11 Mistakes to Avoid while Travelling in the Whitsundays

Whoopsies Whitsundays

Mistakes, we all make them, but sometimes these little things can ruin your holiday and we want you to enjoy your time in the Whitsundays! Here are 10 common mistakes people make while travelling in the region:


1.  Overpacking

Packing for the Whitsundays

No, you don’t need those 3 pairs of jeans, 4 pairs of heels and 2 jackets - the Whitsundays are in the tropics! Pack light, airy clothes that will allow you to stay cool and smart casual or resort wear is all you will need in the relaxed seaside town of Airlie Beach and out on the resort islands. To save you time and the stress of trying to fit everything into your suitcase, we’ve put together an essential packing list for your time in the Whitsundays.


2. Having an overly ambitious itinerary

Chart on Prima in the Whitsundays

A common mistake for many travellers is trying to pack too many activities into a short time in the area. While we know that the Whitsundays have so much to offer, planing every minute of your holiday will have you rushing around and stressing about getting to your next activity on time. Holidays are for relaxing and enjoying yourself! If you’re unsure about how to make the most out of your time in the Whitsundays, while still having time to breathe in the fresh air, ask us for our travel recommendations - we’re experts at scheduling some time in the sun!


3. Non-stop selfies

Selfies on Whitehaven Beach

Don’t end up back home with a million photos of your smiling face obscuring the amazing scenery behind you and no actual memories of your trip and the locations you visited. We’re not saying don’t take photos, the Whitsunday Islands offer some spectacular photo opportunities, but remember to put the camera down once in a while and live in the moment! 


4. Showing up at the wrong marina

Coral Sea Marina

So, you’re in a mad rush to get to the marina on time for your long-awaited boat tour through the beautiful Whitsundays and you arrive just in time to board - only to realise that your vessel is pulling away from the dock at the marina on the other side of town…  Airlie Beach has two main marinas: Coral Sea Marina and Port of Airlie. While most day trips and overnight sailing tours leave from the Coral Sea Marina, ferries to Hamilton and Daydream Island depart from the Port of Airlie so it’s important to read your travel documentation carefully to make sure show up to the right one. There can be no worse feeling than missing a non-refundable boat tour.


5. Forgetting to take your sunglasses to Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach

The pristine pure white silica sand and turquoise waters of Whitehaven Beach are a beautiful and unique sight that everyone should see at least once in their life. But beware, the dazzling silica sand reflects the sunlight and on a bright sunny day, you’ll be taking in the sights through squinted eyes. Make sure you pack your sunnies on your day trip to Whitehaven Beach and get ready for the photo opportunity of a lifetime. Ask us which tours will time your visit with the spectacular natural phenomenon of the swirling sands at Hill Inlet!


6. Underestimating the strength of the sun

Ok, let’s talk sunblock. We know what you’re thinking but seriously, there are too many people sulking around town feeling sore and sorry for themselves after spending a day out on the islands. Be sun safe in the Whitsundays! SPF 50 is available at all supermarkets and chemists in town and it is highly recommended if you intend to spend the day outside. While a tan may be an appealing long term prospect, painful blisters and peeling skin can quickly ruin your holiday.


7. Dropping your phone or camera in the water

If you drop your phone or camera in the water while travelling in the Whitsundays you can usually say goodbye to at least a years worth of photos and all your contacts. Save yourself the heartache and drop into Airlie Beach Cameras & Digital or one of the Live Life Pharmacies on the main street to purchase a waterproof phone pouch and/or float. Not only will this protect your device at the beach and around the marinas but it will enable you to take your phone or camera with you on your snorkelling trip to snap some great photos of the underwater world.


8. Scaring the fish 

Snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef or around the Whitsunday Islands offers an incredible window into the diverse marine life that calls these areas home. Some of the things you will see while snorkelling include brightly coloured fish and coral, giant clams and sea turtles however many of these creatures will quickly hide if you move too fast or begin to splash around when you get excited. When snorkelling just remember to slow down, take it easy and let the current carry you over the reef. You are more likely to spot the most interesting and unusual creatures as you are just drifting along.


9. Missing out on an overnight sailing trip

An overnight sailing trip through the jewel-coloured waters of the Whitsundays is an experience not to miss and often said to be the highlight of any itinerary. During peak times such as school holidays and especially over the Christmas / New Years break, many boats sell out months before. To avoid missing out on the tropical experience of a lifetime, try to book your sailing tour in advance if you’re intending on travelling during these periods. For options and pricing, speak to one of our friendly travel experts - they can even help you save more by booking a package deal.


10. Overdoing it the night before a boat trip

Don't be late for your whitsundays boat trip

Let's be honest, Airlie Beach is known for its pub culture and nightlife - But trust us when we say the WORST way to start your Whitsundays sailing adventure is to do so after a big night on the town. Make sure you get to bed at a decent hour, and go easy on the grog, especially if your tour departs in the morning - The boat will not wait for you if you oversleep! Not feeling your tip-top on when sailing is also not recommended, especially if you're prone to seasickness... Trust us, you thank us later! 


11. Not scheduling some downtime at the Lagoon

Sometimes when we travel we can be so busy exploring that we forget to factor in some time to rest, rejuvenate and just enjoy our surroundings. The Airlie Beach Lagoon is the perfect place to spend a leisurely day or a relaxing afternoon swimming and sunbathing with magnificent views of the Whitsunday Islands and the Coral Sea. Why not pack a picnic or use the free BBQ facilities - the Lagoon has both deep and shallow sections for all to enjoy.

Now that you know the top 10 mistakes to avoid while travelling in the Whitsundays you can sit back, relax and start dreaming of your upcoming tropical adventure!


Ready to start planning your perfect Whitsundays adventure? Chat to our friendly local experts online or free call 1 800 550 751 anywhere in Australia!

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