Hamilton Island, Whitsunday Islands, Qld. Photo credit: Tourism and Events Queensland
Honeymooners honeymoon. Kids play. Explorers explore. You? You can do pretty much whatever you like, which is the real beauty of the Whitsunday Islands.
Four hours south of Townsville sit the Whitsundays, a collection of over 70 islands basking in the crystal waters off the Queensland coast.
The islands are perfect for anyone who wants that sense of escapism – making them a popular honeymoon spot. They’re just as popular with families as some of the islands have kids’ clubs. Don’t worry though – if you want to enjoy your space free from children, you still can.
The most northerly of the Whitsundays is renowned for its elegance and prime location on the Great Barrier Reef. Such luxuries don’t come cheap, though, and the island is equally renowned for leaving you reeling at the prices. Still, it is gorgeous.
The beautifully clear waters around the island are home to stunning displays of coloured coral and tropical fish, and its secluded beaches make a perfect, private hideaway, away from the crowds on some of the other islands.
We’d recommend exploring the island in search of its colony of Proserpine Rock Wallabies. They move depending on season and tend to steer clear of visitors, but if you’re lucky you’ll find them hopping around the bushland during cooler months, and retreating to the cliffs and outcrops at the height of summer.
Hamilton is the most developed of the Whitsundays. It has lost some of its intimate feel but the flipside is there’s more to do.
Explore the reef (of course). Investigate the boutique shops. And Whitehaven beach is a must. If you’re travelling without kids, you might want to join the beach club which is a kid-free zone. Like Hayman Island, Hamilton is expensive, but it’s the luxury you’re paying for.
Brampton and Daydream Island
They may have been praised for their scenery but not too long ago both islands were let down by their resorts.
Brampton, especially, is working hard to ditch its shabby, overpriced reputation. The resort has had a refurbishment and things are improving. There’s plenty to keep you occupied: snorkel on the Reef, go hiking or hire a catamaran and see more of what the Great Barrier Reef has to offer.
Daydream Island’s activities are mostly available on other islands too (like snorkelling or rainforest walks) although it does boast an open-air cinema.
What's In A Name?
For a man with a major place in history Captain Cook got rather a lot wrong.
Take the Whitsundays, a group of islands so-called because Cook believed he’d discovered them on Whit Sunday. He hadn’t. It was Monday.
Getting To The Islands
There’s an airport on Hamilton Island reached by services at Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne.
Local flights are from Proserpine on the mainland, where you can also catch a ferry.
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