Top Things to See and Do in the Whitsundays

The “land down under” has long been a sought-after vacation destination but there is an area off the central coast of Queensland, Australia where a chain of 74 islands sit pretty in the middle of the South Pacific. This less-traveled cluster of islands is known as the Whitsundays, and it just so happen to be a sailor’s paradise, best explored by boat.

A vast majority of the Whitsundays islands are designated as national parks, so the beaches are stunning, the snorkeling and diving conditions are superb, and the wildlife is incredible. There is plenty to see and do during an island-hopping adventure in this one-of-a-kind cruising ground but here is a list of some of the can’t-miss experiences… 

Butterfly Bay


There are colonies of Ulysses butterflies that live at Hook Island’s Butterfly Bay all year long. Plan a visit to this spot if you wish to a swarm of these majestic blue creatures flying out over the sea as they do every morning and afternoon.

Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef Australia

No Aussie adventure is complete without a visit to the world-famous Great Barrier Reef. So, grab your snorkeling or diving gear, kick up your fins, and explore the wondrous natural beauty that awaits underwater throughout this 2300-kilometer long reef.  

Hill Inlet Lookout

Feast your eyes on breathtaking views from atop Hill Inlet Lookout, which is technically located on rave-reviewed Whitehaven Beach. The peak provides a picture-perfect photo-opp and it is easy to reach following a scenic 15-minute walk.  

Long Island

Close to mainland Long Island is home to an array of exotic South Pacific plants, birds and animals, including the adorable koala bear. This is an idyllic place to explore either by foot or bicycle and keep your eyes peeled for unique wildlife sightings.

Nara Inlet

Slip-on your fins and face mask to get an up-close look at the pristine coral reefs and vibrant tropical fish found at Nara Inlet. This is also a prime location to fish for coral trout and spangled emperor. And if you visit the Whitsundays during the “wet season”, you’ll encounter beautiful cascading waterfalls that are dormant during the rest of the year.  

Passage Peak

Thomas Island and Hamilton Island Whitsundays

Walking trails are few and far between in the Whitsundays but if you’re up for some scenic hiking, head to Passage Peak on Hamilton Island. It’s an easy 45-minute foot trek and the panoramic views from the top are spectacular.  

Whitehaven Beach

One of the most fabulous and photogenic beaches in Australia, Whitehaven Beach spans 7 kilometers long and is blanketed with some of the whitest sand in the world because it is 98% pure silica. 

Author Name: 
Kaitlyn Nakagoshi


Ian Pedersen

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