It’s long been a go-to for romantic getaways and dream honeymoons, but the Whitsundays is really having a moment right now.
With more travellers returning to its sun-kissed isles and pristine beaches lately, this Queensland gem is hot on the travel radar. And whether you’re seasoned regulars or newcomers, there’s plenty in the Whitsundays to fulfil your tropical escape daydreams…
Amazing Airlie Beach
After touching down in Whitsunday Coast (Proserpine) Airport, kick your getaway off to the right start with a few days in beautiful Airlie Beach. A winner for postcard-perfect beaches, stylish dining spots, thrilling adventures and luxurious accommodation, this blissfully laid-back spot doesn’t disappoint.
Share a super-fresh seafood tower at Northerlies Beach Bar and Grill, toast the occasion at Coral Sea Resort’s Clipper Restaurant & Bar, take in soul-stirring views with a scenic flight over the nearby Great Barrier Reef, enjoy a jetski ‘Ride to Paradise’ experience or just relax by Airlie Beach’s Lagoon in the centre of town to get yourselves in holiday-mode.
Chances are you’re going to want to visit the Whitsundays’ islands while in the region (and we don’t blame you). With arguably some of the world’s most picture-perfect isles at your fingertips, couples are spoilt for enticing options. For straight-from-a- screensaver scenery, beloved Whitsunday Island is clear favourite. Home to famous Whitehaven Beach (a regular inclusion on ‘World’s best beaches’ lists), it’s also where you’ll find the spectacular Hill Inlet Lookout – do not miss.
If a cosmopolitan escape is more your style, Hamilton Island promises plenty of enchantment. Known for its vast array of coastal dining spots (don’t leave without visiting Bommie Restaurant for a glamorous dinner), sumptuous stays and sunset cruising experiences, it’s where stunning nature and sophistication meets. Want more? Book into the newly refurbished Daydream Island or find your own piece of paradise with a private island getaway or discover seclusion at tranquil Palm Bay on Long Island. Choices, choices…
Adventure is out there
Not content to spend your time at just one heavenly location? Hop your way between the Whitsundays’ smaller islands on an unforgettable bareboating cruise with one of the many local groups.
From Hook Island’s many exquisite bays (Butterfly, Manta Ray and Luncheon are fabulous offerings) to Langford Island’s long stretches of sugar-white sand, there are a slew of incredible spots to discover for yourselves. And you really should.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that a holiday in the Whitsundays was all about relaxing on its islands. As tempting as that is, don’t leave without exploring its inland regions as well. With ruggedly romantic hinterland, whimsical rainforests and quaint country towns only a short drive from Airlie Beach, there’s no shortage of marvellous experiences to be had.
A bit of an undiscovered oasis, Bowen (under an hour’s drive north of Airlie Beach) has all the makings for a wonderful day-trip or loved-up escape. Blessed with one of Australia’s best regional beaches, as voted by the public, it’s a place where palm-fringed coastal spots sit amongst rocky outcrops and old-school country pubs. A chilled beer after a refreshing dip in the Coral Sea? Sounds like the perfect day to us. Also worth a visit, the hinterland township of Collinsville is brimming with charm and classic Aussie character. Think ‘outback getaway’, just under an hour from Airlie Beach’s sparkling shores.
Before you fly out, fit in time to check out Proserpine’s natural playgrounds. Adventure-seekers, the spellbinding Cedar Creek Falls provides yet another magical swimming spot, while the nearby Conway National Park’s rainforest will make you feel as if you’ve stepped into Jurassic Park. There aren’t any dinosaurs to look out for here, though; just captivating outlooks and the occasional deserted beach.
Whether you’re drawn to its reef-shrouded islands or its sensational inland landscapes, the Whitsundays should definitely be on your must-visit list. Pack a chic sunhat, leave your stresses behind and rediscover paradise…
Dream beach and island weddings
With such a heavenly setting, it’s no wonder that the Whitsundays is a stand-out destination for couples wanting to say “I do” in paradise. There are a slew of exceptional venues here (from marvellous island resorts and contemporary-chic restaurants to exotic hideaways), plus Insta-ready pockets of sand and brilliant local vendors. You’ll find everything you need for a fabulous celebration in the Whitsundays!
Dreaming of tying the knot here? Our sister site, Queensland Brides, has an array of terrific Whitsundays venues and plenty of helpful advice.
To start planning your own Whitsundays getaway, check out Tourism Whitsundays here…
Image credits: Tourism & Events Queensland, Jason Hill and www.northerlies.com.au