7 beautiful ideas for the Whitsundays in Queensland

November 15, 2021
Best Destinations

7 beautiful ideas for the Whitsundays in Queensland

Would you like to dig your toes in the powdered sugar sand of Whitehaven Beach, one of the whitest beaches in the world? Also, want to snorkel with the most colourful fish on the famous Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system? And it’s a dream to explore the islands yourself, seeing the breathtaking beauty of the Whitsunday Islands, the picturesque islands off Queensland, Australia.

If you read these sentences and your eyes are bright, and you feel wandering, read them now. I have seven really beautiful and extraordinary tips and ideas about places and experiences you should never do on your trip. Through Queensland, Miss Australia!

Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef: Queensland’s Cool Tips

Camping Directly at Whitehaven Beach

The fascinating archipelago of the Whitsunday Islands is Queensland’s stunning natural wonders in the warm tropical Coral Sea. Alongside the Great Barrier Reef. The Whitsunday Islands have 74 large and small manned and uninhabited islands.

The undisputed highlight is certainly the pure white Whitehaven Beach on the main island of Whitsunday Island. By the way, the whole island is named after her. Whitehaven Beach is one of the whitest beaches on the planet, with a quartz content of almost 99%. And it’s exactly this beach where you can camp for just a little money! It’s crazy, isn’t it?

Most visitors only come to Whitsunday Island and Whitehaven Beach on organized day trips. But isn’t it much cooler to enjoy this dream beach almost alone without many day-trippers? Even if all the other tourists have been away for a long time, you and your tent are still there, so the camp starts here!

Our campsite is at the southernmost tip of Whitehaven Beach and offers dreamy views over the entire length of this insane white beach. The sand here is fine and white like pure flour, so it’s not a little overkill. It can even squeeze step by step. I have never really seen or experienced anything like that!

After all the boats and seaplanes our guests made around 4 pm, we were finally able to enjoy the beach in great peace: with juicy steaks, salads, grilled cobs, and more. We prepared a delicious barbecue. In the evening, I saw the sunset on the other side of the beach behind the palm trees. The whole sky turned pink and purple. Is it beautiful?

Tip: Take a short walk on the beach after dark. In the middle of Whitehaven Beach, if you’re lucky, you can see the moon rise directly above the surface of the water. A magical experience. To make sure you don’t miss this moment in minutes, check the internet in advance for the exact time (there is usually no reception in the national park before travelling to the Whitsunday Islands).

Tips and Information About Camping at Whitehaven Beach 

  • Most of the Whitsunday Islands are part of the Whitsunday Islands National Park, so camping requires permission from the National Parks Authority. For only € 4 per person, you can easily apply for a permit here: A camp permit.
  • Anyway, you have your own camping equipment, or you can rent it. All our equipment (tents, tables, chairs, gas cookers, cool boxes, etc.) was provided by Scamper (Whitsunday Island Camping Connections). For simplicity, the entire camping trip can be summarized there (except for approval by the National Park Authority). Scamper can also arrange transportation and pick-up from Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island.
  • If you’re a fan of all kinds of water sports, you’ll need to board the boat with a Scamper SUP board or kayak. You can then use these on the island if you wish.
  • Food and Water: Whitsunday Provisioning can put together a complete package that includes truly delicious food, beverages, tableware, and utensils. Simply enter your travel duration and planned budget on the website, and you’ll receive a variety of catering box suggestions. It’s a good alternative to buying yourself, saving time and nerves.
  • Direct fire is strictly prohibited throughout the campgrounds and national parks. Also for cooking! Check if you can leave your main luggage for a few days at accommodation in Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island prior to. Most hotels have lockable rooms specifically for this purpose. So you don’t have to carry everything around, just pack things in a small bag for a camping trip.
  • Remember that there is no electricity in the Whitsunday Islands campgrounds. Therefore, pre-charge all batteries such as smartphones and cameras. We recommend packing an additional (fully charged) battery and power bank just in case.
  • You should also pack warm clothing in your camping luggage. It can be a little chilly in the evenings and nights. And, of course, there are occasional rainy days in the Whitsunday Islands! Speaking of rain: don’t forget sunscreen and a good hat to protect you from the sun. It’s usually beautiful here!
  • The campgrounds on the Whitsunday Islands usually have clean toilets. However, there is no shower just for planning information.

