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The Whitsundays are made up of 74 Island Wonders, on the beautiful tropical coast of Queensland, Australia. Right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, a visit to the Whitsundays is a feast for the senses. The stunning natural landscapes of coast and islands are dotted with secluded beaches and friendly towns. Whether you choose to base yourself on the coast or on the islands, there's so much to do, you'll have to work out how to fit it all in!

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The Whitsundays are made up of 74 Island Wonders, on the beautiful tropical coast of Queensland, Australia. Right in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, a visit to the Whitsundays is a feast for the senses. The stunning natural landscapes of coast and islands are dotted with secluded beaches and friendly towns. Whether you choose to base yourself on the coast or on the islands, there's so much to do, you'll have to work out how to fit it all in!

Whitsundays Stories

27 April 2017
Think a bareboat family holiday sounds way too tricky? Guess again!Original linkOriginal author: Sheriden Rhodes
20 April 2017
Finding it hard to pick that perfect family holiday for everyone? Here in the Whitsundays, we thrive in family fun! Your kids will be wide-eyed with wonder – with fun places to stay and a huge range of things to do. It’s not just about the kids though… imagine being on a tropical island resort (complete with a kids club) where the adults can relax and unwind indulging in cocktails with a view like no other. Check out our Top 11 fun family activities that will keep your family busy and entertained, while at the same time relaxed and happy. 1. Take a day trip like no other to Australia’s number 1 beach Whitehaven Beach! Along the journey experience the thrills of the fast day boats – Ocean Rafting, Thunder Cat or Whitsunday Bullet. You will also get to explore our underwater world finding turtles, our Maori wrasse friends George & Elvis and of course Nemo. Your final destination Whitehaven Beach & Hill Inlet will leave you with the BEST family holiday pictures. 2. Visit the Animal Park at BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort and help feed the resident chickens, goats, ducks, piglets, lambs and calves every day! There will be a brand new waterpark, the BIGGEST in Australia to be finished by June 2017. 3. Go croc spotting in the wild on the Proserpine River and learn more about the Goorganga wetlands with Whitsunday Crocodile Safari. 4. Enjoy breakfast with the koalas at WILD LIFE Hamilton Island Park Café. Bacon, eggs and hash browns taste much better when eaten up close and personal to these furry Aussie friends! 5. Snorkel, swim and splash amidst thousands of colourful coral and fish at a day out on the Great Barrier Reef with Cruise Whitsundays. 6. Feel like sailing around 74 islands? Set out for an adventure like no other with your Eco Pirates helping the captain navigate the Whitsunday tropical waters on the timber tallship Derwent Hunter. 7. Explore beautiful Bowen’s free waterpark located adjacent to the Herbert Street intersection on Santa Barbara Parade, with a ‘zero depth’ play area and facilities for all ages. You’ll also find uncrowded beaches, whether you try stand up paddle boarding in the calm waters, snorkel straight off the beach or enjoy a game of footy! On the way home cool off at Cedar Creek Falls just 25 minutes from Airlie Beach. 8. Feel the rush of Formula 1 go-cart action in Hamilton Island’s Palm Valley. Take the wheel on the exhilarating outdoor track, reaching speeds of up to 45 kilometres per hour. 9. Encounter 6 different turtle species in the waterways all year round or watch the laying and hatching of their eggs in Bowen. Don’t forget to watch the playful whales, a common sight around the Whitsundays from June to October. 10. For the more adventurous water lovers, make your family holiday a sailing holiday. Skipper yourself on your own bareboat where each day you can pick your own island to explore. Not confident to crew yourself? You can choose from a large range of overnight crewed sailing trips. 11. Nothing says family holiday quite like camping on a remote tropical island. No need to bring your camping equipment Whitsunday Island Camping Connections will look after you, you can arrange all your food provisions with Whitsunday Provisioning. Be sure to hire a kayak or a stand up paddle board.
