20 Things to Do in Whitsunday Islands 2021: Updated list

Activities to Do in Whitsunday Islands

Include Relax at Whitehaven Beach, Snorkeling at Daydream island, Visit to Hill Inlet, Enjoy Kayaking, Explore Heart Reef, Have fun at Airlie Beach and many more

Blessed with natural trove under its azure blue waters and white sands, tourists are charmed with the many things to do in Whitsunday Islands off Queensland, Australia. Your dream to chase the colourful fish underwater, swim along with the turtles and laze on white sands come true in this beautiful tourist destination. Located in the heart of mighty famous Great Barrier Reef, Whitsunday Islands’ things to do undeniably includes hopping on the tropical beaches while soaking on the sunny vibes on the island life. The chic night parties and adrenaline filled hikes available here further add more fun to your vacationing experience.

Gather myriad experiences as you observe, learn and appreciate and get close to the astounding life underwater and enticing beauty of the surroundings on land. If you are a water baby, there’s no wondering about what to do in Whitsunday Islands. Sailing, swimming, snorkeling, jet skiing or kayaking drench yourself in the crystal-clear waters one activity at a time.

Here's the list of best things to do in Whitsunday Islands:

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01

Relax at Whitehaven Beach

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Located in the heart of Great Barrier Reef, a visit to Whitehaven beach tops the things to do in Whitsunday Islands. Largest of the 74 islands, it boasts of being among the most beautiful beaches in Australia. Protected by the Whitsunday Islands National Park it is also voted as world’s top eco-friendly beach.

The vast stretch of white sands with the turquoise blue waters, you’d want to anchor yourself to this pristine beauty of nature. The sand has 98% silica making it purest and a spectacular sight. 

Location:
Whitehaven beach, Whitsunday Islands, Queensland

Price:
Helicopter tour $329, Seaplane tour $650, Helicopter landing tour $729
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02

Snorkeling at Daydream island

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Marvel as you get a closer insight into life underwater by going on a snorkeling tour at Daydream Island. An exhilarating ride that lets you see Manta rays, reef sharks and a guided tour of learning more about the coral reefs. There are even guided fish feeding rides where you learn how the tropical fish feast on. Take a deep dive and make this snorkeling tour an unforgettable experience. 

Location:
Daydream Island, Molle Island, Queensland

Price:
Approximately $100 per person
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03

Visit to Hill Inlet

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Among the top Whitsunday Islands things to do is a visit to this stunning inlet on the northern end of Whitehaven beach. A 90-minute tour takes you to Tongue Bay.  A hike to the hill point presents you to the views of one of the most pristine canvas of nature where the white sands swirl into the turquoise blues.

It can also be viewed from a flight to get a bird’s eye view of this spectacle. It is an amazing sight where you can witness the shift of silica sands in the open sea.

Location:
Hill Inlet, Airlie beach, Whitsunday Area 

Timings:
8 AM – 7 PM
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04

Enjoy Kayaking

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When topography of a place highlights empty beaches with hidden coves and many inlets, kayaking facilitates an easy way to explore them.  There are several guided kayaking tours here, so add it to the list of things to do in Whitsunday Islands and explore the beauty of calm waters a bit differently. Glide into the hidden inlets and don’t forget to spot the marine life in shallow levels below.

Location:
Available at multiple locations

Price:
Approximately $131 for a couple
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05

Explore Heart Reef

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Who can resist when nature pops the question? A stunning coral composition in the shape of the perfect heart, it is no surprise that couples have professed their love at this spot. It is impossible to not fall in love here, as you explore this iconic part of the Great Barrier Reef from the air.  Taking a helicopter ride to see the Heart Reef has to be among the Whitsunday Islands things to do.

Location:
Heart Reef, Great Barrier Reef, Airlie Beach, Queensland

Price:
A helicopter ride costs approximately USD 1100 per person.

Timings:
10 AM – 4 PM

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06

Have Fun at Airlie Beach

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When visiting an archipelago of islands, beach hopping is one of the obvious things to do in Whitsunday Islands. Airlie Beach is your getaway to the 74 islands which makes exploring it on the top Whitsunday Islands things to do.

And so, to cater to the tourists coming in, there are several restaurants, bars and shopping stores so not just lazing around the beach, you will definitely find something to keep you busy. There are live music sessions in the restaurants so enjoy the vibe of the place satiating your tastebuds to the island life.

Location:
Airlie beach, Whitsunday Islands, Queensland
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07

Discover the Cedar Creek Falls

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If you have had enough of the beaches (we hope not!) then head to another soothing waterbody, the cascading waterfalls between Airlie Beach and Proserpine. Set amidst a surrounding of majestic cedar plantations (that’s how the name) scout for beautiful butterflies, wild orchids and many birds in its abundance of rich flora and fauna. Dip your feet or let your hair down under the cool waterfall, every bit of this experience will refresh you.

