Things to do in Whitsunday Islands

Our most recommended things to do in Whitsunday Islands

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

1. 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.

Airlie Beach: Whitsundays and Whitehaven Half-Day Cruise

2. 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.

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: Full-Day Whitehaven Beach & Islands Boat Tour

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

Enjoy a Whitehaven Islands cruise on an air-conditioned catamaran from Airlie Beach. Cross the Whitsunday passage into Cid Harbor and travel through the Hook Passage. Drop anchor at Tongue Point and visit Hill Inlet and Whitehaven Beach. 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.  Sail thorugh 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. 

From Airlie Beach: 1-Hour Whitsunday Islands Scenic Flight

5. From Airlie Beach: 1-Hour Whitsunday Islands Scenic Flight

Board a modern airplane for a scenic flight to remember above the Whitsunday Islands. Benefit from a modern aircraft, in-flight commentary, and return transportation from Airlie Beach. Take a 60-minute scenic flight with guaranteed window seating and in-flight pilot commentary, and enjoy aerial views of the 74 Whitsunday Islands off the north coast of Queensland. Fly above the islands for stunning views of all the landmarks, such as Shute Harbour, Molle Islands, Long Island, Dent Island, Hamilton Island, Daydream Island, Hill Inlet, and make 2 passes over Whitehaven Beach. Experience the dramatic natural aquarium of the Great Barrier Reef from a different perspective. Fly over the famous Heart Reef, nestled amongst the bright colors and patterns of Hardy Reef. Return to the mainland and land at Proserpine Airport, where a complimentary shuttle bus transfer can take you back to Airlie Beach.

From Airlie Beach: Whitehaven Beach Club Cruise

6. From Airlie Beach: Whitehaven Beach Club Cruise

Travel directly to the world-famous Whitehaven Beach on a 50-seat fast-cat that was purpose-built for the Whitsundays and offers a stable and comfortable ride direct to Whitehaven. On arrival, you will have access to complementary equipment and activities including stand-up paddle boards, volleyball, sun umbrellas, and beach games. With up to 5 hours of beach time, you can make the most of your day by exploring or just relaxing. Take a self-guided walk to South Whitehaven Lookout with magical views of the Whitsunday Islands.

Airlie Beach: Outer Great Barrier Reef ReefWorld Pontoon

7. Airlie Beach: Outer Great Barrier Reef ReefWorld Pontoon

Explore the serene water and colorful underwater life at the Great Barrier Reef by a pontoon. You will encounter many species of fish, and corals while enjoying water activities like snorkeling and swimming. Depart from Airlie Beach, and cruise through the Whitsundays on a high-speed, luxury vessel. Enjoy morning tea as you pass by deserted islands, secluded bays, and beaches en route to the outer Great Barrier Reef. The vessel features spacious lounges, full air-conditioning, huge outside view decks, and a duo of bars that will gladly serve you your favorite refreshment, including both alcohol and soft drinks. Arrive at the permanently-moored, spacious, and innovative pontoon on the outer Great Barrier Reef. The water quality and diverse marine life are unrivaled. Meet hundreds of fish species and admire a variety of hard and soft coral. See unbelievable snorkeling and diving (at an extra cost on the day). Spend the time as you please: Make use of the undercover seating and tables, sun decks to top up your tan, freshwater showers, and changing rooms. Visit the underwater chamber if you prefer to see the underwater world below without getting wet. Take a ride on a semi-submersible boat. Optional extras include scuba dives and scenic helicopter flights. Indulge in a delicious tropical-style buffet lunch and drinks from the bar as you please. Finally, return to Airlie after a beautiful day.

