Words: Maddie Joslin
Your Ultimate Whitsundays Honeymoon Itinerary!
A destination with ‘dream honeymoon’ written all over it, The Whitsundays is pure paradise for couples. Not only is it home to some of the world’s most beautiful islands and beaches, but this Queensland gem is also perfect for luxury lovers craving a five-star tropical getaway. All the ticks!
And good news if you’re planning a Whitsundays honeymoon or minimoon: we’ve done the groundwork for you with this seven-day honeymoon itinerary. Journey with us through the screensaver scenery as we explore how The Whitsundays offers you a dose of relaxation, a smidge of adventure, and plenty of indulgence.
Sun’s out, let’s dive in …
Day 1: Settle into beautiful Airlie Beach
You’ll find so much to love on a romantic Whitsundays escape. Sailing the sun-kissed islands (there’s 74 to explore). Experiencing the magic beneath the waves. Indulging in the region’s bountiful seafood and produce. Beach and spa days on repeat.
But where to begin?
We’re kicking off in the beautiful seaside village of Airlie Beach where you can catch your breath and embrace the cruisy tropical vibe of the region. You could drive from Brisbane or Cairns (or even catch a train) but it’s your honeymoon, so chances are you’ll want to relax and fly. Our tip? Jet into the Whitsunday Coast Airport in Proserpine and head on to the Heart Hotel and Gallery Whitsundays.
A winner for its central location, Heart Hotel’s boutique accommodation captures the tropical elegance and grace of a classic Queenslander, with views over the Coral Sea or the village. Surrounded by restaurants, bustling nightlife, and the local lagoon and boardwalk — with the vibrant Coral Sea Marina just minutes away — this is a top spot to settle in and get ready for the week ahead.
If a more low-key locale floats your boat, check out Freedom Shores resort. Tucked away in a hidden valley, this unique escape is still just 15 minutes from the bustle of Airlie. Choose from a Boat Bungalow or Resort Suite or have a private beach all to yourselves in the Beach Shack. The nautical theme, paired with incredible ocean views, is all charm. Bonus points go to the resort’s open-air beachfront dining experience, Northerlies Beach Bar & Grill.
Day 2: Sail the glorious islands of The Whitsundays
A day of sightseeing with Sailing Whitsundays is next on the itinerary: a memorable way to explore world-famous Whitehaven Beach and the islands of The Whitsundays. Depart Coral Sea Marina and catch a sea breeze aboard Providence V — a classic 62-ft schooner, or ‘baby’ tall ship, crafted from Queensland timber — before a morning swim at Tongue Bay. Sail on to the Insta-ready turquoise and vanilla swirls of Hill Inlet where a 15-minute walk to the lookout is rewarded with jaw-dropping views over Whitehaven Beach and beyond. Keep your phone ready because these vistas are pinch-me good! Then, make your way to Betty’s Beach at the northern end of Whitehaven and stinger-suit up to explore the stretches of dazzling white sand and crystal-clear ocean. Once you’re ready to move on, Providence V will whisk you away to another snorkelling spot, which will differ depending on the tide and weather.
Chances are, you’ll be wanting to chill after all that adventure. We highly recommend getting in touch with Peach & Pear catering to arrange delivery of a delicious hamper to your room, perfect for a quiet night in. Order your dinner hampers in advance to cap off a busy day or have a breakfast hamper prepared in anticipation of an early morning.
Days 3/4: A sleepover on the Great Barrier Reef
Is the world-famous Great Barrier Reef top of mind for you? Well get ready, you’re going to Reefworld! This permanently moored pontoon on Hardy Reef, 39 nautical miles from shore, is the ultimate way to experience the region’s World Heritage-listed wonders. Reefworld makes for a memorable day trip but also a unique overnighter with Australia’s first underwater accommodation, Reefsuites.
Start your GBR adventure with a cruise through the Whitsunday islands, lunch on the pontoon, and a raft of underwater adventures. We’re talking snorkelling (all gear is provided), guided tours in a semi-submarine, a trip to the underwater observatory, and the option of a diving safari. Take it as fast or slow as you want.
But if you do want to take things up a notch, we highly recommend seeing the reef from the sky on a helicopter flight — they take off directly from the pontoon! Allow the mesmerising shades of blue transport you to a new overwater world — savouring the moment as you drift over Heart Reef, one of The Whitsundays’ most romantic photo ops.