Location:
Cedar Creek, Palm Grove, Queensland
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08

Witness Sunsets on Hamilton Island

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Another spellbinding addition to Whitsunday Islands things to do is witnessing the gorgeous sunsets on the horizon. The special sunset sail tours take you in the sheltered waters to enjoy the landscape turns picturesque as the sun goes down.

The 1.5-hour cruise is a leisurely sailing experience while you unwind with a drink watching one of nature’s colourful spectacles unfold over the horizon. After witnessing one of the most beautiful moments, return to enjoy your evening on the island.

Location: Hamilton Island, Whitsunday Island

Price: $85 (Adult) $35 (child)

Timings: Departure time between 4:45 PM and 5:30 PM
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09

Visit Great Barrier Marine Park

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The world’s largest coral reef system and a biodiversity wonder, exploring this world heritage-listed region is a must on things to do in Whitsunday Islands. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park offers tourists a variety of activities to enjoy the region in a reef-friendly way.

While the region sees a growing influx of tourists, managing it in an ecologically sustainable way is equally important. From learning about the reef in more detail to actually diving and observing them, this is a one-stop spot to get to know the underwater ecosystem responsibly. 

Location: Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Townsville, Queensland

Price: $7

Timings: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM
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10

Take a Ferry Ride Around the Island

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When visiting a destination of 74 islands, there is no way you will settle on seeing just a couple of them. A ferry ride or a cruise trip in Whitsunday Islands is one of the best ways to tick on all the must-see places. There are daily ferry rides along with activities like diving, sailing or snorkeling, covering spectacular view points on the islands. 

Location:
Port of Airlie and Hamilton Island Marina  

Price:
  Starts at $38, varies according to destinations
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11

Try Sailing

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Surrounded by miles and miles of white sandy beaches and perfectly blue waters, there are so many things to do in Whitsunday Islands and sailing is one among them. You can opt for day trips, or overnight rides of sailing through the blissful waters.

There’s a choice for you to select your sailing style be it motorized boat, yachts or catamaran. Whether you want to go on an intimate cruise or a public guided tour, customize your sail according to your budget. A slice of paradise in whichever direction you sail in, sailing activity is worth it on Whitsunday Islands things to do. 

Location:
Available at multiple locations.  

Price:
Varies according to packages and choice of sailing. 

Timings:
Opens at 8 AM
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12

Scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef

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When living at the heart of Great Barrier Reef, scuba diving here comes as a prerequisite of things to do in Whitsunday Islands. There are more than 10 sites on these idyllic islands which will offer you this marveling experience of a lifetime.

To get up close and personal with the thriving underwater life and reef biodiversity, the paradise is the ultimate answer to what to do in Whitsunday Islands. Sheltered coral reefs, pinnacles of marine creatures, feeding spots of tropical fish, shallow underwater cliffs to caverns, every diving spot offers something mind-blowing.

Location: Great Barrier Reef, Whitsunday Islands, Queensland 

Price: Starts at $500

Timings: Opens at 8 AM
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13

Go for Turtle Spotting

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Along with the many colourful fish living within the corals, these waters are also home to green sea turtles. The Great Barrier Reef plays an important role sheltering the habitat of these turtles and watching them closely is bewildering. There are special turtle spotting tours which can be accommodated on your list of things to do in Whitsunday Islands.  

Location:
Airlie beach.  

Price:
Approximately $85 to $100 per person
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14

Hike to Passage Peak

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Other than all water-based activities in Whitsunday Islands what to do? Go hiking! Passage Peak on Hamilton Island is one of the famous hiking trails here. Not like any other hike, but here you explore the secluded sandy coves and discover the stunning views at your own pace.

The spot is popular for day picnics with a view of the stunning islands from the top. It is a moderate-level trail that leads you to the highest point on the island – Passage Peak. But the 360-degree views of the horizon from the top will rejuvenate you from the tiring walk.

Location:
Passage Peak, Hamilton Island, Queensland 

Timings:
8 AM to 7 PM
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15

Spend a Day at Hayman Island

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A spectacular answer to the question Whitsunday Islands what to do, is spending a day at Hayman Island. An iconic private island resort is also about indulgence in luxury. An easy access to the Great Barrier Reef as your backyard, and surroundings of crystal-clear waters, it has superiority over the other islands.

Have a secluded picnic on the private beach or stay in one of the best suites with a view of the beach, pool and lagoon at a go! Hayman Island is all about fine indulgence and luxe living in the Whitsunday Islands. 

Location:
Hayman Island, Whitsunday Island
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16

Stroll at Hook Island

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Island hopping is one of the most obvious things to do in Whitsunday Islands, and Hook Islands makes a part of that list. Rugged and almost uninhabited, taking a stroll on this secluded island will introduce you to the joys of solitude in truest sense.

It is prominent for the Nara and Macona inlets, two fjord-like recesses and Crayfish beach, which can be your tropical island campsite. 

