Backpacking the Whitsunday Islands

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  • whitsunday-021248
    VISIT SOME OF THE STUNNING 74 ISLANDS THAT MAKE UP THE WHITSUNDAY'S: Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland
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    ONE OF THE BEST WAYS TO EXPLORE THE ISLANDS IS TO SAIL AROUND THEM OR TAKE A CRUISE: Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland
  • whitsunday-035448
    TAKE A DIP AT THE FAMOUS WHITEHAVEN BEACH: Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland
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    THIS IS ONE OF THE MORE POPULAR BACKPACKER DESTINATIONS IN AUSTRALIA: Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland
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    THE GREAT BARRIER REEF IS RIGHT ON THE DOORSTEP AND OFFERS SOME OF THE BEST DIVING ON THE PLANET: Photo courtesy of Tourism Queensland
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Whitsunday Islands Highlights

  • Collection of 74 islands, famous for their clear blue waters, white sandy beaches and lush forested islands.

  • The amazing and spectacular Great Barrier Reef is right on your doorstep, making the waters around the island a great place for a variety of water sports, particularly excellent diving and snorkelling.

  • Many of the islands are national parks and World Heritage areas and have a variety of walking tracks to allow you to explore their interior as well as their secluded beaches and coastlines.

  • Of the 74 islands only eight islands are inhabited. Long Island, Hook Island and South Mole Island have accommodation options that cater specifically for backpackers and budget travellers.

  • The islands are easily accessible from Airlie Beach and plenty of companies from here offer cruises, sailing charters or bareboat sailing charters around the islands.

  • Check out the incredibly beautiful Whitehaven Beach. This has the most stunning white sandy beach and crystal clear aqua waters that stretch over 7 kilometres.

About the Whitsunday Islands


The Whitsunday's are a collection of 74 islands just off the coast of Queensland between Mackay and Bowen in the Great Barrier Reef. They are famous for their clear blue waters, white sandy beaches and lush forested islands.

The amazing and spectacular Great Barrier Reef is right on your doorstep, making the waters around the island a great place for a variety of water sports. You can go diving and snorkelling to see the incredible variety of marine life and coral reefs, go on a fishing charter, sail amongst the spectacular islands, or take a guided boat tour and learn all about this fascinating place. If you after a little more adventure you could explore the islands on sea kayak, jet ski or even embark on a Tall Ship voyage.

The islands themselves include numerous National Parks and World Heritage areas, which are great to explore. There is plenty of spectacular scenery to be seen, including rare flora and fauna and some magnificent views of the surrounding archipelago.

There is so much to see and do here you would never get bored, alternatively it is the perfect place to do nothing except chill on one of the perfect white sandy beaches.

Main Islands in the Whitsunday's

Of the 74 islands only eight islands are inhabited. The main islands in the Whitsunday's include:

Brampton Island

The island is located at the southern end of the Whitsunday Island Passage. This island is mainly National Park surrounded by twelve white sandy beaches with crystal clear waters and fringing coral reefs. There is a variety of walking tracks to explore the national park, with some spectacular views and scenery along the way. There is a luxurious resort on the island, or alternatively camping is available in the national park.

Daydream Island

The Daydream Island Resort and Spa takes up most of this small island, which is easily accessible from Airlie Beach, or nearby Hamilton Island. One of the main attractions at the resort is the man-made outdoor aquarium, which includes reef lagoons containing over 40 marine fish species and 50 coral varieties. There are a host of activities available at the resort including diving and snorkelling on the fringing reef.

Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island is the most heavily developed of the Islands and has Australia 's largest island resort. The island has a resident population of around 1,500 people with accommodation for over 2000 people, a 200 boat marina, shops, restaurants and a variety of activities including water sports, cruises, or high flying aviation options. Also, located on the island is the main airport for the Whitsunday's.

Hayman Island

Hayman Island is the most northerly of the Whitsunday's and is also the most exclusive. Hayman has a five star resort with accommodation suited for the wealthy.

Hook Island

Hook Island is the second largest island in the Whitsunday group with 58 square kilometres of Australian national park. There is excellent fringe snorkelling and diving available just offshore and the island itself can be explored via some of the walking tracks. The Hook Island Wilderness Resort is located here and offers camping facilities, dorm style rooms and standard rooms right through to ensuite rooms.

Lindeman Island

The island has Australia 's only Club Med island resort, which is an all-inclusive resort popular for families. The island also has 670 hectares of World Heritage National Park.

Long Island

There is some stunning tropical vine forest here and beautiful palm-fringed beaches that can be explored by some of the 20km of scenic walking tracks. Otherwise you can snorkel or dive in the fringing reef, undertake one of the many other activities available, or just chill out. Barefoot Lodge offers dorm style, or standard room accommodation for budget travellers.

South Molle Island

The island has over 420 hectares of National Park and 16 kilometres of walking trails that allow you to explore the palm-fringed beaches, secluded bays and great views of the Whitsunday's from the top of Mount Jeffreys. Koala Adventure Island Resort is located here, catering for budget travellers and backpackers who want to kick back, relax, party and have some fun.

Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island is the largest of the islands and is a great spot for camping and hiking. It is best known for the incredibly beautiful Whitehaven Beach. This is a stunning white sandy beach surrounded by crystal clear aqua waters that stretches over 7 kilometres.
Whitehaven Beach is a definite "must-see" and there are plenty of tours available to get you to this spot.

Orientation Map for the Whitsunday Islands


View map of the Whitsunday Islands in a larger map

Whitsunday Islands Visitor Information Centre

Located right next to the Proserpine Museum
Bruce Highway, Proserpine, Queensland
Phone 1300 71 74 07
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