About the Whitsundays

The History

Located on the tropical coast of Queensland, Australia, and alongside The Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsunday Islands were formed by significant volcanic activity over 100 million years ago. Over the years, changes in ocean temperatures and sea levels began to separate the mainland mountain ranges, creating the string of 74 islands we know today as the Whitsundays.

The Traditional Custodians of the Whitsundays are the Ngaro Aboriginal people. Recorded as one of the earliest indigenous groups in Australia, the Ngaro people lived throughout the Whitsunday Islands and on the nearby mainland for around 9000 years.

On the 3rd of June 1770, Captain James Cook sailed the Endeavour through what is now known as the Whitsunday Passage. They sailed through on 'Whit Sunday,' marking the Sunday of the feast for the Christian festival Pentecost. Captain Cook was inspired enough to name the passage Whitsunday Passage and the location as Whitsunday Group of Islands.

Aerial view of Whitsundays
View to Whitehaven Beach from rocky outlook

Best Time to Visit

The Whitsundays is an experience like no other. Beautiful all year round, with an average temperature of 27.4 degrees Celcius and 10 hours of sunlight every day, making it the perfect destination for swimming, exploring or simply relaxing.

September and October are the best time to visit the Whitsundays. Being the start of Spring, sunny days hit a maximum of 26 degrees Celsius, and there is usually little rainfall. Humidity is also typically low in September and October, being more pleasant when travelling around the Whitsundays.

The average winter temperatures (June, July and August) reach 18 to 25 degrees Celsius, making Whitsunday Islands the perfect winter escape for travellers located in colder climates.

Popular Destinations

The Whitsundays comprises many popular holiday destinations.

Airlie Beach, Shute Harbour, and Cannonvale are thriving coastal towns and gateway to the iconic Great Barrier Reef. Whether you attend the weekly markets, restaurants or festivals, you will be consumed in the community spirit. Luxury rental vacation homes and apartments also provide privacy and room for the whole family.

Hamilton Island, Daydream Island, and Hayman Island are a few of the islands renowned for their private resorts & beaches. Tours, ferries and other activities also provide direct access from the coastal towns to several islands, crystal-clear waters, white sandy beaches & fringing reefs.

Boat moored at Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach

The famous Whitehaven Beach is located on Whitsunday Island in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. The popularity of crystal-clear turquoise waters and white silica sand that feels amazing led Whitehaven Beach to be voted the world's #1 best beach in 2021!

Protected by Whitsunday Islands National Park, the eco-friendly beach is frequented in all seasons by tourists and locals via boat, seaplane or helicopter. Surrounding bushwalks, including Hill inlet Lookout, also provide the most incredible views of the blue-green shades of water and ever-shifting sand.

The Whitsunday Vacations team can assist with planning your trip to Whitehaven Beach, making it a truly memorable experience.

Fringing Reefs

Formed over time in clear waters around the Whitsunday Islands and occasionally along the mainland, these reefs were built by polyps, tiny animals resembling small sea anemones. They have a sac-like body and mouth opening surrounded by tentacles.

A single polyp establishes itself by attaching to a submerged rock around the edges of the islands. Then new polyps build from it, forming a coral colony that makes up a fringing reef.

We have put together an information sheet of various travel options to assist your travels around the various Whitsunday destinations. Our team is happy to provide you with further options and recommendations.

Boat cruising amongst Whitsunday Islands
Prestige Properties

Mandalay House

With spectacular views, private marina, Mediterranean inspired architecture, and unrivalled luxury features throughout, Mandalay House is a dream home on the beautiful Whitsunday Coast.

Property Shower icon
View Property
Prestige Properties

Mandalay Aqua

An iconic architectural masterpiece set within the serene aqua waters of the Whitsundays, Great Barrier Reef Queensland Australia, AQUA is arguably Australia’s finest seaside residence. Situated on a secluded and private peninsula surrounded on three sides by the magnificent waters of the Coral Sea and Pioneer Bay, with its own private beach, marina and helipad, AQUA is akin to an exclusive luxury private resort.

Property Shower icon
View property
Mandalay Aqua
The Great Barrie Reef located in the Whitsunday, Queensland, Australia