Location:
Hook Island, Queensland
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17

Visit Whitsunday Islands National Park

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The Whitsunday Islands National Park is bordered by the Great Barrier Reef and waters of Coral Sea, making it an ideal spot to watch some humpback whales. The park offers several features like camping areas, boating paradise, walking tracks leading to spectacular views and of course to observe the rare flora and fauna it shelters. 

Location:
Whitsunday Islands, Whitsundays, Whitsunday Area

Price:
$25 (Adult) $11 (child)
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18

Go for a Crocodile Safari

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Watch estuarine crocodiles in their natural habitat in the tropical environment along the island coastline. Explore the mangrove ecosystem, away from the beaches and learn more about the ecosystem. A day-long tour takes you through the wetlands and observe the Australian wildlife closely. So, if you have a keener interest in the wild side of Australia, you know what to do in Whitsunday Islands. 

Location:
Glen Isla Rd, Glen Isla, Queensland 

Price:
$140 (Adult) $85 (child)

Timings:
9 AM to 7 PM
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19

Exploring Hamilton Island by Golf Buggy

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One of the fun things to do in Whitsunday Islands is self-driving and exploring Hamilton Island. Very easy to ride, these 4-seater buggies let you explore the place at your own pace. You can hire It to go from your accommodation to the point of interest across the island. Being a car-free destination, enjoy a smooth ride. It is a very comfortable and definitely a fun experience to ride around the island with your own little buggy ride.

Location: Hamilton Island, Queensland

Price: Approximately $99 per day

Timings: 8 AM – 5 PM
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20

Dine at Fish D'Vine

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Fish D’Vine, seafood restaurant and bar on the Airlie Beach is popular among the locals as well as tourists for their delectable preparations. They not just provide you with the best food but an experience that will linger on your tastebuds.

While the taste is surely lip-smacking, their food presentation skills are top-notch. And with the best produce right at their doorstep from the beaches, there’s no doubt about the freshness on your plate. For a lover of rum, they offer over 450 kinds of rums so your dining experience also has an excellent drink pairing.

Location: Fish D’Vine, 12 Airlie Esplanade, Airlie Beach, Queensland

Price: Approximately $100 - $120

Timings: 7 AM – 9 PM
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60 metres above the ground gave me chills. The instructor was very good and he gave me all the necessary information. After he helped me wear all the safety gears, I was confident. I am glad I was able to do it and I am glad I choose this.
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  1. What are the adventurous things to do on Whitsunday Island?

    1. Jetski on Hamilton Island: Push your adrenaline as you feel the azure blue waters on yourself dashing through them on a jet ski ride. Cruise through the crystal-clear waters on guided jet ski tours that go on for about 1.5 hours.

    2. Scuba diving in the coral reefs: Watch the incredible underwater biodiversity diving across different points of the Great Barrier Reef. A certified diver or not, an underwater tour of the coral reefs is awe-inspiring and full of adventure as you choose not to blink and miss the beauty of it all.

    3. Yacht racing: The Hamilton Island race week is one of the largest offshore sailing events in Australia. The water carnival held in August invites yachties to set sail and speed against the contenders.

    4. Ocean rafting: One of the thrilling things to do in Whitsunday Islands is ocean rafting rides. A motorized raft for a full-day tour, accompanied with bush walks or beach time, customize your adventure.
  2. Are the Whitsundays worth visiting?

    Yes, all the islands of Whitsundays are worth exploring. With their white sand beaches, vast shores and abundance of natural beauty, these islands will let you enjoy the best vacationing experience. The idyllic beauty of white sands and lovely blue waters will make every moment of your trip to this archipelago worthwhile.
  3. How long should you spend on Whitsundays?

    4-5 days are enough to cover major attractions of Whitsundays. Exploring the White Haven beach, touring through the great barrier reefs among other experiences, 4 days are enough to get the best of Whitsunday Islands. You can also opt for special 2-3 sailing/kayaking cruise tours which cover the best of the islands.
  4. What is the best time of year to visit the Whitsundays?

    June to October is considered to be the best time to enjoy a vacation here. While tropical destinations may call for summer trips, the summers in Whitsunday Islands can be too humid and dry. June to August is a great time for sailing while September and October are the peak season with clear skies and bright sunny weather.
  5. Where should I stay when visiting Whitsundays?

    1. Airlie Beach: A getaway to the coral reefs, Airlie beach is a popular destination for tourists to stay put. With several hotels, restaurants and water sports activities starting from, it is convenient for large groups and families.

    2. Hayman Island:
    If you are looking for exclusivity and luxury, Hayman Islands is a private island resort which not only ensures you top-notch service but privacy like no other. Secluded beach access and hidden coves, live in the lavishness of this picturesque destination.

    3. Hamilton Island:
    Not wanting to be too secluded but experience the vibe of tourist things to do, stay put at the Hamilton Islands. There are several hotels here with facilities like wellness spa and retreats, some even give private access to the beach so you know what to do in Whitsunday Islands as you stay here. The best of nightlife and shopping can also be experienced here.

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