As the sun dips and the day-trippers head back home, the reef is all yours to enjoy over sunset drinks and a starlit dinner. Then for the really special bit: spending the night together in an underwater suite. With only floor-to-ceiling glass between you and the local marine life, it’s an intimate experience to cherish forever. If you’re lucky, you might score a morning wave from the turtles as they pass by!
There’s also an option if you’d prefer to stay above sea level. Snuggle up in a Reefbed on deck: just you, the reef, and the stars. Magical. Wake to sunrise over the water as you’ve never experienced it before. Mornings here are a bit slower than back home, so enjoy breakfast at your leisure and prepare for more underwater adventures, or just settle back with a book and soak up that beautiful Queensland sun!
Days 4-6: Check into Hayman or Hamilton for a taste of island life
You really can’t go wrong with either of these glorious islands, so scope out the accommodation and see what suits your style. Just make sure your Whitsundays honeymoon or minimoon includes time at one (or both!) because they are every bit as dreamy as their socials suggest.
If you can’t resist the lure of a private island resort, Intercontinental Hayman Island is here for you. Offering a range of suites and villas (including private pool villas right on the beach), Intercontinental redefined luxury island living when they reopened Hayman Island in 2019. The resort seamlessly blends lavish accommodation with lush gardens, magnificent pools, and Coral Sea vistas. Throw down a towel on the soft white sands, enjoy endless indulgence at five dining outlets, and soak up pampering for two at the heavenly Hayman Spa. Look out for Rejuvenate in Paradise: over three hours of steams, scrubs, masks, and massages in the private Bamboo Loft. Seriously, you’ll float out.
Over on idyllic Hamilton Island, there’s a choice of luxury accommodation. As well as the exceptional qualia resort (perfect for honeymooners), you’ll also have the four-star Reef View Hotel and a range of villas and holiday homes at your fingertips. Meaning couples on just about any budget can enjoy a night or three here.
Which is lucky because there’s heaps to do on Hamilton Island! From day spas, walking trails, and water sports to well-positioned cafes, bars, and restaurants so you can fuel up or wind down between adventures. You’ll also find golf buggies on standby so you can cruise the island at your own pace. And, of course, you won’t have to go far to find a swathe of sand, including palm-lined Catseye Beach. Our on-island tip? Make sure you’re at One Tree Hill lookout by late afternoon for a superb sunset cocktail hour.
Day 7: Savour paradise
Back on the mainland, it’s hard to go past Mirage Whitsundays for your last night or two in Airlie Beach. Their self-contained luxury apartments feature excellent in-room facilities and generous outdoor living spaces with breathtaking ocean views. Need a bit of R&R after all that snorkelling? Bask in the sunshine at the secluded Horizon Pool or schedule in one last massage at the resort’s Satori Spa.
- There’s so much more to The Whitsundays than underwater activities, so why not make the most of your time here on an Airlie Beach Adventure Tour? Their luxury transport will have you feeling like royalty as you’re chauffeured through some of the most beautiful and secluded parts of The Whitsundays region. These tours can be customised, so if you have somewhere in mind, just let them know.
- Cedar Creek Falls, a magical waterfall not far out of Airlie that requires zero hiking. Jump out of the car, and you’re there!
- Of course, no trip to The Whitsundays is complete some time at Conway Beach. Here, you’ll find a two-kilometre stretch of sand perfect for kitesurfing, land kiting, and fishing.
- Keen for something more secluded? Discover the tiny coastal gem of Hydeaway Bay, around 50 kilometres from Airlie. The perfect spot for a sunset picnic, often with nobody else around. The beach is all yours!
Eat & Drink
Dining in The Whitsundays is always a highlight for us, and is bound to be for you, too. Here’s some of our favourites …
- For that all-important caffeine hit, stop by the Whitsunday Gold Coffee Farm for coffee and a slice of homemade cake.
- Love retro? Don’t miss George’s Diner: a fun American 50s-themed diner located within the Conway Beach Tourist Park.
- Airlie is buzzing with bars, bistros, and restaurants. Try the Garden Bar Bistro at Coral Sea Marina which serves up lush water views and a menu inspired by the ‘Whitsundays’ way of life’ (the marina’s resort is also superb). Sunset is particularly stunning here, an ideal time to dip into the impressive cocktail list.
- For beachfront dining, you can’t go past Northerlies Beach Bar & Grill. Part of Freedom Shores Resort, just outside Airlie Beach, it’s an irresistible combination of outstanding food and drinks and a laid-back atmosphere.