Camping the Whitsunday Islands

Camping The Whitsunday Islands

Camping in Australia is a favourite family holiday, from outback farmlands to island oasis’, Australia has a wide variety of camping options. The Whitsundays, in the Heart of the Great Barrier Reef, has camping options in abundance.

The Whitsundays is known for its 74 island wonders, sailing adventures, and incredible beaches (Whitehaven Beach anyone?). The region is also a camping enthusiasts dream, many of the Whitsunday Islands have designated camping areas, in stunning natural locations.

On camping sites throughout the Whitsunday Islands, campers can follow the historic Aboriginal trails, enjoy breathtaking lookouts, swim off beautiful sandy beaches in calm waters, kayak around the picturesque landscape, snorkel the incredible array of coral fringing reefs with its many marine species or cast a fishing line and catch your dinner.

You can visit one or visit many, the choice is yours!

With the Islands being a part of Queensland’s National Parks, the fees are very affordable and put back into preserving, protecting, and maintaining the Natural Surrounds.

Whitsunday Island Camping Connections can not only connect you to your island of choice but have all the camping equipment you need for your adventure available for rent and ready to go. They can even collect your shopping goods!

The company is family-owned and operated, so you can be sure you will be taken care of. Being locals to the area they are experienced Skippers, and even have their very own Master Reef Guide, ensuring you are being given the best knowledge and experience The Whitsundays has to offer.

As stated, there are many locations to choose from and finding the right spot can be tricky, which is where the local knowledge of Whitsunday Island Camping Connections can be so helpful.

If you are on a budget but like to explore and get away from it all, South Molle Island is an ideal spot. Connected to over 18km of Bushwalking Trails it is even suitable for a mountain bike, and being part of the Ngaro Sea Trail, the island hosts a rich and valuable Indigenous history. You can find guided information along the trails.

South Molle Island is also where an Aboriginal Rock Quarry is found, where they used to make spears and axes, where often there would be bartering for other goods. These rocks have been found up and down the Queensland Coast.

The island’s peak reaches 177 metres and provides a fantastic view looking out across the Whitsunday Passage and the surrounding Islands. The steep drop-offs around the island are great for fishing (please see map for zoning locations). The island has two campsite locations, Sandy Bay, hidden in behind the hill where the water is calm and great for swimming. The other is Paddle Bay located at the North-western tip and has a beach either side of the campground, which makes for an ideal spot to watch the sunset. During the winter months, you may even be lucky to spot a Humpback Whale swimming past on their annual migration.

If land-based fishing is your sport, The Cairn on the Northern tip of Whitsunday Island is your top pick. With a deep channel between neighbouring Hook Island, the pelagic fish love to gather. Once you have collected a feed of fish for dinner, there is also a bushwalk taking you to a lookout with a staggering 380 metres in elevation! Needless to day, the views are sensational and well worth the trek. (Please note this walk is for those of high levels of fitness with some hiking experience needed).

For Snorkeling enthusiasts, you cannot look past Crayfish Beach on Hook Island. With some of the Whitsundays best coral cover, it is not to be missed. Tucked away in the southern part of Mackerel Bay, on the eastern side of Hook Island, the ocean currents filter abundant nutrients feeding the corals. With great formations formed from the coral, there is a large array of fish species and green turtles who like to call the reef home, making it an underwater haven. To be able to reach the best parts of the reef here we highly suggest hiring a kayak. There is even a creek to paddle up on a high tide to explore. The campground is small, and it is not uncommon that you will be here alone. Please check the wind predictions for the best time to visit Crayfish Beach.

If you were looking for a sandy beach without the crowds, shallow waters for the kids to swim and a shallow reef to explore, Chance Bay is a beautiful setting. With the campground perched up on the hill, you will wake up to a beautiful view of the sun rising. Located on the southern side of Whitsunday Island, Chance Bay is one of the few locations with a sandy beach. It is also connected via a 45-minute bushwalk to Whitehaven Beach, so you can visit the beach when the tourists are gone.

Of course, on the top of most bucket lists, is a visit to the world-famous Whitehaven Beach. Being one of the most popular beaches in the world, you will find a selection of day tours and their guests visiting throughout the day, but what if we told you, you could spend the night there! That is right Whitehaven Beach has its very own campground catering for up to 36 people. You can camp with your mates in a group or choose a more secluded spot if you are a couple wanting a more romantic setting. At night, the beach made up of its pure white silica sand lights up with the moonlight, a torch is hardly needed.

With the beach stretching over 7km you can get away from the tourist boats during the lunch time rush and make your way to the most northern part of the beach, Hill Inlet. One of the most photographed locations in the world you will be guaranteed a ‘wow’ moment as you experience the white silica sand of Whitehaven Beach combined with the blue-green hues of the inlet blending seamlessly to create a swirling fusion of turquoise colours. If you hire a kayak, you can also paddle across the Northern side where you can then venture to the Hill Inlet lookout. The best time to visit here is on a low to medium tide to capture that epic photo overlooking the Hill Inlet during the tidal shift. Camping at Whitehaven Beach gives you the time to explore this beauty and truly indulge in the views from the new Whitehaven Beach lookout at the Southern end of Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet Lookout as well as the many other walks available.

No matter where you camp within The Whitsundays, you are guaranteed a unique experience right in the Heart of the Great Barrier Reef.

For detailed information on the camping locations of The Whitsundays, information on camping permits and fees as well as park specific conditions for the Whitsunday Islands National Park click here.

This guest blog has been provided courtesy of Whitsunday Island Camping Connections.

Tourism Whitsundays acknowledges that we work, live and play on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land. We pay our respects to Elders past, present and future.