Things to Do in the Whitsundays – Sailing, Hiking, beaches & More


The Whitsundays is a group of 74 islands located off the coast of Queensland, Australia, and is considered a tropical paradise. There are so many things to do in the Whitsundays that I think you’ll find it difficult to choose just one! Whether you’re looking for adventure, relaxation, or simply some time in the sun, this destination has something to offer.

Things to Do in the Whitsundays

Are you planning a trip to The Whitsundays and looking for things to do? You’ve come to the right place! The Whitsundays is a tropical paradise located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, offering a wide range of activities for visitors of all ages. In this article, we’ll explore 20 exciting things to do in The Whitsundays that will make your trip a memorable one.

1. Go Island Hopping

With 74 islands to explore, island hopping is a must-do activity in The Whitsundays. Take a day trip or stay overnight on one of the many islands to experience the beauty of this tropical paradise. Island hopping is a popular activity in the Whitsundays, and there are numerous tour operators offering packages to explore the islands. The most common way to go island hopping is by boat, and there are a variety of vessels available, from luxury yachts to more affordable options.

2. Visit Whitehaven Beach

Voted as one of the best beaches in the world, Whitehaven Beach is a must-visit destination in The Whitsundays. The beach is known for its white silica sand and crystal-clear waters, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind. Whitehaven Beach is a popular destination for tourists and locals alike. It is accessible by boat from Airlie Beach, Hamilton Island, and other nearby islands. Visitors can take a day trip or stay overnight on the island to fully experience the beauty of the beach

Whitehaven Beach

3. Snorkel or Dive

The Whitsundays are home to some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world. Take a snorkeling or diving trip to explore the underwater world and see the colorful marine life up close. Snorkeling is a great way to explore the Whitsunday Islands for those who are not certified divers or who do not feel comfortable diving.

By snorkeling, you can admire the stunning underwater scenery and marine creatures without having to submerge yourself completely in the water. It is also an easy and relatively inexpensive way to explore the underwater world. Snorkeling tours are widely available in the Whitsunday Islands, and many tours provide snorkeling gear and instruction.

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4. Take a Scenic Flight

Get a bird’s eye view of The Whitsundays by taking a scenic flight. Marvel at the stunning coastline and islands from above.

Taking a scenic flight can be a breathtaking experience, allowing you to see stunning landscapes and natural wonders from a unique perspective. Here are some tips for planning a scenic flight:

Choose Your Destination

There are many beautiful places to take a scenic flight, from national parks and mountain ranges to coastal regions and urban areas. Research your options and choose a destination that appeals to you.

Select a Reputable Operator

Make sure you choose a reputable operator with experienced pilots and well-maintained aircraft. To gather information about The Whitsundays and plan your trip, it can be helpful to read reviews online and seek advice from friends or travel experts.

Check the Weather

Weather conditions can impact the quality of your scenic flight, so check the forecast and plan accordingly. It’s best to schedule your flight during clear weather with minimal wind.

Dress Appropriately

Depending on the destination and weather, you may need to dress in layers or wear comfortable, weather-appropriate clothing and shoes. Don’t forget to bring sunglasses and a camera to capture the views.

Relax and Enjoy

Once you’re on the plane, relax and enjoy the ride! Listen to the pilot’s commentary and take in the breathtaking views. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or request specific views or angles.

It’s important to be conscious of the impact on the environment and wildlife while enjoying a scenic flight. Fly responsibly and respect the natural world around you.

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5. Go Sailing

The Whitsundays is a sailor’s paradise. Take a sailing trip and explore the islands at your own pace. You can also hire a private yacht and experience the ultimate luxury sailing experience. Sailing is a popular recreational activity that involves using wind to propel a boat across the water. If you’re interested in sailing, here are some tips to get started:

Sailing whitsundays

Take Sailing Lessons

Before you hit the water, it’s important to learn the basics of sailing from a qualified instructor. Sailing lessons can be found at local yacht clubs, community centers, or through private instructors.

Join a Sailing Club

Joining a sailing club can be a great way to meet fellow sailors, gain experience, and access boats and equipment. Clubs often offer social events, races, and other activities for members.

Choose the Right Boat

There are many types of sailboats, from small dinghies to large yachts. Consider your experience level, budget, and intended use when choosing a boat. Renting a boat or going on a sailing trip with a chartered boat is also an option.

Check the Weather

Weather conditions can affect the safety and enjoyment of your sailing trip. Check the forecast before heading out and be prepared for changes in weather.

Follow Safety Protocols

Sailing can be a fun and rewarding activity, but safety should always be a top priority. Wear a life jacket, know how to swim, and learn basic safety protocols such as how to handle emergencies and operate safety equipment.

Respect the Environment

Sailors have a responsibility to protect the environment and wildlife around them. Follow the “leave no trace” principle and avoid disturbing marine life or damaging natural habitats.

Sailing can be a rewarding and enjoyable activity that offers a unique perspective on the water and surrounding scenery. Remember to always prioritize safety and respect for the environment while sailing.

6. Visit Hill Inlet

Hill Inlet is a stunning cove on Whitsunday Island that offers breathtaking views of the swirling sands and turquoise waters. Take a hike to the lookout or go on a guided tour to experience the beauty of Hill Inlet. Hill Inlet is a stunning inlet located in the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, Australia. It is known for its crystal-clear turquoise waters and swirling sands that create a beautiful and unique visual effect. Here are some tips for visiting Hill Inlet:

Choose the Right Time

For the optimal viewing experience of the swirling sands, it’s recommended to visit Hill Inlet during low tide. Check the tide schedule before planning your trip.

