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 holiday homes and apartments in the Whitsundays 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.

Shute Harbour boat moorings
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
Paradise Cove Villas
Prestige Properties

Paradise Cove Villas

Situated on over 4000 acres of privately owned land, Paradise Cove is one of the Whitsundays most popular Wedding and event venues. The exclusive beachfront location is a tropical paradise,ideal for any event and only a short drive from Airlie Beach!

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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.

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Mandalay House
The Great Barrie Reef located in the Whitsunday, Queensland, Australia

Why Our Guests Keep Coming Back

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Idyllic Whitsunday Holiday Home with amazing views
We would stay here again.
February 8, 2024
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Whitsunday living on Hillcrest by the Beach
Great location, beautiful home
February 7, 2024
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14 The Cove - Waterfront Whitsunday Home
Amazing location and very well looked after property. Managing agents are very helpful and quick to reply. One of the better properties we stayed in. Thank you guys for great Holliday.
February 7, 2024
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Amazing Penthouse with Whitsundays lifestyle
The view from the apartment is absolutely stunning. The apartment itself is also very well presented, clean, spacious, and luxurious. The four of us enjoyed our time at the apartment and it would easily accommodate 4-6 guests. Communication was simple and instructions were clear. It is worth noting that the proximity from the city centre isnt far, and the walk to and from the apartment can be done, but the hill climb on the way back up is a big one (our 60 yo mother was able to do it). Though this hill climb offers spectacular views over the bay and means you are out of the hustle and bustle.
February 6, 2024
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Luxury Airlie Beach Home with Panoramic Ocean Views
We had an absolutely amazing time. The house is beautifully designed and spacious. The view from the living room and outdoor area is absolutely breath taking and private making you feel like you have your own slice of paradise. We loved this location as it felt very central with a short drive to Airlie beach, delicious restaurants and all the many attractions and activities the Whitsunday has to offer.
February 5, 2024
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Amazing Penthouse with Whitsundays lifestyle
It was a beautifully presented and clean place to stay with amazing views. The roof top terrace with your own pool and outdoor area was definitely a stand out! So quiet and had everything we needed. I loved waking up and walking out to look all over Airlie Beach. Will be staying here again for sure.
February 3, 2024
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23 The Cove - Whitsunday Waterfront Living
We had a nice holiday with my family.
February 2, 2024
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Shutehaven Beach House with Ocean Views.
We had the most wonderful stay in Shutehaven! The house was beyond gorgeous, decorated beautifully, and had everything we needed for a 9 night stay. We could not stop talking the whole stay about how beautiful the house and views were. The kitchen was well stocked with everything you could need for cooking big meals to eat on the balconies with the most beautiful views you could ever hope for. The beds were very comfy and the pool was fantastic. Whitsunday Vacations were more than fantastic with communication and organised all the baby items we needed for my 11 month old. They organised an early check in and were very attentive when it came to communication and a home visit regarding a potential cyclone. The owner clearly takes pride in her home and it shows. As Canadians, we loved the little Canada magnet on the fridge :) Thank you for having us, we can't wait to stay here again in the future. If you're thinking about booking here, don't think twice!
February 1, 2024
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'Sail Away' Airlie Beach house with Marina Views
Beautiful location. Extremely helpful and friendly host’s.Hope to return soon 🤞🤞
February 1, 2024
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Marina living with Whitsundays lifestyle
Great accomodation! would definitely stay again next time we are in the Whitsundays!
January 30, 2024
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Serenity and Views at Searene 21
This unit wasn’t missing a thing. The kitchen was fully stocked, bathroom had great shampoo, conditioner, lotion. The hosts communicated so well! Bring your bags, unpack and enjoy the stunning views.
January 27, 2024
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Executive Whitsunday Penthouse at 40 Reflections
Perfect view!
January 25, 2024
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Marina Living with views and more!
Spectacular in every way including The space we stayed inAnd The location to town and ferries Super kitchen TooProbably the best air bnb we have stayed in Highly recommend it
January 25, 2024
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3 Bedroom Holiday Home, Valley Views in the heart of Airlie Beach
Really beautiful property- exactly as described. The hosts were super communicative, keeping us up to date on cyclone warnings, providing advice and recommendations.Would definitely recommend this property!
January 25, 2024
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"High Tide" - Whitsundays Beachfront Accommodation
High Tide is an awesome place for a vacation. Our host Paul was very welcoming and helpful in showing us around the house. Our only suggestion is to make sure all air cons are in working condition specially if you are visiting in the hot summer months of Jan. We had the air con in the dining and kitchen not working and it got quite hot in that area. Apart from that it’s a very special place with spectacular views and a lovely pool. The rooms are very well equipped with both air cons and fans and the cupboards have good storage space. We enjoyed making breakfast and dinners in the fully equipped kitchen and the washing machine and dryer also were put to good use. The lounge areas are perfect to bring the whole family together in one place. And the infinity pool was hard to get the kids out of.All in all we enjoyed our stay at high tide and left with a very heavy heart.
January 24, 2024
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Penthouse living at the Port of Airlie
The Boathouse Penthouse was fabulous huge apartment lots of living area 2 big balconies. Walking distance to everything great breakfast and coffee at Rufus downstairs. We had a fantastic time would definitely book again we loved it. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
January 23, 2024
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3 Bedroom Holiday Home, Valley Views in the heart of Airlie Beach
Good house with quick access to Airlie beach lagoon and Woolworths.
January 21, 2024
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Idyllic Whitsunday Holiday Home with amazing views
Great location and fantastic view. Great pool. Kitchen and amenities clean and plenty of utensils, plates, cups etc.
January 21, 2024
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The Power House - Views & More
thanks for everything. Very nice house and handy too
January 20, 2024
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Relax & Daydream at 2 Elementa
We had an incredible stay at Elementa. We stayed 4 nights in total and were very sad to leave come the end of the trip.It is rare that photos undersell the breathtaking views, and this is one of those places.It was a very peaceful stay, the pool we pretty much had to ourselves most of the time. The views from the rooms and balconies were incredible.In terms of value for money, this place is also very much worth the stay! We highly recommend!
January 17, 2024

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