Things to do in
Whitsunday Islands

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Our most recommended things to do in Whitsunday Islands

Airlie Beach: Whitsundays and Whitehaven Half-Day Cruise

1. Airlie Beach: Whitsundays and Whitehaven Half-Day Cruise

Cruise to Whitehaven Beach on this 6-hour cruise. Depart early in the morning on a high-speed vessel for a cruise through the Whitsunday Islands and be the first on the beach. Alternatively, depart later in the day and enjoy a sunset cruise home. Enjoy morning or afternoon tea. Board the Whitehaven vessel for the scenic cruise to the magnificent beach. Your cruise vessel has expansive seating areas inside and out and your skipper will provide an informative commentary on the history and natural wonders of the area. Sit back, breathe in the sea air, sip a wine or beer, and marvel at the 74 Island Wonders of the Whitsundays, starting with views of Passage Peak and the Pentecost Island. The waters of Solway Passage lead you to Whitehaven Beach, a must-see in the Whitsundays. Prepare to be dazzled by the breathtaking beauty and vivid white sand of Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island. This uninhabited island is one of Australia's true gems. Wander along the beach to your own secluded stretch, laze on the sand or cool off in the azure waters. After spending some time at the Southern end of Whitehaven Beach, make the beautiful journey back to Airlie Beach.

Airlie Beach: Sunset Sail to Whitsundays

2. Airlie Beach: Sunset Sail to Whitsundays

Embark on an adventure and set sail on a 2-hour sunset sail across the bay. Be welcomed on board with a glass of bubbles.  Relax on the green cushioned seats on deck. Help pull up a sail, or two if you feel like it or just chill on deck and take in the tropical sunset.  Enjoy some snacks on the platter consisting of crusty bread, cheeses, fruit, and dips. This experience is perfect for a romantic evening and a journey to remember. Experience the boat Providence V that was in a Hollywood movie called Survive the Savage Seas and is one of the most picturesque sailing boats in the Whitsundays. The boat is built from North Queensland timber and is a replica of the old Grand Banks fishing boats,  a Bluenose or Gloucester schooner.

Whitsundays Ocean Rafting Tour: Snorkel, Walk & Whitehaven

3. Whitsundays Ocean Rafting Tour: Snorkel, Walk & Whitehaven

Take off on the ride of your life in the beautiful Whitsunday Islands. Ride, beach, snorkel, and bushwalk as you embark on the perfect Whitehaven Beach tour, visiting both ends of the world-famous beach. Climb aboard the fastest day boat in the Whitsundays as you depart from Airlie Beach. Experience a fun ride, adventure, and education on super fast semi-rigid inflatable vessels capable of speeds of up to 35 knots (65 kilometers per hour). Select the North Whitehaven option for an eco-adventure popular amongst avid snorkellers. This includes two different snorkel destinations, a visit to the stunning beach at Hill Inlet, and a guided National Park walk to the lookout above the silica sand of Whitehaven. Select the South Whitehaven option for more beach time. Enjoy at least two hours relaxing on the white silica sand, and a guided walk to Hill Inlet for breathtaking views of the tropical waters. Snorkel for over an hour amid corals and fringing reefs. Either way, enjoy the only tour in the Whitsundays to have direct access to Hill Inlet beaches at Whitehaven. And have peace of mind by traveling with an advanced ecotourism-certified, climate change business and green travel leader.

Airlie Beach: 2-Hour Sunset Cruise with Sparkling Wine

4. Airlie Beach: 2-Hour Sunset Cruise with Sparkling Wine

Depart from the Coral Sea Marina in the Northern Village, which is only a short walk from the main street of Airlie Beach. You will cruise around Pioneer Bay and then get up close to many of the points of interest along the Airlie Beach coastline. If you are lucky, you will be able to spot turtles on the way, and on Wednesdays you can see the locals on their weekly yacht race. Watch a picture-perfect sunset and observe Airlie start to light up at dusk, whilst enjoying a glass of bubbly.  The Sundowner is a fully covered purpose-built catamaran designed for socializing. Unlike a yacht, it has a flat surface and no trip hazards. There is ample room to move, and high heels are welcome. Plenty of seating is available on board, and every seat has a great view of the Ocean.

Airlie Beach: Whitsundays Fly and Cruise Helicopter Tour

5. Airlie Beach: Whitsundays Fly and Cruise Helicopter Tour

Enjoy transportation to the world-famous Whitehaven Beach, a buffet lunch, a snorkeling tour, and a spectacular helicopter flight over Hill Inlet and the Whitsunday Islands on this fly and cruise helicopter combo tour. After pickup, cruise through the turquoise waters of the Whitsunday Islands to reach the beach club. Access all of the club's facilities and activities, including a buffet lunch. Soak up the sun on the beach or take a stroll to South Whitehaven Lookout. Later, board the helicopter for a scenic helicopter flight with a guaranteed window seat. Fly over Whitehaven Beach and the iconic Hill Inlet. Admire views of the swirling white sands contrasting against the turquoise waters of the inlet. Finally, take part in an optional snorkel tour. Snorkel amongst an expansive range of coral, fish species as well as sea turtles, manta rays, and plenty of other marine life.