Book a Tour

To visit Hill Inlet, you’ll need to take a boat tour from Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island. There are many tour operators to choose from, and most tours include a stop at the lookout point for stunning views of the inlet.

Bring Sunscreen and Water

The sun can be intense in this part of Australia, so be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and water to stay hydrated.

Wear Appropriate Clothing

Comfortable clothing and footwear are recommended, as you’ll be walking on sand and may get wet.

Respect the Environment

Hill Inlet is a protected area, so it’s important to respect the environment and follow any guidelines or regulations in place. Avoid littering or disturbing the wildlife, and stay on designated paths to protect the fragile ecosystem.

Visiting Hill Inlet is a must-do experience for anyone traveling to the Whitsunday Islands. With its breathtaking beauty and unique natural phenomenon, it’s certain to be a highlight of your trip.

7. Go Fishing

The Whitsundays are a popular destination for fishing enthusiasts. Join a fishing tour or hire a boat and explore the waters yourself. You can catch a variety of fish, including coral trout, red emperor, and Spanish mackerel.

8. Take a Jet Ski Tour

For an adrenaline-packed adventure, take a Jet Ski tour around the islands. You’ll get to see the islands from a different perspective and have fun while doing it.

Jet Ski Tour whitsundays

9. Visit Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island is the largest inhabited island in The Whitsundays and has something for everyone. From beautiful beaches to water sports, hiking trails, and spas, Hamilton Island is a must-visit destination.

10. Explore the Great Barrier Reef

The Whitsundays is located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, making it the perfect place to explore this natural wonder. Take a boat trip or go on a snorkeling or diving excursion to see the colorful coral and marine life up close.

11. Take a Sunset Cruise

Experience the beauty of The Whitsundays at sunset by taking a sunset cruise. Watch as the sun sets over the horizon and the sky turns pink and orange.

12. Visit the Whitsunday Islands National Park

The Whitsunday Islands National Park is a protected area that is home to a variety of wildlife, including koalas and wallabies. Take a hike and explore the park’s many walking trails.

13. Visit Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach is the gateway to The Whitsundays and is a vibrant town with plenty of bars, restaurants, and shops. Spend a day exploring the town and soaking up the atmosphere.

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14. Take a Sea Kayaking Trip

Explore the waters around The Whitsundays by taking a sea kayaking trip. Through crystal-clear waters, check and explore paddles, hidden coves, and beaches. It’s a great way to experience the beauty of The Whitsundays at your own pace.

15. Visit the Whitsunday Crocodile Safari

Get up close and personal with the local wildlife by taking a crocodile safari. Explore the wetlands and see crocodiles, birds, and other wildlife in their natural habitat.

Whitsunday Crocodile Safari

16. Go on a Whale Watching Tour

The Whitsundays is a popular destination for whale watching, with humpback whales passing through the area between June and September. Join a whale watching tour and witness these majestic creatures up close.

17. Take a Helicopter Tour

For a truly unforgettable experience, take a helicopter tour of The Whitsundays. Fly over the islands and Great Barrier Reef and marvel at the stunning scenery below.

18. Visit the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park is a protected area that is home to a diverse range of marine life. Take a guided tour or explore the park on your own to see the coral, fish, and other marine creatures up close.

19. Take a Stand-Up Paddle boarding Trip

For a fun and unique way to explore The Whitsundays, try stand-up paddle boarding. It’s a great way to stay active while enjoying the beauty of the islands.

20. Go on a Cultural Tour

Learn about the history and culture of The Whitsundays by taking a cultural tour. Visit the local Indigenous communities and learn about their traditions and way of life.

In conclusion, The Whitsundays has something for everyone, from relaxing on beautiful beaches to adrenaline-packed adventures. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, a family vacation, or a solo adventure, The Whitsundays have plenty of things to do. So pack your bags, book your trip, and get ready for an unforgettable experience.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the must-see attractions in The Whitsundays

The Whitsundays is known for its stunning beaches and clear turquoise waters, and one of the must-see attractions is the famous Whitehaven Beach. Other popular attractions include Hill Inlet Lookout, Heart Reef, and the Great Barrier Reef.

What are the best outdoor activities to do in The Whitsundays?

The Whitsundays offer a range of outdoor activities, including snorkeling and diving at the Great Barrier Reef, sailing around the islands, kayaking in the mangroves, and hiking to Hill Inlet Lookout.

How do I get to The Whitsundays?

The Whitsundays can be accessed by air, road, or sea. The closest airports are Hamilton Island Airport and Whitsunday Coast Airport. You can also drive to Airlie Beach and catch a ferry or boat to the islands.

When is the best time to visit The Whitsundays?

The Whitsundays have a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. However, the best time to visit is during the dry season (May to November) when the weather is sunny and less humid. The wet season (December to April) can bring heavy rainfall and cyclones.

What are some family-friendly activities to do in The Whitsundays?

The Whitsundays offer a range of family-friendly activities, including snorkeling and diving, visiting wildlife parks like the Hamilton Island Wildlife Park and the Whitsunday Crocodile Safari, and taking a scenic flight over the islands. There are also several beaches and parks where kids can play and swim.

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