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6 Incredible things to do in the Whitsundays

From whizzing around remote islands on a sailing boat to snorkelling colourful coral reefs, the Whitsundays is brimming with fun-filled things to do. Tucked away on the Whitsunday Coast with the Great Barrier Reef on its doorstep, the Whitsundays is an archipelago of 74 tropical islands. It’s a true paradise where you’ll find white beaches, shimmering turquoise waters, dense rainforests and just about everything else your typical tropical getaway has. But the Whitsundays offers so much more than lazing around with a cocktail in hand… although, that does sound pretty damn good. It’s a coastal playground, with something for everyone!

1. Go on a sailing trip

Pack your bathers, lather on the sunscreen and get ready to experience life on the open sea. Stop at palm-fringed islands and secluded coves, chill out on hidden beaches away from the crowds, and discover the best spots to slip into your snorkel and see the colourful underwater world. After a jam-packed day of exploring, sit out on the deck with a cool drink and enjoy glistening ocean views as the sunsets over the islands. Bliss. If you’ve ever fancied trying your luck at sailing, you could muck in and help the crew hoist the sails and steer the boat.

2. Beaches, beaches and more beaches

a man standing next to a body of water

You know that iconic image you see on all the Whitsunday adverts and postcards? It’s probably Whitehaven Beach. Stunning doesn’t even begin to describe just how beautiful it is. Whitehaven Beach is just the tip of the iceberg as the Whitsundays is brimming with some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches… the kind you might imagine when a meditation teacher asks you to picture a tropical paradise. Whether you want to soak up the rays on private bays, paddle in crystal clear waters or explore vibrant coral and different kinds of tropical fish, the Whitsundays has you covered.

3. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef

a man swimming in the water

Did you know the Great Barrier Reef is the largest living thing on Earth? It has been around for about 20 million years and is home to some prehistoric creatures that still live here today. You can do a day tour from Airlie Beach or one of the Whitsunday Islands. The companies usually provide all the gear so you can jump straight in and explore. Look out for the ‘Great Eight’: the Great Barrier Reef’s living legends that everyone hopes to see swimming around the coral. These majestic creatures are turtles, giant clams, clownfish (nemos), manta rays, whales, Maori wrasse, sharks and potato cod.

4. Go whale watching

a whale jumping out of the water

If you’re going to the Whitsundays, whale watching is a must. The season runs from June to October when humpbacks migrate from the oh-so-chilly Antarctic waters to the warm waters around this region. Many pregnant whales give birth to their young here as it’s sheltered by the Great Barrier Reef.

5. Explore the bushwalking trails

a man standing in front of water

Lush bushland meets tropical island paradise. Now that’s a match made in heaven. It might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think about the Whitsundays, but there are some beautiful walks and hiking trails that take you into dense rainforest of every shade of green imaginable. Winding along trails is great, but let’s be honest… the best part of hiking is being rewarded with spectacular views. There are some pretty amazing outcrops with views that stretch far over the ocean.

6. Go island hopping

a couple of people that are sitting on a boat

Only eight of the 74 Whitsundays are inhabited, the rest are wild and underdeveloped with native bushland, rainforest and untouched beaches. Of the inhabited islands, there are many luxurious resorts where you can go to relax and indulge in some of the good things life has to offer. Popular resort islands include Hamilton Island, Hayman Island, Whitsunday Island and Daydream Island. You can choose a day or overnight tour. When trying to truly experience the Whtisundays / Whitsundays Islands; we recommend an overnight tour to really capture and take the beauty of the islands in.

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