% more Qantas Points, and Points Club Plus members will earn 50% more Qantas Points. Qantas Points will be credited to your account at least 8 weeks after check-out. Qantas Points may be earned by the member in whose name the booking is made. Members will not be able to earn points on additional charges paid to the accommodation provider for extras (including cots, breakfasts and other incidentals) on check-in or check-out (as applicable).  

Disclaimer: ~ Qantas activities are provided by Viator. Conditions apply.

Disclaimer: ++ Status Credits are earned on eligible Qantas, Jetstar, oneworld® member and oneworld connect® airlines only - see the Airline Earning Tables and Qantas Frequent Flyer program Terms and Conditions for details. Status Credits may not be earned on some fare types and booking classes. 

Disclaimer:  Meals, beverages, entertainment offerings vary between flight times.

Disclaimer: + The number of destinations is correct as at 18 November 2022, but is subject to change. Before booking and departure, ensure you check the latest travel requirements, which may include mandatory health declarations, vaccinations, COVID-19 tests, use of face masks, entry permits, pre-approval and quarantine (possibly at your own expense), or you could be denied entry.

Disclaimer: # You must be a member of the Qantas Frequent Flyer program to earn and redeem Qantas Points. A joining fee may apply. Membership and Qantas Points are subject to the Qantas Frequent Flyer program terms and conditions.