15 March 2017
Warning: You'll be super jelly about this oarsome kayaking adventure.Original linkOriginal author: Andrew Bain
13 March 2017
Bowen is a lovely little town at the “top of the Whitsundays” in the north of the region. Unchanged for decades, the town offers ‘old world’ charm and hospitality that almost belongs in a different era. With its super-wide streets (a reminder of days gone by when bullock carts were used, necessitating a wide turning circle) and 100-year-old buildings, a visit to Bowen really is like stepping back in time. In fact, the town featured extensively in Baz Luhrmann’s Australia movie (2008), taking the place of war-ravaged Darwin in the film, a fact the locals are still very proud of today. Bowen’s most well-known asset for holidaymakers is the eight beaches dotted along the coast, from the 5km-long Queen’s Beach, which is great for walking along, to the tiny curved cove of Horseshoe Bay, with its village-like atmosphere (there is a café and small resort fronting the beach). Horseshoe Bay also offers fantastic fringing coral that draws snorkelers and divers, and there is a great lookout just a short hike up the hill from the beach. The other Bowen beaches are: Grays Bay - recognised as one of the most beautiful bays in north Queensland with large shady trees, picnic facilities, a children's playground and boat ramp. Coral Bay - nestled between Horseshoe Bay and Grays Bay, it is the local nudist beach (clothes optional!). Murray Bay - secluded and protected from the wind, with calm beautiful waters that are ideal for snorkelling and fishing. Front Beach - at the bottom of the town's main street, it has a visitor centre, grassy play areas, a waterpark and the town's wharf (great for a stroll and some turtle spotting). Rose Bay - has a fringing reef and is ideal for families with its picnic facilities and children's play area. Kings Beach - this glorious arc of sand is often virtually uninhabited. It is quiet and peaceful and ideal for walking and beachcombing.   Bowen offers lots of other attractions, including Muller’s Lagoon, a 23-hectare botanical gardens and wetlands situated in the centre of town. It consists of 12 hectares of land, the 11-hectare lagoon, a playground, picnic area with toilets, barbecues and shade trees. A walking track around the lagoon features interpretative facilities, seating and bridges, with displays of dry-climate palms, native and exotic shrubs and perennials. Another Bowen spot that really stands out is Flagstaff Hill, affording 360-degree views of the whole town, the hinterland, and out across the Coral Sea. You really do feel as if you’re on top of the world when standing on Flagstaff Hill – you can see for literally miles – and when you’re done with taking in the views, you can have breakfast, lunch or coffee and cake at the ‘360 on Flagstaff’ Café. They also serve dinner from Thursday to Saturday. Another institution in Bowen is the Grandview Hotel, situated at the bottom of the Main Street not far from Front Beach. A classic old Queensland pub, the Grandview featured prominently in the movie Australia and has the celebrity photos dotted around its walls to prove it! A very popular place for locals to eat, the Grandview offers great “pub grub” but get in early as it does get very busy, especially on weekends. And if you feel like taking a trip down memory lane, you can’t go past a visit to the Bowen Summergarden Theatre, on the corner of Murroona Road and Beach Avenue, Queens Beach. The quaint ‘art deco’ cinema, which first opened in 1948, shows blockbusters, family films and Hollywood classics, and is one of the only cinemas in Australia that is still privately owned. So take some time to discover the township of Bowen. Enjoy its beautiful beaches, excellent snorkelling and stunning views. Take a drive up Flagstaff Hill, a walk around Muller’s Lagoon and finish with lunch at the Grandview with the locals. You’ll be glad you did!
23 February 2017
TOP FIVE REASONS YOU SHOULD VISIT THE WHITSUNDAYS THIS AUTUMN #1 The Greatest Barrier Reef Experience The Whitsundays is in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and offers an unparalleled reef experience. The Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef system and the Whitsundays even has its own natural coral reef structure in the shape of a heart, called Heart Reef! Visitors to the Whitsundays can choose to see the World Heritage-listed reef from above the water - by seaplane, helicopter or boat - and below the water, with scuba diving and snorkelling. Be dazzled by thousands of different colourful corals and mesmerised by the more than 1,500 species of iridescent fish that call the reef home. The diverse marine life includes turtles, dolphins, dugongs, reef sharks, manta rays and giant clams. #2 An Aquatic Playground The Whitsundays is a sailor’s paradise, with safe, calm waters due to the protection of the reef. You can hire a yacht, a motor cruiser, a kayak or a Jetski to get around, or there are dozens of hosted tours aboard everything from sleek and sophisticated yachts to fast, time-efficient power boats and classic old timber vessels. You can also swim, snorkel and scuba dive in this amazing aquatic playground – or why not take a scenic flight or helicopter ride and see the Whitsundays from above. World famous Whitehaven Beach is a “must” to visit when in the Whitsundays, with its 7kms of pure white, 98% silica sand, which doesn’t get hot, no matter how much the sun shines! And not forgetting the swirling sands of Hill Inlet, visible from the lookout at the far end of Whitehaven Beach. # 3 Indulgent Luxury or Relaxing Rejuvenation The Whitsundays has every kind of accommodation including 5-star luxury, spa and wellness retreats, family resorts with spacious cabins, caravan and camping parks, self-contained apartments, boutique-style hotels and backpacker accommodation. There are also four world-class island resorts in the Whitsundays including Hamilton Island, One & Only Hayman Island, Daydream Island Resort & Spa and Palm Bay Resort on Long Island. As well as island resorts, there are dozens of undeveloped islands covered with national parkland and you can camp and fish in unspoilt natural beauty (permits required). You can quite literally be the only person on a pristine beach or the only yacht in a secluded bay or inlet when you are in the Whitsundays.  