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About Whitsunday Islands
There are 74 islands in the Whitsunday Group, sprinkled down the Queensland coast and surrounded by the calm, bright blue waters of the Coral Sea and the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. Only seven of the island in the group have accommodation options, ranging from camping on Hook Island to exclusive private island resorts. So don't be put off by the photos of perfect beaches and calm seas, the best places to stay in the Whitsunday Islands come in every price bracket.
Most of the Whitsunday Islands are designated national parks (69 of the 74 islands are entirely national park land) - both on and off shore, hence the small number which are inhabited.
Hamilton is the most developed, and has its own airport, post office and bank, though most of the island is still free from development and there are some wonderful walking tracks criss crossing it.
Some of the other names might also be familiar to you:
- Arlie Beach on the mainland is the gateway to the islands and the holiday town.
- Whitsunday Island is home to Whitehaven Beach, famed for its pristine white silica sand, and some of the world's most perfect beaches. As well as the 7kms of Whitehaven, the island has numerous little coves, perfect for parking up your private yacht or charter boat.
- Hook Island is mostly national park too, and is known for its wonderful snorkelling terrain.
- Hayman and Daydream Islands are the single resort islands, and you can't even dock there if you don't have a reservation, though both have wonderful reefs too.
- Long Island is a relatively undeveloped island with some nice eco-resorts.
- You might also have heart of Heart Reef, a famous heart shaped reef off one of the outlying islands.
- And there's Laguna and Proserpine on the mainland, Laguna for golf and Proserpine for fishing.
Those are just the headlines, though, everywhere you go you'll find tropical island lagoons, packed with fish for watching or catching, and marine life of all kinds, including around 400 different types of coral.
The best places to stay in the Whitsunday Islands are busy year round, so if you want to book one of these, plan well ahead!
- Qualia is a small, stylish resort, offering the ultimate beachside resort experience. As well as the perfect beach, luxury spa and numerous private pools, Qualia is surrounded by lush tropical rainforest - a proper island paradise.
- One&Only Hayman Island is a private island resort about three miles by five in size and on the outer edge of the Whitsunday group, right on the reef. Rooms, suites, villas and penthouses are luxurious, each with a balcony looking out to sea.
- An oldy but a goody, the Daydream Island Resort and Spa is a large resort known for family relaxation. There's a choice of spas, pools and restaurants and plenty of opportunities to explore the reef, or just relax on the beautiful, white, sandy beaches.
- The Hamilton Island Yacht Club Villas are a collection of luxurious, self contained villas, each with four ensuite bedrooms and kitchen and laundry facilities, and all opening out onto the beach with views of the Whitsundays. You're also close to the Hamilton Island Marina.
- The Palm Bay Resort is on Long Island, just off the mainland, and offers luxurious self catering accommodation in light, airy rooms with stunning views.
Best Hotels in Whitsunday Islands
Daydream Island Resort and Spa 296 rooms from $119Whitsunday Islands
The very name of the island invites total relaxation, which is exactly what this resort offers. Deluxe suites, three outdoor spas and a choice of restaurants make this the ideal place to unwind after a day exploring the reef. Particularly geared up for families.Great walks - In the rainforestViews - Out to reefSailing - Can be booked nearby.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.Recommended by - Fodors
Palm Bay Resort from $178Whitsunday Islands
With a mesmerising location on Long Island, at the heart of the Whistsunday Islands, this resort offers luxurious self-catering accommodation. Modern amenities, including a kitchen and laundry facilities, are complimented by the light and airy rooms with stunning views.On the beach - Private beachfrontBarefoot Luxury - For total relaxation.Outstanding locationHideaway - Tranquil and intimate.
One&Only Hayman Island 160 rooms from $480Whitsunday Islands
This five by three mile private Whitsunday island is a tropical oasis of pristine white beaches and turquoise water. The only resort on the island offers luxurious rooms, suites, villas and penthouses each with a balcony or breathtaking sea view, and is the ultimate place to unwind.Views - Out to the reefBack to NatureKids Club - Fully staffed.Birdwatching - Good birding near the hotel.Recommended by - Tablet, Fodors, Mr & Mrs Smith
Hamilton Island Yacht Club Villas from $589Whitsunday Islands
These luxury self-contained villas have breath-taking views towards the Whitsunday Islands. Each beachfront Villa comes with four ensuite bedrooms, a kitchen and laundry facilities. Close to Hamilton Island marina, they're the ideal set up for families and larger groups.CoastalFamily SuitesSwimming Pool - Waterfront lagoon pool surrounded by a tropical garden.Diving - Access to the Great Barrier Reef.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
Qualia 60 rooms from $659Hamilton Island, Whitsunday Islands
Explore the Great Barrier Reef from this stylish resort offering the ultimate private beachside experience. Breathtaking views, spa treatments, a fully stocked library and more - an island paradise.Swimming Pool - Private pools in some PavilionsViews - Each Pavilion has a searoomRestrictions on children - Must be 16 or overBack to NatureRecommended by - Tablet, Fodors, Mr & Mrs Smith