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Pristine nature meets star quality service in the picture perfect destination of the Whitsundays.
It's a mecca for honeymooners and family alike with it's network of idyllic islands, including Hamilton Island, Daydream Island, Hayman Island, Long Island and Whitsunday Island, most of which offer everything from sun and surf to boating and underwater adventures.
Proserpine/Whitsunday Coast Airport is found on the mainland and is a popular gateway into the area. Alternatively, there is an airport on Hamilton Island which is served by many domestic airlines.
Being surrounded by the sea, naturally, most of the island's activities are water-based. Multi-day sailing trips, Great Barrier Reef excursions and whale watching are popular activities. But even if you're not big on water sports, there are still plenty of things to do in the Whitsunday Islands like hiking and golfing.
What should you expect of the Whitsundays weather-wise?
The tropical Whitsunday Islands boast year-round beach weather, with the summers being a few degrees warmer but much more humid with a higher chance of rain.
Expect to wear summer clothing any month of the year, however you may need a cardigan or light jacket in the evening during winter (June to August).
Types of transport. Shuttle buses and ferries connect the Whitsundays and Hamilton Island with the mainland (Airlie Beach) and surrounding areas. On Hamilton Island, a complimentary shuttle service is available and you have the option to book a buggy to get around. Ferries connect the popular islands and are an affordable and fun way to get around. Private cars are prohibited on Hamilton Island.
Paying for transport. On Hamilton Island, you can book and pay for shuttle buses and buggies through your hotel or online before you arrive. Tickets for buses from Airlie Beach and around the Whitsundays are available on the spot from the driver. A hop on, hop off ferry pass allows holidayers to explore Airlie Beach, Daydream Island and Hamilton Island.
Best apps for getting around. The Hamilton Island Pocket Guide includes tips for getting around, timetables and a booking platform.
Most resorts and hotels offer free airport transfers from the region's two main airports, Hamilton Island and Proserpine.
Viator, City Discovery and Jayride also offer airport transfers from Proserpine Airport to Airlie Beach. Whitsundays Transfers provides personalised airport transfers that meet every flight from Whitsundays Coast Airport to Airlie Beach, Shute Harbour and resorts, hotels and holiday apartments in the area.
Taxis and Uber on the mainland
Taxi. The Whitsundays is served by a 24-hour taxi company that can be booked online or hailed from the main taxi rank in the centre of Airlie Beach.
Uber. Uber is not available on Hamilton Island or the Whitsundays.
Whitsundays and Hamilton Island ferries
Regular ferries depart from Hamilton Island, Airlie Beach, Daydream Island and Shute Harbour between 6:45am and 5pm, seven days a week. The frequency depends on the time of year you travel, but most services depart every 30-45 minutes.
Whitsundays and Hamilton Island travel deals
Jetstar sale: Australia-wide flights from $32 each way
Available on flights from April - September 2021 to Launceston, Gold Coast, Hobart, Adelaide, Whitsundays, Townsville, Hamilton Island, Darwin, Uluru and more. Sample fare is Melbourne-Adelaide. T&Cs apply.
Get 1 night free at Hamilton Island with 5-night stays
Available on stays from June - August 2021 and includes breakfast, transfers and more. Plus receive $150 resort credit with select stay dates. Must stay for a minimum of 5 consecutive nights. T&Cs apply.
Available on activities including hot air balloon flights, helicopter scenic flights and luxury car hire. Must purchase two or more vouchers. Destinations include Gold Coast, Whitsundays, Cairns, Melbourne and more. T&Cs apply.
Up to 31% off flying experiences + Extra $5 off with code
Available on select dates when you spend a minimum of $250. Activities include hot air ballooning, skydiving, helicopter scenic flights. Destinations include Whitsundays, Gold Coast, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Hunter Valley, Sydney and more. T&Cs apply.
Stephanie Yip is the travel editor at Finder and has been writing about travel and lifestyle for over a decade. She has written for Travel Weekly, Escape, Showpo, The Nibbler and Hostelworld. She was also the editor of kids magazine DMAG. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Technology Sydney and has visited 55 countries (and counting).
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