About the Whitsundays

A trip to the beautiful Whitsunday Islands is not to be missed.In the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, these stunning group of 74 lovely islands include some of Australia’s most breath-taking icons, including one of the best beaches in the world, Whitehaven Beach whilst surrounding by the beautiful marine garden that is the Great Barrier Reef.

Mostly uninhabited, these subtropical islands off the north east coast of Australia are located midway along the Great Barrier Reef, approximately halfway between Brisbane and Cairns.

This unique group of national park islands are all within a few miles of each other, and offer beautiful secluded bays and small sandy beaches, with abundant marine life in the fringing coral reefs and protected waters of the surrounding Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.

The Whitsunday Islands are continental islands formed from drowned volcanic mountains. Whilst large and mountainous, the majority are covered with interesting variety of vegetation, including native pine forests, sub tropical rainforests and mangrove estuaries.

The hard and soft corals surrounding the islands are home to a huge variety of fish, soft and hard corals. With the foreshore of most of the Whitsunday islands is being rugged, they are touched with beautiful small sandy beaches in numerous protected bays. Whitehaven Beach, a seven kilometre beach on the uninhabited Whitsunday Island (the largest in the group) has often been voted the ‘best beach in the world’.

Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island is 650 hectares – 5kms from north to south and 3.5kms from east to west. 30% of Hamilton Island is developed with 70% remaining in its natural state. The mainland, Shute Harbour is 16 nautical miles from Hamilton Island which equates to a 30 minute direct transfer by ferry.There are 230 berths in the Hamilton Island Marina, and five resorts on the island range from 3 star to 5 star plus. Hamilton Island can accommodate up to 3500 guests.

Unlike most islands off the east coast of Australia, Hamilton Island is used almost exclusively for tourism. The island also caters for a growing number of residents, both employees of the various businesses on the island and also those people choosing to retire and enjoy the Whitsunday lifestyle. The island is on long term lease from the Commonwealth Government by the Oatley family. The Oatley Family own and operate Hamilton Island Enterprises including the majority of accommodation and businesses on the island.

Hamilton Island Airport has a number of daily commercial flights from major metropolitan cities including Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns. Hamilton Island is also connected to the other islands and the mainland for those guests travelling through (passenger only). Mainland motor vehicles are prohibited on the island with the exception of those for tradespeople and island public transport. Private transport needs are mostly served by a fleet of golf buggies, available to tourists for rent and are included as part of some accommodation packages. A public shuttle bus operates on the island serving major points of interests and accommodation sites.

Visitors can catch glimpses of migrating whales as they make their way through the warm waters of the Whitsundays around July-September each year.