Best Of Australia
East CoastCape Tribulation Cairns Magnetic Island Mission Beach Airlie Beach Whitsundays 1770 Fraser Island Noosa Brisbane Great Barrier Reef Gold Coast Byron Bay Spot X Sydney
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2 day 1 night tours
2 day 2 night tours
Tongarra 2 days 2 night Budget$449 Select options
New Horizon 2 Days 2 nights$479 Select options
Maxi Sailing Adventure on the British Defender, Condor, Boomerang or Broomstick$479 Select options
Wings 2 & 3 Catamaran$499 Select options
Powerplay 2 day 2 night James Bond Catamaran Boat$525 – $585 Select options
Atlantic Clipper 2 day 2 night Party Sailing Boat
Ride to Paradise Whitsundays Resort Stay$569 – $749 Select options
3 day 2 night or more tours
If you’re coming to the Whitsundays, one of the best things to do is get yourself on one of the Whitsundays tour boats. We’d especially recommend the boats that go out overnight though 2 day/2 night boats are better or there are even up to 3 day/2 night tours. Our favourite beach to visit is Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island. For many this is the top beach in Australia. It’s also the purest, fine white sand beach in the world. The girls even recommend the beach sand as a good exfoliant!
Jump In The Water
The whole Whitsunday Island is beautiful and the water is crystal clear. The snorkelling and the diving are incredible. You can get standard visibility anywhere between 7 to 15 meters. If you are a beginner and never been diving before, there are lots of shallow dive opportunities. This really is the best place for just jumping in for the first time. You’ll find boat crews are really experienced and they go out of the way to help you with your first dive. The secret is to talk with them, let them know what you are concerned about, ask questions. Once you signal you are keen to learn, people will often give you extra support. A good place for a first dive in the Whitsundays in a bay called Blue Pearl Bay. The nickname for it is The Fish Bowl because it’s just full of fish. It’s like jumping into an aquarium but out in the ocean. That dive is off Hayman Island.
One of the other good tours to do, if you have extra time and some cash, is a scenic flight. It’s a very different experience seeing everything first hand in the water then seeing it from the air. There’s a formation of reefs called Heart Reef and it’s in the shape of a love heart. It’s absolutely gorgeous. If you get a scenic flight you can go out to the Great Barrier Reef. You fly around, you see the Heart Reef, and then you land on a pontoon and you can go snorkelling out there. It’s a really good experience. You can get a helicopter or a sea plane and they cost anywhere between $150 to about $500 depending on which option you’re doing. If you go on a 6 person flight it’s a bit cheaper. You’re looking at around $150 to $200. When you get up to the helicopters it’s a bit more expensive because they take 2 to 4 of you in a helicopter so then you’re getting up to around a $400 or $500 mark. There’s also flights where you can actually land at Whitehaven Beach. You can get a flight, go to Whitehaven, land at Whitehaven, spend a couple of hours there and then you can go out to the reef as well.
There are really good sailing conditions in the Whitsundays. The standard wind is between 10 to 15 knots, which is really great for sailing. A lot of the boats that operate in the Whitsundays here are ex-racing boats. They’re the really big maxis with beautiful sails. All of the crew are experienced in sailing so you can go out on these boats, and if you are interested, they can teach you how to sail. If people have never been sailing before, this is a wonderful opportunity.
Time To Party
Airlie Beach is a rocking backpacker town with lots of really good pubs. It has a happy, positive atmosphere because all the backpackers are on holidays and ready to party. There’s a few really big bars. There’s one called Magnums, another one called Beaches and then the third one called the Down Under Bar. These are all part of their own backpacker hostels. You can go and stay in these hostels and then go down to the pub. They’ve got parties going most nights of the week. Airlie Beach doesn’t really have a standard weekend because most of the people work in hospitality or on a dive boat. Any days off for locals are always quite random so pretty much every night in town is a good scene. You can just walk into any pub, go and sit with a group of people and make some new friends. It’s really good and there’s always a nice positive vibe.
The food is absolutely amazing in this part of the world. Many say it’s best seafood they’ve ever tasted. There’s a restaurant called Fish D’vine that is highly recommended. They win lots of awards for excellence in seafood and the bar there is cool as well. The seafood is just incredible because it is mostly caught locally.
Getting To The Islands
Airlie Beach itself, spreads between Mackay and to Bowen and the town of Airlie Beach is the base for tours out to the Whitsunday Islands. A standard boat will take you a couple of hours to get out to the islands. You can also get a really fast speedboat and they can get you out there in half an hour. Even if you’re only coming to town for one day, you can still do one of the great Whitsundays day trips. You’ll do a snorkel and you’ll go to Whitehaven Beach. So even on a tight schedule you can have a great time.
So in terms of activities you can sail, snorkel, swim, scuba dive or do a scenic flight. In town you’ve also got kayak tour option. You can do a day kayak tour or you can actually go out for several days. You can do jet ski tours. You can also visit Proserpine which is about a half an hour inland. They have a river there with a lot of crocodiles. You can go out and do a crocodile tour as part of your visit to the Whitsundays. The people who run the croc tour are very friendly. They’re experienced and knowledgable. You’ll learn a lot about the big beasties.
Best Time To Visit
The best time of year to visit the Whitsundays is during the whale season which is during winter between May to September. You can go out on the boats and you get the chance to see the humpback whales during their migration. The summer in this part of the world is really hot. It’s still a good time to come up as long as the heat doesn’t bother you. January to March is generally considered the wet season and cyclone season. Every year is different. Sometimes there’s not much rain at all. Some years there’s lots and lots. If you have a bit more time, and you’re holiday plans are more flexible, plan your visit for winter. Event at night time it’s actually really pleasant. You might put a jacket on, but during the day it’s really pleasant. You can still go out and swim and sunbathe and the weather is lovely. So yes, come to the Whitsundays – you’ll love it.