Wonders of the Whitsundays
A utopia of delight, the Whitsundays region is home to some of the most stunning sights and natural marvels. From the sparkling clear sea to the brilliant greens of the surrounding forests, there’s something special about the region that lures people. With so many wonders to see, it can be difficult to know where to start. We’ve put together a list of the most epic must-do’s to make your getaway smoother.
It’s the cream of the Whitsundays, and is plastered all over the internet for good reason. Hill Inlet brings the milky way to the sea: revered for its stunning shifting blue and white hues, no one glimpse is ever the same! As the tide changes, the kaleidoscope of the inlet below evolves, leaving crowds in awe.
Best viewed from Tongue Point on Whitsunday Island, the short one kilometre hike up to Hill Inlet Lookout is your best bet. Many of our boats boast trips to the inlet, including Whitsunday Bullet and Whitsunday Adventurer.
Naturally formed by the ebb and flow of millions of years of reef evolution, the heart-shaped gem is best viewed from above. Nestled about 60 kilometres from the mainland at Airlie Beach, it truly lives up to the hype as a beloved site of the Whitsundays. It’s also known for its incredible muster of vivid marine life and coral species. Whether you choose to spot the Heart Reef from above or explore it from below in the deep blue, you will be blown away by its allure.
CEDAR CREEK FALLS
Take a short pause from the awes of the Great Barrier Reef and venture to the luscious Cedar Creek Falls. Tucked into the forest just a short drive from Airlie Beach, a jaw-dropping swimming hole awaits you. Lined with unique and intriguing rock formations, the water is so pure and clear that it glistens. It’s a popular spot to unwind and is particularly stunning after a downpour.
Touted as the soul of the Whitsundays, Whitehaven Beach is something that needs to be seen to be believed. The purity of the sand is bound to blow your mind: at approximately 98.9% pure silica, the silky soft quartz-filled sand is exclusively found at this stunning beach, and the best part? How it got there is a mystery! To add to its allure, it’s also a mind-blowing seven kilometres long, leaving you with plenty of room to prance and play!
SNORKELLING IN THE WHITSUNDAYS
Offering some of the best snorkelling sites in the world, perusing the colourful coral of the Whitsundays should already be firmly planted within your bucket list. Home to more than 1,500 species of fish, incredible coral reefs and other glorious marine life including sea turtles, manta rays and giant clams, the Great Barrier Reef is full of otherworldly wonders. Whether you snorkel the fringe reefs or the Great Barrier Reef itself, prepare to be in awe!
Nara Inlet is a sheltered bay tucked between the towering hills and luscious green forest of Hook Island. Filled with calm blue waters that create the perfect terrace for viewing the colourful braidings of the coral beds below, it’s a wonderful spot to anchor up and access Hook Island. Hook Island itself is a must-visit: featuring sacred cultural sites of the Traditional Custodians, the Ngaro Aboriginal people, it’s an incredible opportunity to delve deeper into the history of the area.
WHITSUNDAY PEAK TRACK
Twisted around the hills of Whitsunday Island, the Whitsunday Peak Track is a scenic and challenging four-hour adventure that takes you straight to the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Providing the perfect alternative experience to the bustling beaches below, it also offers explorers the chance to see a different side to the Whitsundays. Windswept vegetation and lively critters are all part of the experience, and the track is complete with a stunning vantage point of the magic below.
The steep slopes of the Whitsunday Cairn are not for the faint hearted: the colossal volcanic mass that shapes the track is rough in some spots, making up for it in luscious scenery. Sitting at 300 metres above sea level, the rocky outcrop is located at the northern end of Whitsunday Island. Demanding a decent level of fitness, Whitsunday Cairn requires approximately four hours for the four kilometre return track, and is filled with slight obstacles like rocks and branches. Despite the slog, the views at the top are a sight for sore eyes: the flat rock at the base of the Cairn parades an incredible almost-360 degree view of the aquamarine below!
HILL INLET LOOKOUT
Think the Hill Inlet couldn’t get any more stunning? Wait until you see it from above! The cosmic swirls of the beauty below are highlighted by the elevated view, sitting snugly atop Whitsunday Island. The hike is a short and easy one kilometre round-trip, making it perfect for the whole family to enjoy. It’s one of our most treasured wonders here in the Whitsundays, and many of our tours make a stop there, including Camira and Providence.
TOWNSHIP OF AIRLIE BEACH
Shaped like an amphitheatre, the township of Airlie Beach is a small but lively dwelling filled to the brim with delicious food, great drinking venues and incredible opportunities. Lined by spirited marinas and brimming with energetic locals, the township proudly stands at the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef. As one of the best places to centre your Whitsunday endeavours, Airlie Beach itself is well worth exploring!
AIRLIE BEACH BOARDWALK
If you have a spare morning, get up with the chirping birds and make sure you go for a lazy stroll or bike ride along the Airlie Beach boardwalk. With cafe's and coffee stop off's dotted along its length it's a beautiful way to see the local coastline and see whats on offer.