Whitsunday Coast Australia
A 74-island paradise of reefs, beaches and aquamarine waters
Cosmopolitan and inviting, the Whitsunday peninsula stretches from the central town of Airlie Beach along the stunning coastline and into the picturesque hinterland. Jewels in the Whitsunday mainland crown include Bowen with its eight beaches (and Big Mango), Cedar Creek Falls with its spectacular cascades set in a natural rock amphitheatre and the isolated, wildlife-rich hamlet of Hydeaway Bay. There’s so much to do here – popular activities include diving or snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, sailing the 74 Whitsunday islands, dipping your toes into Whitehaven Beach’s silica sands and flying over Heart Reef. Try hiking, jet skiing, kayaking, ocean rafting and parasailing and don’t miss the chance to take a trip along the Ngaro Sea Trail, a one-of-a-kind combination of seaways and scenic walks taking in Whitsunday, South Molle and Hook islands.
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When to go
September is the best time to visit the Whitsundays: it’s the season of sunny weather and low humidity. The temperature ranges from 19°C to 26°C. September is also the best time to avoid “stinger season” (from October to May) if you’re planning to spend a lot of time in the water. Summer temperatures – between December and February – can hit a high of 30°C, sometimes accompanied by brief showers.
The fun continues even in wet weather. The rain brings out all kinds of wildlife so that’s the best time to explore the rainforest.
If you plan to drive during your visit to the Whitsunday Coast, hire a car at Mackay, Whitsunday Coast Airport or Airlie Beach. For those staying in Airlie Beach, most tourist activities include return shuttle service to your accommodation. There’s also public transportation. Visits to Bowen, Cedar Creek Falls and Hydeaway Bay require a car (travel is over unsealed roads). For something different, hire a Mini Moke from Fun Rentals on Airlie’s main street. Tel: +61 (7) 4948 0489
Airlie Beach 40km
Travel time 35 minutes
Taxi Approx A$80
Bus Whitsunday Transit, pre-booking required. Call +61 (7) 4946 1800. One-way A$18 (adult), A$13 (child). Whitsunday Transfers, call +61 (7) 4946 4940. One-way A$18 (adult), A$13 (child)