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Top 10 Things to do in the Whitsunday Islands


The Whitsunday Islands make the best adventure playground, with scenic viewpoints, plenty of activities and hidden gems all over the place. Dive into our top 10 things to do in the Whitsunday Islands to make sure you get the most out of your trip!

1: Visit Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet.

No visit to the Whitsunday Islands is complete without stopping at the world-famous Whitehaven Beach. Known for its incredible sand, mysterious creation and sheer vastness. The sand beads are made of 98% pure silica – it’s basically tiny beads of glass! This is what makes the sand so white! Beach sports, searching for wildlife and beach-combing are all popular activities on this stunning stretch of sand. Read more on Whitehaven Beach and the beautiful sand here.

Also top of the list when visiting the Whitsunday Islands is visiting Hill Inlet lookout. By traversing the short bush walk up to the three viewpoints at the top, you get the most magnificent views. Below you, you will see the ever changing tidal inlet of Whitehaven Beach. Become mesmorised by the beautiful, swirling, turquoise waters and white, silica sand creating a beautiful marble pattern. This ever-changing view is simply breathtaking! Click here to read more about Hill Inlet.

2: Go camping for a night on one of the Islands.

Another magical way to experience the Whitsunday Islands is by spending a night in one of the campsites dotted around the islands. Not many people realise that camping is an option, therefore the campsites are usually quiet. Although the campsites are very basic with limited facilities, they give you a very unique perspective of the islands. How beautiful must it be to watch the sunrise from Whitehaven Beach itself. Explore Whitsundays offers a camping and sailing trip on board Southern Cross, so you get the best out of both worlds – check it out here.

3: Go snorkelling over the fringing coral reefs of the Great Barrier Reef.

The fringing coral reefs dotted around the tranquil bays around the Whitsunday Islands are full of coral and marine life. You’ve probably read/watched various reports and documentaries on coral and marine life – so now’s your chance to get in the water and put your knowledge to the test! Snorkel calmly through the tropical waters. Slowly, watch as the fish emerge from their coral hideaways to say hello to the other fish. Some inquisitive fish may come up close to say hello to you too. However, most are shy and will stay within the shelter of their home. Take a close look at the amazing coral formations too. Spend a moment to notice how intricate and delicate they are. You’ll feel like David Attenborough’s sidekick when you finally leave the water!

4: Try your skills at sailing.

Sailing can be an adrenaline rush of a sport, or a relaxed ‘champagne sailing’ pastime depending on the winds and the boat. If you fancy testing the extremes of a racing yacht, jump aboard a well decorated maxi racing yacht such as Siska. Alternatively, if you’re more into letting the breeze carry you gently through the water, try out Whitsunday Adventurer or Whitsunday Blue. Either way, you can lend a hand to the crew, or sit back and watch as the wind takes control and the noise of the engine disappears.

5: Spend a night on the water.

There’s nothing quite like watching the sun set over the mainland and give way to a sky full of stars. After mapping out the constellations, sleep like a baby as you’re rocked to sleep by the gentle licking of waves. As morning comes, watch as first light illuminates your beautiful cove and the islands around you. In a safe anchorage and with friends close by, you’ll feel a million miles from the city lights and the humdrum of life. Perfect for finding your inner-Zen and disconnecting from the real world – how a holiday should be! View all our overnight sailing trips here.

6: Have a go at stand-up-paddle boarding.

Born out of surfing and kayaking, stand-up-paddle (SUP) boarding has become a huge craze, sweeping across Australia and the world. Whether you’re a seasoned-pro looking to hone in on your skills, or you’ve never had a turn but you’re keen to try. The still waters of the Whitsundays make for pristine conditions for hopping on a board. furthermore, you’ll gain a different perspective of the underwater world below you. The crew on your tour will be happy to give tips or help you out. Make sure you check which Explore Whitsundays boats have SUP boards available. (Whitsunday Bullet is an office favourite!)

7: Spot the Marine life and wildlife.

Up to 96% of the Whitsunday Islands are monitored by National Parks and the waters are monitored by Marine Parks. Consequently, both the land and the water are very well protected and the native flora and fauna is well looked after. On all tours with Explore Whitsundays, you’ll have ample chance to meet the real locals! From Sea Eagles soaring in the skies and dinosaur-like Goannas roaming the land, to Green Sea Turtles frolicking in the sea grasses! You will not be disappointed.

8: Traverse one of the many island bush walks.

A little-known gem of the Whitsundays is the selection of fantastic walking trials. All tracks are managed by QPWS to a very high standard. Each track offers a very different vantage point of the stunning surrounding islands. One highlight is the Ngaro Sea Trial, a collection of trails which takes you on a history tour of the indigenous past. If it’s height you’re after, get yourself up to the Whitsunday Peak – one of the highest points in the Whitsundays, with magnificent views. In saying that, every trial has spectacular views around every corner.

9: Learn about the indigenous heritage of the area.

The Ngaro Aboriginal people are intertwined in the history and in the land of the Whitsundays. They are thought to have been present in the area over 9000 years ago, cultivating the land, and using its resources. Evidence can still be found dotted around the Whitsundays. For example, you can see cave paintings at Nara Inlet and a stone quarry on South Molle. By doing the bushwalks on the islands and talking to your crew, you can delve into the roots of the land.

10: Make new friends.

The team here at Explore Whitsundays have been in operation since 1985. It’s because of these strong foundations we’re confident in bringing people together, empowering relationships and forging friendships. On board your choice of Whitsunday tour; meet like-minded people, share fascinating tales of your travels and become part of the story with us.