4 Must See’s in the Whitsundays during Winter
1. Be on the lookout, it’s whale watching season
There are few things as magical as catching a glimpse of a humpback whale emerging from the depths of the ocean.
From June to September, the warm waters of The Whitsundays transform into a whale-calf nursery as humpback whales migrate north each year from the Antarctic to mate, socialise and birth.
The best way to experience the majestic breaching of a whale, catch a tail splash, or spot a playful calf is to charter your way through waters by boat, possibly making every tour in The Whitsundays a whale watching tour! If you’re lucky, you might just find your casual resort connection between islands turns into an aerial acrobatic display.
2. Hike through national parks and soak in the winter sun
If you’re keen on an adventure under the warm Whitsunday sun, winter is the best time to set your sights on local hikes, minus the tropical humidity.
Hike Airlie Beach’s Honeyeater Lookout, which gifts aerial views of the coastal town and some of The Whitsunday Islands. Embark on a journey through the Conway Circuit, a 28km escapade through the rainforest from Brandy Creek to Airlie Beach or escape off the beaten path to Hydeaway Bay.
For a hike in the middle of, 74 island wonders, lace up your hiking boots for The Whitsunday Islands National Park. This park is only accessible by boat, but once there, you’ll find plenty of walking tracks to explore – The Whitsunday Peak track, Hill Inlet lookout or Headland track are all great options.
3. Join the festival fun
Base yourself in Airlie Beach for a front-row ticket to some of the best winter festivals in The Whitsundays.
A terrific way to discover the best of the reef is the The Great Barrier Reef Festival ( REEF FESTIVAL) held each year in Airlie Beach. Th
is four-day-long festival involves carnival rides, market and food stalls as well as a pop-up bar on the foreshore. Not just a festival of fun, this reef focused environmental celebration aims to educate on the ecological impacts of the reef, highlighting The Whitsunday lifestyle and community in the “heart of the reef” – Airlie Beach.
Make your way across to Hamilton Island for a change of scenery and you’ll find Hamilton Island Race Week, Australia’s largest offshore sailing regatta, on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef.
4. Grab a snorkel and Jump on an overnight sailing tour with OzSail
One of the reasons to visit The Whitsundays in winter; is the Great Barrier Reef, a combination of vibrant marine and coral life. A truly breathtaking sight.
Kit yourself with a mask, snorkel and pair of fins and get acquainted with the world’s largest reef system. Exploring the reef is accessible all year round, but winter is The Whitsundays ‘dry season’ meaning minimal rainfall to disturb the water, renders it crystal clear, and ideal for snorkelling & calm, cool nights through the evenings. If you want to snorkel and swim right off the beach you’re in luck. The Whitsundays is home to enticing white sand beach islands fringed with tropical reefs, surrounded by an oasis of turquoise water.
Alongside whale sightings, you’re also likely to spot manta rays in the winter months as they glide and leap out of the water.Whether you’re partial to days filled exploring by land or sea, you’ll be guaranteed to thaw out and relax into this tropical winter haven. Along with the winter winds providing the perfect chance to experience the real freedom of sailing and gliding through the Whitsundays islands.