Airlie Beach

    • The essential base for a visit to the Whitsunday Islands group, Airlie Beach is a mainland town overlooking the bays and islands and has its own unique village tropical resort feeling and style. It is the largest town on the Whitsunday Coast and a convenient access point to the wonders of the island groups’ amazing natural attractions. It features a thriving hub for young and old, parents and kids, backpackers, thrill-seekers and trendies. Framed by Coral Sea coastline and the mountainous Conway National Park backdrop, it has four beaches, a plethora of restaurants, cafes and beer-gardens and the spectacular Airlie Lagoon. Stay options range from 5-star resorts at water’s edge, hillside apartments overlooking the bay and islands, B&Bs, motels, camping parks and backpacker units. The full range of Great Barrier Reef island visit activities can be sourced and actioned in Airlie, from island cruises, to scenic flights and sailing adventures.

Hayman Island

    • Hayman Island, northeast of Airlie Beach and northernmost of the Whitsunday group, is an idyllic 400 ha island paradise open only to staying guests. The resort has around 160 accommodation options in three wings, including suites, villas and poolside rooms, plus luxury private residences. It is all environmentally bedded among valleys and beaches and has long been considered a playground for a discerning clientele over many years. And it is chic all the way, from world class restaurants to state-of-the-art fitness centre, chapel, conference facilities, quality clothing boutiques and wellness treatments. Access is by luxury vessel, seaplane or helicopter from Hamilton Island. Charter tours to the Great Barrier Reef and nearby islands for diving and snorkelling activities are available.

Daydream Island

    • Daydream Island, east of Airlie Beach, is a magnet for all types of Great Barrier Reef visitors as the closest popular escape from the nearby mainland. It is small and can be explored in quick time, leaving much of the day to bask on the beach under the tropical Queensland sun, swim the warm coastal waters, sit by the revitalised pool (with bar) or check out the wildlife, 100 species of fish, coral and invertebrates (marine biologists on site). The popular day-trip destination is the closest resort to the mainland in the region and an ideal R&R escape for locals and travellers looking for a weekend of fun. The newly refurbished resort, with free-form coral lagoon wrapping 200m around the building, features 277 rooms and suites and is the only accommodation available. It’s ideal for lazy, relaxing afternoons taking in magnificent reef vistas or romantic dinners under the starry sky. Conferences and weddings include some of the special events that can be arranged indoors and outdoors.

Hamilton Island

    • Hamilton Island, the largest of the Whitsunday group and southeast of Airlie Beach, is a spectacular holiday hotspot with luxury accommodation, established infrastructure, including airport, abundant restaurants and bars, ranging hills, trails and white sandy beaches. It’s open and affordable for day-trippers wanting access to its tennis courts, golf facilities and dive experiences and there’s plenty to do in exploring the bushland and coral reefs fringing its coast. There are many cruises available to nearby and outer islands, amazing coral and marine life to explore, an 18-hole golf course and a yacht club. Many different types of accommodation are offered, from plush suites to family apartments and holiday homes.

Long Island

    • Long Island is a playground paradise for all that is great about this region. It has hidden bays and coral fringing reefs, lots of flora and fauna and an imposing landscape. So named for its length, 9 km, and width, 400m at its broadest, it is the closest island to the mainland with accommodation facilities that will suit people seeking quiet relaxation. Elysian Retreat at the southern point caters to a maximum of only 20 guests in its ecologically designed boutique oasis on a private cove. Palm Bay Resort is a luxury self-catering facility with a huge pool, Balinese-style dwellings and access to water sports, tours, kayaking and fishing.

Bowen

    • The northernmost town in the Whitsundays region, Bowen is a relaxed and typical Queensland country centre on the shores of Edgecumbe Bay. It has delightful bays, eight perfect palm-sheltered beaches, and a pleasant tropical climate. North of Airlie Beach by 45 minutes, it is a laidback haven that is often undiscovered and overlooked. There are family fun activities on the front beach foreshore and its nearby fringing reefs are a mecca of colourful gardens for snorkelers and divers. It has reasonably priced motels, caravan parks, backpacker options and beachfront apartments. Its locations were featured in the film ‘Australia.’

Cannonvale

    • An ideal beachside town to base the family close to Airlie Beach and the nearby Whitsundays, Cannonvale has many amenities, including a sheltered beach, public barbecues, picnic areas, kids’ playground and rock pools to be explored. Cruises to the islands and Great Barrier Reef are available within a 5-minute drive or a long stroll by boardwalk that leads into the action centre of Airlie Beach. The town centre offers all necessary services and the boat ramp is handy.

Proserpine

    • Art deco architecture shapes the personality of Proserpine, a traditional sugar mill country town inland from Airlie Beach and surrounded by cane fields and picturesque valleys with grazing cattle. Rural hospitality abounds in the friendly shops and four welcoming hotels in main street. A good range of accommodation is available at motels, caravan parks and backpacker facilities.

Shute Harbour

    • An access hub for boat cruises to nearby islands and walking tracks through Conway National Park, the exquisite natural inlet of Shute Harbour is 10 km east of Airlie Beach. It’s a marine transit facility which has secure parking for most vehicles, including boat trailers and campervans, and is accessed along a rainforest framed winding road.

Whitehaven Beach

Heart Reef

    • The iconic aerial image of the heart-shaped coral that is Heart Reef is a hallmark of this section of the Great Barrier Reef. Situated in the Hardy Reef lagoon, it is a 17-metre wide bommie with protected status so there is no diving or snorkelling allowed. It is best appreciated from the air.

Heart Reef

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Hardy Reef

      • Off the coast of Airlie Beach, the 70-metre reef wall is ideal for rookie divers and snorkelers checking out the hard and soft coral and friendly marine life.  It boasts the largest floating pontoon in Australia and visitors can make overnight stays.

        Hardy Reef Pontoon

Bait Reef

      • Near Hardy reef, it has an excellent cover of colourful coral and a variety of marine life, including manta rays and turtles. Suitable for all types of divers, there are shallows for snorkelers and underwater canyons, steep walls and swim throughs for the more experienced.
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