Why Our Guests Keep Coming Back

The Power House - Views & More
A beautiful house with spectacular views and in a great location. Easy walk to the main strip of Airlie Beach. A spacious house, where we had a great time making lasting memories with extended family.
June 27, 2022
Marina Views @ The Boathouse
The place was accurate to its description and was a fantastic place to stay! Ideal location, great amenities and overall, a fantastic experience. We especially appreciated the recommendations from the hosts!
June 27, 2022
The Power House - Views & More
we had a great stay here! views and location were perfect for us. enjoyed all the amenities that were provided! will definitely stay here again if we're back in Airlie
June 27, 2022
Amazing Whitsundays Penthouse lifestyle at Reflections
Absolute dream location!
June 26, 2022
Amazing Whitsunday Views @ High Tide
What an amazing place. This is one of the best Airbnb houses we’ve stayed in. The views from every angle are terrific, but the pool takes the cake. Inside, the house has everything you’d need. A lot of thought has gone into the small stuff to make your stay comfortable, like outdoor plates and cutlery for eating by the pool, and boardgames for any rainy days. We had 5 nights here on a family holiday, and would’ve loved to stay longer. We loved the walk along the front to the fat frog cafe, and then following the boardwalks into Airlie Beach. On top of it all, communication from Charlie and the hosts was so quick and helpful. This is a great place for a relaxing holiday.
June 25, 2022
Day Dreaming at Mazlin House
Awesome place to stay at in Airlie beach. Everyone loved the place and how close it was to everything in town! Will be back!
June 22, 2022
Marina Views @ The Boathouse
Great location, short stroll to retail area. Clean, modern with lovely facilities overlooking the marina and very close to the port for cruising escapes
June 21, 2022
14 The Cove - Waterfront Whitsunday Home
Beautiful and spacious house with stunting views in a fantastic spot on airlie beach. Location provided convenient access to tours and trip to reef and easy walk to many good restaurants and Cafés. Communication with hosts was very efficient and they were very accomodating with our requests. Can't wait to come back!
June 21, 2022
23 The Cove - Whitsunday Waterfront Living
Such an amazing place to stay! Great views and great location!!!! Couldnt have asked for a better place to stay!
June 19, 2022
10 The Cove | Airlie Beach Waterfront Accommodation
Amazing house, really spacious with beautiful finishes… highly recommend a stay
June 18, 2022
Shutehaven Beach House
Lovely house and very homely and comfortable for a family to stay in. My only annoyance was having to chase up the host for check in instructions right up until a couple hours before check in which becomes a bit concerning when in transit.
June 17, 2022
Marina Views @ The Boathouse
We had a great time at Boathouse 103. Location was perfect, accommodation was excellent. The communication with Ali and the team was awesome Appreciated the tips on arrival. Would recommend to family and friends
June 16, 2022
15 Kara - Luxurious Home With Million Dollar Views
Great house. Stiff walk up the hill but a nice view. Fantastic having 4 showers, rules are fairly strict around noise but that was fine - the comms with the host was really seamless and positive.
June 16, 2022
Relax & Daydream @ 2 Elementa
What a wonderful holiday! having seen the photos of Elementa 2 we certainly were not disappointed upon arrival. The views from the property were spectacular and the residence itself is beautiful, tastefully decorated, spacious, with very comfortable bedding and very clean throughout. While Elementa is located on the hill the walk into town is easy and we had no problem catching cabs when returning home and the fares were not expensive. The staff at Whitsunday Vacations were a pleasure to liaise with and I would definitely recommend Elementa 2 to anyone wanting to stay in Airlie Beach.
June 16, 2022
Executive Whitsunday Penthouse @ 40 Reflections
Awesome accommodation. Incredible views. Very clean, spacious & well equipped & the hosts are really responsive.
June 14, 2022
Marina living with Whitsundays lifestyle @ the Boathouse
Perfect location, great view!
June 13, 2022
10 The Cove | Airlie Beach Waterfront Accommodation
Beautiful house, great aspect for winter sun on deck. super comfortable beds. Fantastic views. Great for group of friends or family.
June 13, 2022
Amazing Whitsundays Penthouse lifestyle at Reflections
Absolutely breathtaking 😍 ❤️
June 13, 2022
Marina Views @ The Boathouse
Great place, spacious, Perfect location & gorgeous pool/spa area.
June 11, 2022
Marina living with Whitsundays lifestyle @ the Boathouse
We were really happy with our stay at the Boathouse Apartments. The location was perfect - literally 150m from the Hamilton Island ferry drop off point. There are great cafes and restaurants on the ground level of the building, and it's less than a 5 minute walk into the heart of Airlie Beach town. The communication from the hosts was excellent throughout the entire stay, as well as before checking in and after checking out. Two small things worth flagging (which are no fault of the hosts/rental company): 1.) One of the bedrooms is on the back/street side of the apartment and it gets very loud from an early hour due to the traffic on the main road. Would suggest bringing some ear plugs. 2.) There are essentially three doors to get into the unit. The door downstairs that everyone in the building shares wasn't locking for the first 3 out of the 4 days we were there. The second door doesn't lock at all, which means people could get directly to the unit's front door if they wanted. Normally this wouldn't bother us as we locked the door each time we left the unit, but there are typical Queensland style windows next to the door which don't lock and can be opened from the outside. If someone wanted to they could flip the windows up, stick their hand inside and open the door from the inside. We didn't witness any suspicious activity whatsoever the entire time we were there, but we were a bit nervous about leaving for the entire day knowing it would be relatively easy to break in. With that said, there are safes for small valuables inside the apartment. Overall it was a really enjoyable stay and would definitely recommend.
June 6, 2022

Stay Up To Date with Our Specials

Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest deals and event news.

Please Enter Your Details

Thanks for subscribing!

We’re working on NEWs for you – why not try our HOL-SPECIAL code for a 10% discount for any of your future bookings.

Click here for the best rates

We will not spam, rent, or sell your information.

Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.