Whitsundays Destination guide

You sit by the pool at your resort, sunshine sparkling on the clear blue water. There's a cool drink in your hand and palm trees everywhere you look. Welcome to the Whitsundays.

Here you'll find the Great Barrier Reef, the only living thing on earth visible from space. Filled with bright colourful explosions of coral and exotic fish, snorkelling or scuba diving in this reef is quite an experience. At 344,400 square kilometres and made up of 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands, there's a lot to explore.

But you can stay dry and still have fun too. Airlie Beach is the biggest town in the Whitsundays region and a hub for shopping and nightlife. On Saturday morning, head to the Airlie foreshore and explore the markets beneath the palm trees. Venture out into the warm night air and sip a tropical cocktail in a nightclub as dance music thumps around you. Or take the Whitsunday Great Walk at Conway National Park.

Although most of the Whitsunday's 74 islands are deserted, eight of them are popular tourist destinations with easy access to the reef. Choose between Daydream Island, Long Island and more and pick from a range of activities including scuba diving, water sports, golf, sailing, scenic walking and more.

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Quick Facts

  • Flight time: 2.5 hours (from Sydney)
  • Major airport: Whitsunday Coast Airport (PPP)
  • Currency: Australian Dollar
  • Busy season: December - February
  • Popular activities: Swimming, reef tours, shopping, nightlife