The Whitsundays is located along Queensland's central coast in north-eastern Australia, approximately 1120km north of Brisbane and 630km south of Cairns. The Whitsundays region includes 74 magnificent islands, with four resort islands currently operational - Daydream Island, Hamilton Island, Hayman Island and Long Island - and adjacent coastline and hinterland. The main towns on the mainland are Airlie Beach, Bowen, Collinsville and Proserpine.
Getting to the Whitsundays is easy, whether driving from nearby towns or travelling from the other side of the world.
If travelling to the Whitsundays from overseas, fly into Brisbane, Cairns, Sydney or Melbourne, and then book a domestic flight into one of the two airports in the Whitsundays. Brisbane, the capital city of Queensland, offers the best range of connecting flights into the region. The following two airports service the Whitsundays daily:
Great Barrier Reef Airport, Hamilton Island (HTI)
Located on Hamilton Island, the airport is serviced by Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Qantas Link with daily flights from Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and connection points beyond. Cruise Whitsundays operates ferries from Hamilton Island to transfer passengers to Airlie Beach on the Whitsunday Coast and other island resorts. View flight information for Great Barrier Reef Airport here.
Whitsunday Coast Airport, Proserpine (PPP)
Whitsunday Coast Airport is located near Proserpine, approximately 25 minutes to Airlie Beach. The airport is currently serviced by three domestic carriers Virgin Australia, Jetstar and Tiger Airways. Virgin Australia and Jetstar offer daily flights from Brisbane and connecting flights from other cities. Tiger Airways provides direct flights to and from Sydney on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Buses and taxis meet every flight to transfer guests to Airlie Beach, or to ferries to the island resorts. Car and limousine hire is also available at the airport. View flight information for Whitsunday Coast Airport here.
Approximate Flight DurationCairns to Hamilton Island - 1 ½ hours
The Bruce Highway is the major road linking Queensland's coastal cities and towns. The Bruce Highway runs through Proserpine and Bowen, with Airlie Beach located approximately 20 minutes drive off the Bruce Highway at Proserpine. Just follow the signs to Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday Islands along Shute Harbour Road.
Major national coach operators such as Greyhound Australia, Premier and Oz Experience, include the Whitsundays in their regular scheduled services into the coastal community of Airlie Beach from all major centres along the east coast of Australia.
Queensland Rail services include the Spirit of Queensland, linking Proserpine to all the major destinations from Cairns to Brisbane and beyond to Sydney and Melbourne. Taxis and Whitsunday Transit buses meet every arriving train to provide transfers from Proserpine to Airlie Beach, Shute Harbour and the island resorts. Coach transfers between Proserpine and Airlie Beach are included in rail travel passes. Find out more here.