Whitsunday Islands Travel Guide: Welcome to Paradise

Whitehaven Beach on the Whitsunday Islands

The Whitsunday Islands are without doubt one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever been to. When traveling through Queensland, you get to know a lot of people that suggest tons of must-sees and must-do’s for your trip in Australia, from a bush walk through the Cape Tribulation rainforest to playing music with the hippies in Byron Bay. But there is one thing, which surely gets recommended often: the Whitsunday Islands with the whitest beaches and the most crystal clear water. Sounds good? Read on!

What are the Whitsunday Islands at all?

I have 15 reasons for you to visit Australia, here is one: the Whitsunday Islands. It’s are a group of islands off the eastern coast of the Australian state of Queensland. Which at a fleeting glance at a Whitsunday Islands map looks like only two islands are in fact 74 – it’s one big national park!

What makes the Whitsunday Islands so special?

Lush green pine forests, beautiful sandy beaches, brightly colored coral reefs and turquoise waters. Not without reason is the whole area part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

A part of the Whitsunday Islands

What to do on the Whitsunday Islands?

First of all, snorkeling, diving, swimming. Because the average water temperature is 20-24 °C all year round. Unfortunately, because of the jellyfish, swimming is often only possible in stinger suits. If you are not into swimming, make a bushwalk, hike up to the hills (be sure, you’ll have a stunning view from up there) or simply spend hours walking along the beautiful beaches of the Whitsunday Islands.

Even better: If you’re lucky and you visit the Whitsunday Islands from May to September, you can even watch migrating humpback whales that use the waters around the Whitsundays as calving grounds – what I can understand quite well.

People walking to the beach on the Whitsunday Islands

What is the most beautiful beach on the Whitsunday Islands?

That’s easy: that is Whitehaven Beach! A beach that will remain imprinted on your memory for sure! Just a gentle easy 15-minute walk up a natural bush track will find you at the destination that so many people rave about. From the lookout you’ll see a sparkling white beach, which meanders through an incredible panorama five miles along the coast.
Here you will ask yourself how sand can actually be so extremely white. Here, you can take a break from everyday life. With sand that is so powder soft that it squeaks under your feet and so pure, that you can even use it to polish your jewelry.

Words simply can’t describe how beautiful this beach is…

A view from the rocks on Whitehaven on the Whitsunday Islands

Can you stay overnight on the Whitsunday Islands?

Yes you can. But remember that the whole area of the Whitsunday Islands is a national park. There are a couple of Whitsunday Islands resorts on Hamilton Island, on Daydream Island, on Hayman Island and a few others. And, there is also supposed to be a legal campsite near Whitehaven Beach (what I still consider to be a rumor until I see it with my own eyes… and probably camp there forever!)

Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Islands from up above

What’s the best time to visit the Whitsunday Islands?

To be honest: at anytime! Because here in Queensland, the winter is better than any German or French summer, for example.
Nevertheless, the ideal time to visit is the dry and warm winter with cooler nights from May to October. In summer it can be really hot with high humidity.

The beachfront in Whitehaven on the Whitsunday Islands

How to get to the Whitsunday Islands?

You can ask for a Whitsunday Cruise in any travel agency on the east coast. They offer almost all the same packages. The rest is up to your negotiating skills.
The best thing is to book a two to three day Whitsunday Cruise. Most of them start in Airlie Beach, Australia, a quiet seaside town between Bowen and Mackay. You can choose between a variety of cruises, from a romantic catamaran for couples, a relaxed backpacker boat trip up to a three-day duration Party Cruise.

For some reason I ended up on the last one. Check you what I experienced during there three weird days in my post ‘The ultimate Whitsunday Islands cruise: Party madness in a natural reserve of Australia

Islands: Whitsunday Islands / State: Queensland / Continent: Australia
Travel time: It’s an all-season warm climate, but winter has the best temperatures and few rain
Arrival: Whitsunday islands sailing from Airlie Beach about 4 hours by sailing vessel


More about Australia? Check out the 15 reasons to visit Australia for the trip of a lifetime!

Have you been to the Whitsunday Islands? How did you like it? Leave a comment!

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  1. Mia says:

    einmal hin da. und nicht mehr zurück?

    <3 traumhaft!

  2. Oli says:

    Vielen Dank für die spannenden Insights und auch den Reisebricht über die Party-Cruise (Du hast übrigens vergessen, den Beitrag zu verlinken!)

    Was mich allerdings noch interessieren würde: Was kostet so ein dreitägiger Ausflug auf die Inseln in etwa? Ich kann mich von meiner Zeit in Australien erinnern, dass ich regelmässig Touren ausgelassen hatte, weil ich sie mir ganz einfach nicht leisten konnte.

    • Clemens says:

      Hi Oli, der 3-Tages-Trip hat knapp 300 Euro gekostet mit allem drum und dran.
      Meine Hard Facts dazu findest du unter diesem Beitrag in dem ich mehr vom Whitsundays Cruise erzähle.

  3. Dennis Kopp says:

    Hi Clemens, du hast sicher Recht dass die Whitsundays schön sind, das einzige Problem sind nur die gefährlichen Quallen. Als ich dort war durften wir uns nur in ganz-körper stinger-suits in die Nähe des Wassers trauen. Das nimmt einem schon so ein bischen das Gefühl vom Paradies wenn man von Kopf bis Fuss in einem Gummianzug steckt… 🙁

    • Clemens says:

      Hey Dennis, ja, das hast du Recht, das war bei mir nicht anders. Aber alleine der Sand und die Farben des Wassers und die Weitläufigkeit der Buchten… das hat bei mir für den WOW-Effekt schon ausgereicht. Stinger-suits sind natürlich nicht so das Wahre, wenn man eigentlich einfach nur schwimmen gehen will.


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