The 74 islands of the Whitsundays lay in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, cradled by the tropical waters of the Coral Sea, a truly remarkable icon of beauty. It is not only the majestic wildlife and breathtaking natural sights that make the Whitsundays one of the best places to go on holiday in Australia, but also the huge amount of things to do in the Whitsundays.


Whether its getting in touch with nature while scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, to relaxing on the silky white silica sands of white sands of Whitehaven Beach, find the best things to do on the islands in our Whitsundays Travel Guide.

Getting to the Whitsundays

Getting here and around


Getting to the Whitsundays is easy, whether from across the other side of the world, from major cities around Australia, or driving from nearby.

Whitsundays - Things to See and Do


By Air


The Whitsundays is serviced by two domestic airports – Great Barrier Reef Airport (Hamilton Island) and Whitsunday Coast Airport (Proserpine).

International flights arriving into Australia’s major cities can connect with domestic flights to the Whitsundays.


By Road


The Bruce Highway is the major road linking Queensland’s coastal cities and towns from Brisbane to Cairns. The Bruce Highway runs through Proserpine and Bowen on the Whitsunday Coast. Airlie Beach is located approximately 20 minutes off the Bruce Highway from Proserpine along Shute Harbour Road.

Major coach operators include the Whitsundays in their regular scheduled services from major cities along the coast.

Whitsundays - Things to See and Do


By Rail


Queensland Rail services to the Proserpine Station on the Whitsunday Coast include the Tilt Train and The Sunlander. These trains link the Whitsundays to the coastal centres between Brisbane and Cairns. Coach transfers between Proserpine and Airlie Beach are included in rail travel passes.


There are many and varied options for getting to and around the Whitsundays.


By air, choose from two major domestic airports.  The Great Barrier Reef Airport is located on Hamilton Island, with daily direct services from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns with Jetstar, Virgin Australia and Qantas Link.  The Whitsunday Coast Airport is located in Proserpine, with daily direct services from Brisbane and connecting flights from all major Australian cities with Jetstar and Virgin Australia.


Once in the Whitsundays, air transfers by helicopter, seaplane or light aircraft are available from both airports, as well as the Whitsunday Airport located between Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour on the Whitsunday Coast. Most island resorts also have helipads.

Whitsundays - Things to See and Do


By road, the Whitsundays is about halfway up/down the Queensland Coast, and easily accessible off the Bruce Highway no matter which direction you are travelling.  The train journey along the Queensland coast is very picturesque, and is a quick and relaxing way to travel.  There are stops in Proserpine and Bowen, with a coach transfer included in your rail travel pass between Proserpine and Airlie Beach.


Once you arrive in the Whitsundays, there are plenty of ways to get around the region, including bus, car, limousine, taxi and ferry.  The local road system is simple, with none of the stresses of big city driving like traffic lights or traffic jams!  If you need to leave a car, there are secure parking facilities available at Shute Harbour, then you can enjoy the large selection of day and overnight tours around the Whitsunday islands and reefs.