Inspire

7 Amazing Whitsundays Activities For Every Type Of Traveller

Brought to you by Tourism Whitsundays

Be inspired and find your perfect next escape with our exclusive offers in the Heart of the Great Barrier Reef.

Though we Aussies tend to search far and beyond our shores for luxury and adventure, it’s worth remembering that some of the most jaw-droppingly spectacular destinations on the planet exist in our own backyard.

On the top of the list for your post-COVID getaway? The spectacular Whitsundays in the Heart of the Great Barrier Reef.

For a combination of sheer tropical amazingness and proximity (it’s just a short flight from the major cities on the east coast), The Whitsundays is the gift that keeps on giving, especially after being cooped up for months on end. So much more than a pretty face, the region is a hotbed of adventure and luxe activities, from snorkelling and diving to bareboating, hiking, and bushwalking – for romantic getaways, family fun, and straight up foodie heaven. Here’s our take on the best Whitsundays activities for every type of traveller.

Luxe: #GoBareboating

 

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Bareboating is one of the most awesome and memorable things you can do in The Whitsundays. A bareboat is essentially a charter boat that you can hire for a night (or two, or five, or as long as you like) and self-skipper around 74 island wonders and reefs to your heart’s content.

The Whitsundays has the country’s most stunning waters for sailing: postcard-perfect waters, incredible beaches, brilliant docking spots, and long nights spent under the stars. It doesn’t get much better than this.


Sightseeing: Cruise Whitsundays

 

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For a next-level experience on the Whitsundays’ sparkling turquoise waters, take a tour with Cruise Whitsundays: the region’s largest and most seasoned provider. Choose your own adventure: there’s a half- or full-day cruise along Whitehaven Beach, during which you’ll get the chance to enjoy that sparkling white sand or snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, opportunities to hoist a sail on Camira Sailing Adventure, or even spend a Neptunian night or two in the award-winning Reefsuites overnight accommodation experience.


Relaxation: Hayman Island

 

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Massage, anyone? A little self-care is what every good trip needs, and the InterContinental Hayman Island Resort is the perfect spot for a little pampering. The most northern island in The Whitsundays, Hayman is an archetypal paradise, home to one of the most revered five-star resorts in the Southern Hemisphere.

Though the resort’s stunning lagoon pool will have your eyes feasting (and your body revelling), some of Hayman’s most-sought-after experiences come care of its world-class spa. On top of therapeutic, Thai, and hot stone massages, the resort also offers indulgent full-body scrubs, facials, and clay wraps, along with manicures, pedicures, and couples’ packages. Go on, you deserve it.


Romance: Elysian Retreat

 

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You want romance? You got romance. The Whitsundays’ Elysian Retreat should be on the hot list of every Casanova: a secluded eco retreat flanked by wildlife, ocean, and spectacular rainforest on The Whitsundays stunning Long Island. Get back to nature and tune in within, through a night or three at one of Elysian’s 10 delightfully designed, fully air-conditioned oceanfront villas.

Featuring views of the Coral Sea, mountains and forest beyond, expect outdoor hammocks and daybeds aplenty, outdoor showers, delicious fresh seasonal organic food at Elysian’s luxurious restaurant, and a must-experience schedule of wellness and yoga retreats throughout the year. In short, it’s the stuff dreams are made of.


Nature: Palm Bay Resort

 

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Another sensational experience nestled on idyllic Long Island and perfect for those travelling with kids, Palm Bay Resort offers an exclusive, intimate resort on a private cove, with luxurious Balinese-style villas, self-catering facilities and gorgeous views of the nearby Whitsundays passage and Coral Sea. Fully eco-certified, the Palm Blue day spa, extensive lounging areas, and sensational natural surrounds are a true elixir for the soul: one of the region’s most-sought-after spots for nature-lovers.


Water: Great Barrier Reef and Heart Reef

 

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You can’t go to The Whitsundays region without paying the Great Barrier Reef and Heart Reef a visit. Snorkelling is the name of the game around these parts, and it’s some of the most brilliant you’ll ever encounter. Be enchanted by the Reef’s incredible marine life and take the whole family for a peek at one of the region’s major drawcards: Heart Reef at Hardy’s Lagoon. Best viewed from the air on a scenic flight, it’s shaped every bit like a love heart. You’ll love every bit of it.


Adventure: Airlie Beach and Beyond

 

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The Whitsundays region is a lot more than just watersports and cruising – away from the islands, on the mainland, you can have all sorts of incredible camping and bushwalking encounters, most notably in and around the resort town of Airlie Beach.

Airlie’s restaurants, bars, lagoon and delightful accommodation choices are great, but its camping and bushwalking is also a huge drawcard, with some of the most incredible hikes and camping spots in the region. Round up the family and stop off at some of the area’s best lookouts while you’re on foot, including Honeyeater, Mount Rooper, and The Great Whitsunday Walk.

Ready for an adventure? Holiday here this year and visit thewhitsundays.com.au for exclusive offers in the Heart of the Great Barrier Reef.

(Lead image: @meandmytravelbugs via Tourism Whitsundays)