Airlie Beach: Full-Day Sail to Whitehaven and Snorkeling

6. Airlie Beach: Full-Day Sail to Whitehaven and Snorkeling

Jump on board a classic 62-ft gaff-rigged schooner and feel the breeze as you sail across to Whitehaven. Help out to pull up the sails or relax in the sunshine on the deck. Enjoy some morning tea with home-baked chocolate brownies. Sail across the Whitsunday Passage and take a leisurely pace towards Tongue Bay. Look out for turtles swimming through the warm water. Anchor close to shore and walk up to Hill Inlet. Take in the views of the white sands and turquoise waters of Whitehaven Beach and discover why it’s been voted one of the 10 best beaches in the world. Head back to the boat for a picnic lunch of wraps and homemade frittata. Set sail again and continue to the snorkeling spot on the fringing reef. Savor a refreshing fruit platter in the afternoon and perhaps buy a cocktail from the onboard bar.

Airlie Beach: Full-Day Whitehaven Beach & Islands Boat Tour

7. Airlie Beach: Full-Day Whitehaven Beach & Islands Boat Tour

Enjoy a cruise on an air-conditioned catamaran of the Whitehaven Islands. Cross the Whitsunday passage into Cid Harbour and travel through Hook Passage. Drop anchor at Tongue Point and visit Hill Inlet. Take a dip in the crystal waters of Whitehaven Beach or lay back and relax on the white sand. Depart from Shute Harbour in the morning and cruise through the Molle group of islands. Once you cross the Whitsunday passage, enter into Cid Harbour and learn its historic role in the Battle of the Coral Sea. Go through Hook Passage, which harbors hundreds of thousands of ships every year. Stop at Tongue Point to enjoy a guided tour of Hill Inlet, known for its bushwalks and stunning views. Cross Whitehaven Bay to explore Whitehaven Beach, famous for its silica white sand and crystal clear waters. Swim, sunbathe, and relax before heading back through the Whitsunday Islands. Climb up onto the observation deck and take in panoramic views. Enjoy morning tea, lunch, a pay bar throughout the duration of the tour, and an onboard commentary.

Airlie Beach: Whitehaven Full-Day Eco-Cruise with Lunch

8. Airlie Beach: Whitehaven Full-Day Eco-Cruise with Lunch

After pickup from your accommodation, head to the marina in Airlie Beach by bus. Board the custom-built catamaran and enjoy fresh, homemade, gluten-free brownies as a morning snack. The first stop is at one of the area's many beautiful reefs to go snorkeling. Be blown away by the vivid colors, bountiful fish, and coral formations of the Great Barrier Reef's outer fringes. This spot offers a quieter way to experience the UNESCO-protected reef. Then, head to the second snorkeling spot on the northern tip of Hook Island. With your guide, discover the area's underwater valleys, caves, and a variety of marine life. Continue to Whitehaven Beach for a buffet lunch of zucchini frittatas and quiche lorraine served with cold sliced meats, cheeses, salad, and fresh bread. After lunch, join a guided bush walk and history talk to Hill Inlet Lookout, located at the northern end of the beach. Admire the world-famous spot where white sands and turquoise waters blend in a unique swirling effect. Enjoy some free time to relax on the beach and soak up the scenery. An afternoon snack of fresh fruit will be provided before the scenic journey back to Airlie Beach by boat. Be dropped back at your accommodation at approximately 5:00 PM.

From Airlie: Whitsundays Full-Day Catamaran Sailing Trip

9. From Airlie: Whitsundays Full-Day Catamaran Sailing Trip

Discover the Whitsunday Islands National Park and beautiful Whitehaven Beach on this 10-hour cruise. Sit onboard the spacious deck in the sun and enjoy refreshments and morning tea. Upon arriving at the famous Whitehaven Beach, you'll see the Hill Inlet lookout, one of the most photographed locations in Australia. Enjoy morning tea and a guided walk following the path and history of the Whitsunday traditional owners, the Ngaro people. Your guide will lead you right to the lookout and that picture postcard view. Learn about the history and flora from the informative displays along the way that provide an insight into this picturesque area. Spend the rest of your day relaxing on Whitehaven Beach and playing beach games, with wetsuit hire included. Tuck into a delicious gourmet lunch. Alcoholic beverages and refreshments served throughout the day are all included. Award-winning Airlie Beach restaurants are the caterers for the cruise, which is licensed to serve beer and wine from 11:00 AM. Enjoy afternoon tea before the thrill of sailing on the way home as you reminisce on your perfect day in paradise.

Airlie Beach: 30-Minute Jet Boat Ride

10. Airlie Beach: 30-Minute Jet Boat Ride

Blast your way through the bay on an exhilarating 30-minute jet boat experience. Whiz past the glitzy Coral Sea Marina, and get your adrenaline pumping through 360s, 180s, drift, power stops, and nosedives. With bucket loads of the best jet boating has to offer, each tour is crammed with enough action to really make your day and your stay. As you zoom around the stunning blue waters of Pioneer Bay, soak up magnificent views of the Whitsundays and Airlie Beach. Everything you need is provided, including a lockbox/small luggage storage, spray goggles, spray jackets (upon request), funny and informative commentary, and free GoPro photos to remember the experience.

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What people are saying about Whitsunday Islands

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 2,480 reviews

Nice day out on the water plenty of time to snorkel (1hr) and plenty of time to enjoy Whitehaven (2hrs). Crew were very accommodating and informative. You can tell they love what they do.

I had the best day and would highly recommend this tour. I would also recommend you purchase a hamper and bottle of wine. Once in a lifetime experience. Thanks GSL and Luke the Pilot.

Beautiful experience. The sunset was beautiful and the sail was cruisey. The skipper and his crew were very nice and hospitable.

Very organised, team were friendly and informative. Weather was perfect loads of seating. We had a fabulous day.

Most amazing trip. Spectacular from start to finish. Would recommend . A bucket list trip