This variety means the Whitsundays is the perfect tropical setting for a relaxed, romantic holiday or an action-packed adventure. Couples, families, groups of friends and solo travellers all find something to enjoy in the Whitsundays. # 4 A Diverse and Beautiful Region  The Whitsunday region comprises 74 island wonders and a vibrant, cosmopolitan mainland. Holidaymakers can enjoy the shops, cafes, bars and restaurants of the beachside resort town of Airlie Beach, experience the beautiful, secluded beaches of Bowen, catch a barramundi on Lake  Proserpine or soak up the serenity of the rugged outback surrounding Collinsville. The Conway Ranges, which provide a stunning backdrop to the mainland, offer walking tracks, waterfalls and seasonal creeks for lazy picnics and a spot of swimming in clear mountain water.  Experience a different side of the Whitsundays when you explore the 27km Conway Circuit, passing through native bushland and majestic tropical rainforest, including towering Alexander Palms and ancient cycads, and absorb the spectacular coastal views stretching for miles. You might even encounter some native wildlife including iguanas and goannas and the native wompoo pigeon. # 5 Good old fashioned Queensland hospitality…and affordability! The only thing that remains the same throughout the Whitsundays is the hospitality you’ll receive. The region is renowned for being friendly and welcoming - every day’s a weekend in the Whitsundays! From fine dining at the wide range of restaurants and resorts to a counter meal at an outback pub with the locals, the Whitsundays welcome is there, and there’s a style of accommodation to suit every budget. Whether it’s solitude and rejuvenation, high-end luxury, adrenalin-pumping action or relaxation and tranquillity you seek, it’s all here in the Whitsundays. And with a wide range of accommodation on offer there is something to suit every budget. Oh, and did we mention the 25 degree Celsius average daily temperatures in the Whitsundays during autumn…      
08 February 2017
There are many hidden treasures in the Whitsundays and one place that’s a firm favourite with locals and visitors is Cedar Creek Falls. Tucked away down a winding road that is mainly unsealed and crosses a small creek, Cedar Creek Falls really is hidden if you don’t know where you’re going! Luckily, the signage is great but do leave plenty of time and don’t rush. When you first pull up in the rudimentary carpark (there are toilets) you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. But as you wander down the dirt track and start to hear the sound of gushing water, you begin to get excited. I first saw the falls in 1988 so it’s hard for me to remember my first time but every time I have visited since I still a get a feeling of the might and power of nature, and the falls never fail to impress. Not surprisingly the “wet” season is the best time to see the falls, when they are running with beautiful fresh water that comes off the mountains following the summer rains. They can fall at other times of the year – and the water’s still fresh! - but the wet season pretty much guarantees they’ll be running. Once at the falls themselves, you can choose to simply stare in awe and wonder, clicking away with your phone or camera, or you can whip off your clothes to your bathers underneath and ‘get amongst it’!    Swimming in this clear lagoon is stunningly refreshing and if you fancy having your head battered by gallons of rushing water, you can duck under the pounding streams. Nobody seems to know for sure how deep it is but I have heard it’s very deep. However, it’s also very safe, as there are no underlying boulders, except for around the perimeter. But don’t be tempted to jump from the top of the falls, as certain people have done in the past, only to go home with a broken limb, or worse. There’s enough fun to be had without silly stunts and many visitors bring picnics and rugs with them to while away a pleasant few hours in the dappled shade of the natural amphitheatre. Ancient trees and plants surround the falls in a circle and anyone interested in local flora and fauna will have a field day. If you’re observant you can also spot butterflies, lizards, birds, fish and terrapins. So do yourself a favour and embrace the summer rains at Cedar Creek Falls – you’ll be glad you did! How to get there: Take the Shute Harbour Road towards Proserpine, turning left into Conway Road at Mount Julian. Keep going until you see signs for Cedar Creek Falls off to the left (just by Bumble Bee Plant Nursery). Follow the signs remembering to always drive to the conditions and never risk crossing the creek if it is over the car wheels.  What to take: Camera, swimmers, sensible shoes (the rocks can get slippy). A picnic if you’ve got some time to spend in a beautiful shady location surrounded by nature. Best time to visit the falls: The “wet” season (January to March) when there are summer rains and the landscape blossoms into a green oasis. Deborah Friend is the PR and Communications Specialist for Tourism Whitsundays and has called the region home for the past 10 years, as well as living here from 1988-1994. This time it’s for ever! The wonderful Whitsundays…where else?       

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