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.

Whitsundays Wildlife Watching

whitsundays wildlife

The Whitsundays’ National Parks have many habitats waiting for you to explore. Most sheltered gullies and steep rocky hillsides support vine forest - in contrast to windswept grasslands dominated by tall grasstrees and tall dry eucalyptus forests on gentler slopes. Look out for the locals - brush turkeys, goannas and wallabies are commonly seen, and the discerning can be rewarded with a glimpse of rare and endangered species.


Birds are particularly plentiful from October to April with many species migrating to the area’s sheltered rainforest and island shores to nest.


Those escaping the southern Australian winter will share the waters with humpback whales, sheltering around the islands each year to calve from around July - October.


Safety in Parks and Rainforests


• Stay on formed tracks and do not shortcut


• Carry sufficient drinking water


• Look for and respect sign directions


• Wear suitable footwear for a safe and comfortable walk


cedar creek falls whitsundays

Sub-tropical Rainforest


Fertile tropical rainforests line the mountains and valleys surrounding the suburban areas of the Whitsundays, and just a short trip off the main road will see you crossing trickling creeks and entering flourishing rainforest. In addition to the Airlie Creek Track, there are also several forest walks departing Shute Harbour, with lush rainforest and spectacular views of the surrounding islands.




A detour off Shute Harbour Road about halfway between Proserpine and Airlie Beach will lead you to Cedar Creek Falls, a stunning natural waterhole with a flowing waterfall during the tropical green season (February/March). Cedar Creek Falls is popular on hot days for a swim in the naturally cool waterhole, on wet days to watch the cascading falls and any day for a picnic overlooking the creeks and waterhole.




For those looking to get amongst nature and sleep under the stars, the National Parks offer a variety of designated camping spots for you to enjoy the serenity (permits required). Discover some of the ‘off the beaten’ track hidden gems of the Whitsunday Coast, from picturesque views and spectacular waterfalls to the flora and fauna of the rainforest.


whitsundays wildlife spotting

Many of the Whitsunday islands have designated camping spots. Most are located on deserted islands and have small maximum numbers, so you may be lucky enough to have the entire place to yourself. Explore beautiful tropical rainforest bush walks, sheltered beaches, spectacular fringing coral reefs and the serenity of a deserted island all to yourself. There are excellent services to drop you off on the beach and pick you up if you aren’t travelling in your own boat.


Campers must be self sufficient:


• Take your own drinking water


• No fires permitted - use gas or fuel stoves for cooking


• Return all of your rubbish and dispose of thoughtfully


• “Take only pictures and leave only memories”