Of the 74 islands in the Coral Sea that make up the Whitsundays, most are uninhabited. Those that are offer the quintessential tropical island holiday, on the doorstep of one of the seven natural wonders of the world.
Are you ready to experience paradise? Start your Whitsundays holiday in Airlie Beach, as the perfect base for exploration. This way, you can zoom over azure seas on boating daytrips to the Great Barrier Reef and surrounding islands. Or, pick your favourite island resort and settle in for the ultimate, luxury holiday.
Daydream Island Resort and Spa
Step off the beach at Lover’s Cove into an underwater world of colourful fish and coral reefs, at Daydream Island. Covered in tropical gardens, the resort offers rooms and suites with nature views and modern décor. Drink cocktails by the pool, luxuriate at the spa or take the kids to learn about the reef with marine biologists.
If you’re looking for a wedding venue, the Endeavour Chapel makes saying “I do” a dream, with floor to ceiling windows capturing sparkling sea views. You can even invest in your business, as Daydream hosts premier conferences and events, with a team of professionals to take care of every detail.
As the closest to the mainland and consisting mainly of national park, Long Island offers seclusion and peace among the forests. Palm Bay Resort has self-catering accommodation, with all the perks of a resort, making it perfect for families. Plus, snorkelling equipment and kayaks are free to use anytime you like.
When you’re not exploring the surrounding reef, put your walking shoes on and go in search of goannas, wallabies, curlews and colourful birds along bush trails. Daytrips direct from the resort include to the iconic Whitehaven Beach.
Snorkel with abundant marine life
If you have one, you can even arrive by private helicopter or plane and head straight to your secluded pool cabana.
One&Only Hayman Island is a slice of perfect luxury, at the top end of the Whitsundays. If you have one, you can even arrive by private helicopter or plane and head straight to your secluded pool cabana.
With direct access to the Great Barrier Reef, snorkelling and diving are top priority. However, no stone is left unturned in terms of activities, with an 18-hole golf course, water sports, designer stores, squash, basketball, tennis and kids’ clubs.
Arguably the most popular, Hamilton Island has a little bit of something for everyone including couples, families, singles and groups. You’ll find suites, villas and rooms to suit a range of budgets and it’s all just a short flight or ferry ride away from the mainland.
As the largest island, you’ll never be stuck for something to do. The ‘mini-city’ has bars, restaurants and year-round cultural events to add to a glittering menu of water sports, daytrips, yachting, bushwalking, spa treatments, mini golf, art classes and even a bowling alley.
No matter what kind of holiday you desire, you’ll find it in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.
Nicole Leigh West
Nicole Leigh West is the author of fiction novel, 'The Gypsy Trail' and an internationally recognised travel and lifestyle writer.