How do I get to the Whitsundays?
Travellers often make the common mistake of not realising the distance between the Whitsundays and major cities around Queensland and the time it takes to get there. To put it to scale, the Whitsundays region is located 1000 kilometres or around a 12 hour drive from Brisbane and is around 700 kilometres or an 8 hour (approximately) drive south of Cairns. There are many ways of travelling to the region, however it is important to allow plenty of time to get to your destination before heading out on a trip.
Arriving by Air
The most convenient way to travel to the region is a flight to either the Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) Airport or the Hamilton Island Airport.
Approximate flying times:
- Sydney to Airlie Beach - 2 hours 15 minutes
- Brisbane to Airlie Beach - 1 hour 30 minutes
- Melbourne to Airlie Beach - 2 hours 45 minutes
- Cairns to Airlie Beach - 1 hour 30 minutes
Arriving by car
The drive from Cairns and Brisbane to the Whitsundays via the Bruce Highway is often an enjoyable one with plenty of things to see along the way!
Approximate travel times:
- Brisbane to Airlie Beach - 13 hours
- Cairns to Airlie Beach - 8 hours
- Mackay to Airlie Beach - 90 minutes
- Bowen to Airlie Beach - 50 minutes
- Proserpine to Airlie Beach - 15 minutes
Arriving by train
There are available trains through Queensland Rail to Proserpine depart Brisbane and Cairns weekly, or there is the option of the Tilt Train which travels through Cairns, Whitsundays and Brisbane weekly.
Arriving by bus
Major Coach companies including Greyhound and Premier run regular services from all major cities to the town of Airlie Beach. This is a great choice if you really want to enjoy the view of the different towns along the way.