Whitsundays: Ocean Rafting Tour with Snorkel & Scenic Flight

8. Whitsundays: Ocean Rafting Tour with Snorkel & Scenic Flight

Experience the best of the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef in one day: from the water and the air. Visit the Whitsundays’ most iconic destinations. These include the famous Heart Reef, Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet, and secret, exclusive snorkeling locations. Ride, beach, snorkel, and bush walk, all in one day. Visit both ends of the world-famous beach. Departing from Airlie Beach, take to the skies and experience a once-in-a-lifetime, 60-minute scenic flight. Soar over the islands and Great Barrier Reef, including famous Heart Reef and Whitehaven Beach. Guests will have a bird’s eye view of many of the 74 Whitsunday Islands, flying over Whitehaven Beach and picture postcard Hill Inlet before heading out to the Great Barrier Reef and experiencing one of the most photographed reef locations, Heart Reef. The comfortable fixed-wing aircraft offers big window viewing, pilot commentary, and the best views of the Whitsundays. Then, take off on the ride of your life in the beautiful Whitsunday Islands. Departing from Airlie Beach, climb aboard the fastest day boat in the Whitsundays. This means it is not only an adventurous ride, but distances are covered in a shorter time, leaving more time for activities. The semi-rigid inflatable vessels are super fast allowing guests to experience a fun ride, adventure and education amongst the natural beauty of the Whitsundays. At the northern end of Whitehaven Beach, enjoy a guided bushwalk to spectacular Hill Inlet Lookout to view and capture photographs of the stunning swirling silica sands and aqua water. This operator is the only tour to have direct access to all areas of the stunning and iconic Hill Inlet beach to ensure you enjoy the most memorable experience of this special place. If you have selected the 'North Whitehaven' option: This eco-adventure is a favourite amongst avid snorkellers because it is the only Whitsunday adventure which includes two different snorkel destinations. Not only that, but it includes a visit to the stunning beach at Hill Inlet, north end of Whitehaven Beach, and a guided National Park walk to the lookout above the silica sand of Whitehaven. Guests explore the restricted area of beautiful Hill Inlet at Whitehaven Beach.  If you have selected the South Whitehaven Option: This tour visits both the northern and southern ends of Whitehaven Beach with more beach time. Enjoy at least two hours relaxing on the world famous white silica sand, a guided walk to Hill Inlet Lookout and experience the Southern Whitehaven Lookout, enjoying breathtaking views of Pentecost Island and the tropical waters of the Whitsundays. Snorkel for over an hour at Border Island, Dumbell Island or one of the “secret” snorkel spots, enjoying the amazing hard and soft corals of the fringing reefs.

From Airlie Beach: 60-Minute Whitsundays Scenic Flight

9. From Airlie Beach: 60-Minute Whitsundays Scenic Flight

Delight in a 60-minute scenic flight over the Whitsunday Islands and Great Barrier Reef. Enjoy the big window views from your comfortable fixed-wing aircraft, and learn all about the area with your experienced pilot's expert commentary. After pickup from your accommodation in Airlie Beach, head to the nearby airport for take-off. Unlike flights offered by other companies in the area, the local partner is able to take-off from much closer to Airlie Beach, saving you the long 40-minute travel time. Once up in the air, marvel at the best bird's-eye views of the 74 Whitsunday Islands. Fly over Whitehaven Beach and picture postcard Hill Inlet before heading out to the Great Barrier Reef and experiencing one of the most photographed reef locations Heart Reef. After you land, transfer back to your accommodation in Airlie Beach.

Airlie Beach: 2-Hour Sunset Cruise with Sparkling Wine

10. 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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Whitsunday Islands

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What people are saying about Whitsunday Islands

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 3,039 reviews

Amazing day out! Two beautiful snorkel spots, small bush walk with an amazing view and swim at the amazing Whitehaven beach. Good food and great vibes on the boat. Crew were great (Scotty and Rhys), they kept everyone happy, entertained and well looked after all day. Definitely would go back again.

Excellent day with Sealink. We were well looked after by the entire crew. The cruise was very well organized and the captain and crew were very professional. We highly recommend this excursion.

This was a great day trip, with brilliant staff, good walks and beautiful views. The food was also fantastic. Would recommend to anyone not wanting to stay overnight on a boat

Amazing we saw a shark and a turtle Are guide was so informative it was an amazing experience

Fantastic day out with a great crew highly recommend