Among the most beautiful of the Great Barrier Reef islands, the Whitsunday Islands are becoming a popular tourist destination in their own right, thanks to their stunning scenery and brilliant activities. The Whitsundays are made up of 74 islands in total, each offering white sands, lush forests and pure tranquility.


Many visitors will take just a Whitsundays day tour, while others will want to explore the Whitsundays further and take on all of the adventures these wonderful islands have to offer with a longer stay. However long you have to spend in these tropical paradises, make sure you have these unmissable Whitsundays activities planned in your itinerary.


Discover the Whitsundays by private charter


If your time in the Whitsundays is short, there’s no better way to see several of the incredible islands than by private charter. Mars Charters offers skippered private charters that can accommodate from 4 to 36 people, available for a half day, a full day, or just to soak up a scenic sunset. There’s no set itinerary, so you can discover whichever islands you wish to with these fully customised Whitsundays boat trips, and an experienced local skipper will also be on hand to suggest the best spots too. Snorkelling and catering are optional extras that can make these once-in-a-lifetime Whitsunday boat tours even better.

whitsundays sunset sailing
Image by Sailing Whitsundays

Go sailing in the Whitsundays


Let the wind navigate you around the Whitsundays with the range of sailing day tours from Sailing Whitsundays. There are a variety of Whitsundays sailing adventures available, from the Illusions tour, which takes you to the very best reef diving and snorkelling spots, to the Derwent Hunter Day Trip, your chance to sail on a traditional 22m tall ship. Among the beauty spots you can sail to are the spectacular Whitehaven Beach and the Hill Inlet Lookout, one of Australia’s very best viewpoints.

koala sleeping in a tree in forest

Meet the wildlife on Hamilton Island


Hamilton Island day trips are possibly the most popular excursions to the Whitsunday Islands – it’s perhaps the most developed of the bunch, with great places to stay, restaurants and things to do. One of the best experiences the island has to offer is the Hamilton Island Wildlife experience. Start your day with breakfast with cute koalas, including a cuddle and a photo, before embarking on a park tour and enjoying numerous photo opportunities with snakes, reptiles, birds and dingoes too. It’s actually one of the very few places in the world where you’ll be able to experience the excitement of cuddling a koala.


Paddle your way around the shores of the Whitsunday Islands


If the sound of just you, a paddle, a kayak and the sea sounds like a dream combination to you, a day of sea kayaking around the Whitsunday Islands with Salty Dog Sea Kayaking is not to be missed. Suitable for all abilities, there’s both a half-day and full-day kayak tour to choose from. Led by an enthusiastic guide, you’ll paddle over coral reefs and past spectacular tropical islands, seeing colourful fish and majestic sea birds along the way – during the winter months you may even see migrating humpback whales. Snorkels are provided if you’d like to explore beneath the water too, as well as refreshments to keep you going.


Other great ways to explore the Whitsundays


Explore Whitsundays has a great choice of even more fantastic tour options across the Whitsundays on their website. These include the diving excursion to Bait Reef aboard the Kiana, the learn to dive or snorkel days offered by the Explore Group, and the Reef Overnight tour offered by Cruise Whitsundays, where you can enjoy a magical night on the Great Barrier Reef beneath the stars.


Discover the Whitsunday Islands


Visit the Whitsundays for real and experience what this group of paradise islands has to offer, whether it’s by cruise, sailing boat, kayak or snorkel. With our escorted tours of Australia, you’ll get to spend a day on the Great Barrier Reef, as well as some time in nearby Cairns, from where you’ll have the freedom to enjoy a memorable day on the Whitsunday Islands.