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Whitsundays Travel Guide

The Whitsundays are a top destination for travellers from around Australia and abroad, where people come to enjoy the sun, heat, islands and reef during a tropical escape. Below are some tips you should read before booking your holiday to the Whitsundays to help you build the vacation of your dreams.

Day trips: Day trips are a great option for travellers short on time but still want to get the thrill of heading out to the islands, see Whitehaven Beach and do some snorkelling. Other types of day trips are scenic flights, diving day trips and a day at Reefworld (on the outer Great Barrier Reef). It’s completely up to the individual with what they would like to do with some 50 different day trips on offer. It's a great option for those who want to stay on land during the night or only have one day to explore.

Overnight sailing trips: The Whitsundays have a huge variety of overnight sailing trips to choose from and these are great value for money which includes meals, skipper, crew, snorkelling equipment and more. You also get to see and experience the best of the region throughout the itinerary which has been honed to suit every traveller. There are all types of overnight trips to suit everyone, including backpackers, families, solo travellers and couples and these are vary in price.

How to get here: Flying to the Whitsundays is certainly the best option which often saves time and money. There are two airports to choose from with the Whitsunday Coast Airport (Proserpine) Airport the best option. It is located a short drive outside of Airlie Beach, with public transit, cabs and shuttles available to passengers. The alternative airport is located on Hamilton Island and requires a ferry transfer (booked with Cruise Whitsundays directly) to get to the Airlie Beach mainland. Travellers should allow up to 2 hours for the ferry transfer from Hamilton Island, depending on the ferry timetables. Check ahead of time to make sure you get the right ferry for your flight. 

Where to stay: Airlie Beach caters for every type of traveller and have a huge array of hostels, hotels, motels, apartments, resorts and bed and breakfasts available. The best thing to do is decide your budget and stick with that while searching, and it is best to find accommodation which is in Airlie Beach itself so everything is in walking distance. TripAdvisor reviews can also help or simply chat to our sales consultants, who are happy to help you pick the right accommodation for you.

Getting around: While buses, car and bike hire are options, if you choose accommodation which is actually located in Airlie Beach, then you will be able to walk everywhere. Airlie Beach consists of one main street and several small establishments surrounding it. All tours depart from marinas which are both in walking distance to the main street as well. There are also public buses and taxis available. If you are staying outside of Airlie Beach in places such as Shute Harbour, Jubilee Pocket or Cannonvale, you'll likely want to use public transit or cabs.

Weather: The Whitsundays is in the tropics and is fortunate to have great weather almost all-year round. Summer (December-February) is generally hotter and is the ‘wet-season’ which is important to know if you are considering travelling to the region during that period. Winter is only a few degrees cooler and may require wearing long pants and a jacket occasionally. Other than that, it can be the best time to travel because of the temperature, with sunny days and whale season coinciding.

Top 4 things to know

Check availability and book well in-advance: After researching which trips are best suited to you, it's best to check availability and book quickly with our sales consultants to avoid missing out. Prices can also increase closer to the departure dates and the most popular trips, generally catamarans, trips with private cabins and lower passenger numbers fill up very quickly.

Check the time period you are travelling: Be mindful of school holidays, festive seasons and public holidays which tend to be busier and have limited availability during these times.

Research your travel arrangements: Remember the Whitsundays Islands are considerable distance away from capital cities in Australia, such as Brisbane and Sydney. It's important to arrive the day prior to any trip you are booked on in case of any travel/ flight delays, meaning you should take into consideration grabbing accommodation in Airlie Beach the night before any boat trips.

It is the tropics: The Whitsundays are located in the tropics and it's important to remember that it can be extremely hot and humid at times. Be sure to pack sun-safe clothing, sunscreen and a hat and drink plenty of water while you're here. We all know how easy it is to forget when you're having fun, but it is important for your health and comfort to take care of yourself in the sun.

Ask questions: Our sales consultants are very knowledgeable about the region and every tour on offer. They can help with any questions you may have about flights, accommodation, seasickness and everything in between. Most questions have already been answered on our Frequently Asked Questions where you can read more about travelling in the Whitsundays.

Jayme
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