Tropical Coast of Queensland

Shute Harbour

Shute Harbour is one of a number of localities that are known collectively as The Whitsundays.

A sheltered port for small vessels, located 10km east of Airlie Beach, Shute Harbour is home to a busy marine transit facility, which includes one of the boarding points for ferries to the islands, as well as island/reef boating operations and moorings for private boats.

Plan And Book

Shute Harbour is second only to Sydney's Circular Quay as the busiest commuter port in Australia and it has the largest seaplane airbase in the Southern hemisphere. There are regular bus and taxi services available to and from the port which take the winding road through Conway National Park towards the harbour.

Secure parking facilities are available for those setting sail, with space for boat trailers, caravans and campervans.

For stunning views of the harbour, the islands and ocean, take the drive to the top of Coral Point, the headland overlooking the harbour. A small community exists at Shutehaven.

There are also multiple national parks walks departing various points at Shute Harbour. Conway National Park's Mount Rooper Lookout has a panoramic vista of the Whitsunday Passage and islands, with the walk departing from Shute Harbour Road. A 2km track connects the Swamp Bay track where open forest gives way to lowland rainforest. Secluded beaches are also accessed from walks in this area.

Shute Harbour boasts spectacular fishing and it is not uncommon to bring in a nice sized Coral Trout, Barramundi, Giant Trevally or even squid. Fishing from the wharf structure is prohibited however a dedicated fisherman's pontoon and boat ramp offer the opportunity to land some excellent fish.

Shute Harbour takes its name from Shute Island, named after a crew member of HM Kangaroo.

Whitsunday Islands
The Whitsunday Islands are the most well known and well visited island group in Australia. They have become the epitome of the perfect tropical island holiday destination and are synonymous with the image of paradise. As one of the country's major tourist attractions and holiday destinations, these islands and the neighbouring coast are considered a very special part of Australia. Located just north of the Tropic of Capricorn, the Whitsundays are right in the heart of the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef. The main islands lay directly between the Queensland Coast and The Great Barrier Reef to the east. Follow the link below for activities and tours in the Whitsunday Islands.

Conway National Park
A peaceful coastal park overlooking the Whitsunday Passage, protecting rainforest-clad mountains, forested hills and deep valleys. The park offers superb views over the islands from Mount Rooper lookout or the ridge above secluded Coral Beach. Conway National Park's size and undeveloped nature makes it a very significant wilderness area. The park extends north along the coastline to the tip of Cape Conway, 30 km south of Shute Harbour and includes the rainforest-clad Conway Peninsula. It protects the largest area of lowland tropical rainforest in Queensland outside Tropical North Queensland. Hoop pines grow on coastal ridges and in damp gullies, emerging above the rainforest canopy. Rugged, steep, rocky cliffs provide a spectacular 35 km-long backdrop to the Whitsunday Passage and islands.

Whitsundays Great Walk
Enjoy a different Whitsunday experience and walk or mountain-bike the Great Walk on a 30 km journey through Conway National Park, starting at Brandy Creek, and finishing at Airlie Beach. With tracks of varying distance and difficulty, everyone can explore the Conway Range. The entire Great Walk is a three-day escape, but you can choose shorter walks or rides that are linked to the main track. Two short tracks can be accessed from Brandy Creek car park.

Hamilton Island

Where To Stay
The Whitsundays are well developed as a tourist destination and boast a diverse range of tropical island resorts and hotels as well as the coastal resort village of Airlie Beach, catering fully for all tastes and budgets from 'el-cheapo' backpacker style accommodation to the up-market five-star resorts. As the nightlife of the Whitsundays is centred around the downtown area of Airlie Beach, it can get a bit noisy at night, so keep this in mind if selecting accommodation there.

Tours and Activities
The options are limitless here ... you can enjoy the mainland, charter your own yacht, cruise the beautiful Whitsunday islands, dive and snorkel the cays and surrounding reef, fish, see the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef from above, or just sit back and relax on the beautiful island resorts.