Camping on Other Islands in the Whitsunday Islands 

On the Whitsunday Islands, there are natural and picturesque campgrounds on various islands. So you might want to not only camp on Whitsunday Island on Whitehaven Beach itself, but also organize a few days excursion to several islands? I met a family member who planned such a few days of camping trips using a kayak. Then pack the tent and all the equipment into a kayak and paddle to the next island and the next campsite. I think it sounds really exciting. You too?

Whitsunday: Hill Inlet Lookout Cruise

Whitehaven Beach is actually divided into two areas. One is a 7km long beach with pure white sand, which also has a campsite. The other part is the famous Hill Strait, with beautiful wavy lines that form fine sand beneath the turquoise water surface.

Almost all the photos I’ve seen on Whitehaven Beach so far may have been taken from what’s known as the Hill Inlet Lookout. And that’s exactly where you can go on a boat tour and take a short, leisurely stroll through the hills. What a wonderful view!

For our boat tour, we chose Ocean Rafting, a small and comfortable personal tour operator. Our excursion wasn’t really fun. Just a short walk to Hill Inlet Lookout, the crew offered an absolutely delicious lunch by boat before heading to various other parts of the Whitsunday Islands.

What are my highlights right after the Hill Inlet Lookout? The brand new promenade on the small border island leads to a very nice and picturesque observatory. Oh yeah, and don’t forget our typical Australian afternoon treat, the sweet Lamington of sugar!

The landscape of many of the Whitsunday Islands is a bit reminiscent of Canadian mountain lakes. Bright, turquoise sparkling water and coniferous trees on fairly rough and rocky islands. Do not you think so?

Whitsunday Islands, Heart Reef & Hill Inlet

One of the most beautiful and certainly one of the most amazing ways to discover the many natural wonders of Queensland from above: The Wit Sunday Islands and Great’s breathtakingly beautiful How about flying over the landscape with a small Cessna? From the window of the plane, you can see the perfect beauty of the perfectly smooth fine sand waves beneath the incredible turquoise surface of Whitehaven Beach Hill Inlet.

And the magical heart reef, a heart-shaped coral rock in the middle of the coral reef, can actually only be seen from the sky. Unfortunately, special heart shapes are rejected on regular boats.

However, the Great Barrier Reef itself, with its myriad shades of blue and turquoise, simply looks huge when viewed from the sky. Deep dark blue waterways wind through shallow water, interrupted only by typical coral reef rocks with coral vegetation. Very good!

Whitsunday Islands Hiking Trails 

Many islands in the Whitsunday Islands have beautiful hiking trails. Hike through picturesque forests full of eucalyptus trees, discover small, dreamy beaches and bays and climb stunning perspectives. How does it sound to you?

For example, the Chance Bay Track on Whitsunday Island is beautiful. The start and endpoints are at the southern end of White Haven Beach. An interesting 5-6 km (one-way length of about 2.8 km), first hike a small hill with beautiful views of two different bays.

Then it’s almost all downhill, or in the magically beautiful Chance Bay. In contrast to Whitehaven Beach, there are few people here. Only a few boats sway in the clear water.

Chance Bay Track difficulty is officially classified as Medium. But I found it easy. You should plan about 2 hours for pure walking time (there and back). In addition, there are times when you want to spend time on the beach or swimming. The way back is the same as the way there.

Whitsunday Island also has a short ring road, but unfortunately, I didn’t hike because I didn’t have enough time. Again, the 2.5km difficulty is officially designated as a medium. The walking time is about 40 minutes.

Airlie Beach as a stepping stone to the Whitsunday Islands 

From the beginning, I liked Airlie Beach, a charming town with small boutiques and cafes. As far as I can see, the town centre does not have as many shops and restaurants, beautiful beach promenades, and large shopping streets with many hotels and accommodations. Nevertheless, or perhaps because of it, I found it really nice relaxing on the coast of Queensland, Australia.

My Hotel Tips About Airlie Beach

Before and after our camping adventure at Whitehaven Beach, we each spent the night at the beautiful Airlie Beach Hotel. The balconies are really nice, many of the rooms have really nice sea views, and the pool should never be sniffed.

Airlie Beach I had breakfast at Hotel Peppers because I, unfortunately, didn’t have breakfast during my stay due to the renovation of the hotel’s breakfast room: the stunning terrace overlooking the harbour isn’t just about delicious Airlie Beach food. Not only is there one cool infinity pool!