The Whitsunday Islands on Queensland's tropical coast are the
epitome of the perfect tropical island holiday destination and are
synonymous with the image of paradise. Centrally located on the
Queensland Coast, the Whitsundays are right in the heart of the World
Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef. The main islands lie directly
between the Queensland Coast and The Great Barrier Reef to the east.
They are the most well known and well visited island group in
Australia, and as one of the country's major tourist attractions and
holiday destinations, they are without question a very special part of
Australia. There are a mind boggling array of cruise options when it
comes to the Whitsundays - including diving, yachting or plain old
The cheapest are resort connection services, which link the various
resorts on the Whitsunday Islands to the mainland. If you would like to
do your own thing then arm yourselves with an Island Hopper Pass, a
timetable and a map then set out exploring the islands on your very own
itinerary. This way you can explore the Whitsundays at your leisure and
see what you want to see.
Day and half day cruises
whitsunday deck Day and half day cruises around the islands are very
popular, and due to that popularity, are within the budget of most
travellers. The scenery is simply spectacular, and the majority of the
islands are uninhabited, so you get to sail past and occasionally land
and walk around on an island in its natural pristine condition. Almost
obligatory is a visit to Whitsunday Island and a trek up the 20 minute
rainforest walk to Tongue Point Lookout for that classic view over Hill
Inlet and Whitehaven Beach that is featured in so many promotional
shots of the Whitsundays. Most cruises then feature a visit for
Whitehaven Beach, with its 7 kilometres of pure white silica sand
curving around to Solway Passage and Hazelwood Island.
Some day and half day cruises on offer the chance to do a spot of
diving, using either a snorkel or full scuba diving gear. Popular dive
spots are around Bird Island and Langford Reef, which are nestled
between Hayman and Hook Islands. This location is protected from the
majority of sea and wind conditions, but does give rise to currents
during tidal run. As a dive site, it excels however, with a full range
of protected corals, marine life, small caves and coral walls. Expect
to find Cod, Coral Trout, coral crunching Parrot Fish and other fish
species hiding under the ledges awaiting your investigation.
Dive The Whitsundays
The Whitsundays offer many perfect dive sites. Almost every
anchorage on the islands has awesome fringing reefs and drop off's with
a huge variety of marine life. Diving in the Whitsundays has become
more affordable then ever over the last few years as more and more
Whitsundays scuba diving operators expand their diving operations. You
can go on a cruise with an hour dive option, or embark on a multi-day
adventure. If snorkelling is more your thing, there are similar options
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Multi Day Tours and Cruises
If you come to the Whitsundays intent on doing more that a basic
cruise around the island, the options are many. Firstly, there is the
type of craft you travel on - a cruiser, a yacht, a catamaran - the
choice is vast, as is whether you hire the craft and sail yourself, or
join a cruise and let someone else do the navigating.
If you intend cruising beyond a day, you can use a mainland resort
or accommodation as a base and go cruising during the day; stay on an
island or various islands overnight, or sail on a craft with onboard
accommodation. The focus can be on simply cruising the islands, going
ashore and exploring, spending your days utilising the facilities at
the island resorts, or diving at various locations around the islands.
What you see and what you do is only limited by the amount of time your
have available and how much money you want to spend.
About The Whitsunday Islands
Nestled in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsundays
share the same idyllic climate as the Bahamas, the Caribbean and
Tahiti. Nature has left a collection of islands - actually what remains
of submerged mountains - rising from a bright turquoise sea. The
fringing coral reefs, tropical rainforests, pristine beaches and
crystal clear waters, largely untouched by man, make this one of the
most beautiful destinations in the world.
World Heritage listed, the Whitsundays form part of the world's
largest National Park. Comprising some 74 islands the Whitsunday Group
is primarily uninhabited. However if you pine for civilisation there is
always one of the internationally renowned island resorts from which to
choose. The warm aquamarine waters range between 20 and 25 deg. C allow
year round snorkeling and diving opportunities and provide a glimpse
into the magic of these Great Barrier Reef Islands.
The Whitsundays with its safe anchorages and coves, sheltered by the
Great Barrier Reef, is one of the world's finest cruising areas and
will undoubtedly capture your heart and imagination. Lying in the
tropics close to 20 deg south the Whitsundays has an enviable climate
year round. The Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea protect the waters of
the Whitsundays from the ocean seas with most islands being surrounded
by a fringing reef system.