The Whitsunday Islands offer unparalleled access to The Great Barrier Reef’s natural wonders and adventure. With 74 islands to visit, each showcasing a unique character, the Whitsundays are a prime destination off the coast of Queensland, Australia, for a luxury yacht charter. It would be impossible to write an all-inclusive cruising guide to the Whitsundays (there’s too much to do!), but the following destinations are the must-sees of any Whitsunday cruise.
Top 5 Places to Visit in the Whitsundays
#1 – Hamilton Island
With something for everyone, Hamilton Island is the most popular destination in the whole chain. Qualia is the most famous luxury resort on the island for those looking to stay for a couple of days. Furthermore, Hamilton Island alone could be a complete vacation with golf, several beaches, hiking trails, and watersports facilities at Catseye beach.
#2 – Hayman Island
Hayman Island is the most luxurious stop in the Whitsunday Islands. Hayman Island’s Intercontinental is a world-renowned 5-star resort offering the finest accommodations, dining, and leisure near The Great Barrier Reef. If there is one place in the island chain that will give your luxury yacht competition, it is the once-in-a-lifetime sophistication of the Intercontinental.
#3 – Daydream Island
After its recent $100 million upgrades, Daydream Island may be the most family-friendly stop in the Whitsundays. A new, state-of-the-art marina that offers activities for all family members. In addition, the Living Reef Aquarium is the largest outdoor aquarium in the world.
#4 – Long Island
As a National Park, Long Island provides visitors with a way to unplug from the hustle and bustle of busy tourist attractions. Long Island pulls travellers closer to the islands’ natural beauty with stunning vistas, calm private beaches, and miles of bushwalking trails. In addition, two eco-friendly resorts greet people concerned with preservation and sustainability.
#5 – Hook Island
Centrally located, Hook Island provides easy access to the other Whitsundays. Its main attraction is Nara Inlet, a spacious, protected anchorage that houses a breathtaking cross-section of the area’s wildlife. The views are astounding above and below the calm, clear waters. It is a prime location for snorkelling, scuba diving, and relaxing on a chartered yacht. Because of its well-protected and spacious waterscape, many have called Nara Inlet the best anchorage in the Whitsundays.
4 Unique Experiences Only Available in The Whitsundays
#1 – Play a Round at Hamilton Island Golf Club
The Hamilton Island Golf Club offers one of the most scenic rounds of golf on the planet. Novices and experts alike will appreciate the well-designed course, but the vistas are what make this day on the links with friends and family special. The golf course sits high over the water and looks out onto the natural beauty of the Whitsunday Islands and the Coral Sea.
#2 – Visit Airlie Beach
Although it is not technically on one of the Whitsunday Islands, Airlie Beach is required viewing for any luxury yacht holiday in the area. Airlie Beach is a tourist hub with plenty of entertainment for everyone. It provides several playgrounds, pools, and lagoons made explicitly for kids. Adult activities include jet-ski tours, aerobatic plane flights high above the Whitsundays, and skydiving excursions. The variety of food and nightlife options is the best in the area and never disappoints.
#3 – Go Snorkelling or Scuba Diving
The Great Barrier Reef’s waters offer the best snorkelling globally, with vibrant, healthy, and diverse reefs to explore. For a unique experience, yacht-goers can visit the Ngaro Underwater Sculpture trail. The trail includes six underwater sculptures by Australian artists. The eco-friendly art will merge with the reef over time, welcoming visitors with an evolving, changing, and rewarding experience every time.
#4 – Go on a Ngaro Cultural Tour
The Ngaro is a maritime culture that left archaeological remains on several Whitsunday islands 9,000 years ago. They constitute the earliest evidence of human habitation in the area and notably left cave paintings near Nara Inlet on Hook Island.
Travellers who prefer hiking, adventure, and exploring ancient civilizations can book a cultural day tour. These active excursions allow visitors to visit the cave paintings and view the archaeological remains of the Ngaro around the islands.
Bonus: The Best Food in The Whitsundays
Hamilton Island Golf Club Restaurant and Bar brings people who don’t even play to the golf course. It sits high on Dent Island, overlooking the Coral Sea. The food and service are superb, and they provide lunches packaged with horse-drawn tours of the golf course.
Long Pavilion is the restaurant of Hamilton Island’s luxury resort, Qualia. The seafood is locally sourced, and many vegetables come from the restaurant’s garden. Long Pavilion’s breakfast, lunch, and dinner all blend the tropical atmosphere of The Whitsundays with classic and modern cuisine.
Hayman Island’s Intercontinental offers a host of 5-star dining experiences. From private, under-the-stars romantic dinners to poolside cabanas to chef’s tables in the kitchen, the Intercontinental boasts luxurious offerings with unbeatable service. The staff will work with you to make every meal a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Dining at the Intercontinental is worthy of anyone’s bucket list.
How to Reach the Whitsunday Islands
The Whitsundays are easy to reach. Most international flights to the area arrive at Airlie Beach. However, smaller aircraft often fly directly to Hamilton Island. If you can find one, the flights straight to Hamilton are generally less expensive than Airlie Beach.
Plan Your Luxury Yacht Tour of The Whitsundays
To ensure the perfect luxury yacht experience, you will need the ideal yacht charter broker. The best yacht brokers can access an extensive catalogue of ships worldwide, ready to employ them at a moment’s notice. They take the time to research crews, observe market conditions, and make sure to anticipate your every need. Contact the world’s premier charter broker if you want the exclusive luxury yacht experience.
Author Bio: Monica Borse is an SEO Executive and content writer at Chetaru. She loves learning new things, researching and curating valuable content to save your time and help you achieve your goals.