Whitsunday Island, Whitsundays Whitsunday Island – Image courtesy of Tourism Queensland

Whitsundays Honeymoon Guide

The Whitsundays offer a choice of scenic, tranquil islands, where romantic sunsets and balmy moonlit nights under swaying palm trees framing white-sand beaches and the crystal-clear waters of the Coral Sea are the norm … making the Whitsundays a truly memorable honeymoon destination at any time of year.

With its iridescent turquoise waters, white sandy beaches and lush green interiors, the Whitsunday region offers some of the most idyllic and beautiful scenery in the world – all easily explore by boat, on foot and by helicopter.

The clear and protected waters of the Whitsundays offer some of the best sailing in the world, with a choice of sheltered coves for mooring, stunning reefs to snorkel and pristine beaches to sunbathe and swim.

Inland, the Whitsunday Islands National Park is criss-crossed by easy-to-walk trails leading to scenic lookouts and pristine, uncrowded beaches.

Lying off the central Queensland coast between 10km (6mi) to 40km (24mi) south-east of Airlie Beach, the Whitsunday islands and their surrounding waters are internationally recognised and protected in the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park protects the surrounding reef, while 32 of the islands are protected by the Whitsunday Islands National Park, including Whitsunday Island, world-famous for its uncommonly bright, white, silica sand and crystal-clear water.

With mild temperatures and clear skies throughout the year, the Whitsundays is perfect to visit at any time.


Whitsunday Islands

The Whitsundays is part of the Cumberland Island Group – the largest offshore island chain along the Australian coastline – and are actually peaks of drowned mountain ranges, separated by rising sea levels which began around 19,000 years ago, when the polar ice caps melted during the last ice.

While only eight of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays are inhabited, most can be explored on foot and by boat. The iconic islands of Hayman, Hamilton, Daydream, Brampton, Long and South Molle all stand out.

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island

Whitsunday Island

Discover the magic of Whitsunday Island, the largest island in the Whitsundays group and home to the world-renowned Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet.

Here you can let your toes sink into soft silica sand, meander along a choice of trails in the Whitsunday Island National Park, take in scenic views from several hill-top lookouts and overnight at some of the prettiest campgrounds in the Whitsundays.

The Whitsunday Islands National Park is part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, famed for its natural beauty and outstanding examples of reef ecosystem development and diversity.

More about Whitsunday Island


Hamilton Island, Whitsundays

Hamilton Island

Perfectly positioned in the heart of the Whitsundays, Hamilton Island is one of Australia’s top holiday destinations.

As the Whitsundays' go-to island, Hamo – as the locals call it – is the perfect base to explore the Great Barrier Reef and world-famous Whitehaven Beach.

The island’s village also provides a wide wide selection of bars and restaurants, year-round cultural exhibitions and performances, and an abundance of water sports and activities.

There's also an excellent choice of accommodation options from plush, couples’ suites to family-friendly apartments.

With more than 20km (12mi) of bush-walking trails, the island is perfect to explore on foot at your own pace. Seventy per cent of Hamilton Island consists of pristine natural bushland, and can be accessed along several interlinking walking trails.

More about Hamilton Island


Hayman Island, Whitsundays

Hayman Island

Lying in the stunning Whitsunday Passage, Hayman is a magnificent private island resort – one island, one resort.

InterContinental Hayman Island Resort (formerly known as One&Only Hayman Island Resort) offers honeymoon couples a luxurious and pampered 5-star experience surrounded by genuine natural beauty.

Relax in the private island resort’s large, well-appointed suites that edge the huge lagoon pool and overlook a scene of tropical perfection – neatly manicured gardens and beyond to white sandy beaches and the azure Pacific Ocean.

The resort offers a wide range of activities including tennis, squash, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, water skiing, scuba diving, snorkelling and fishing making it perfect for active honeymoon couples.

More about Hayman Island


Daydream Island, Whitsundays

Daydream Island

Daydream is a beautiful island located close to the mainland and home to a single luxury resort.

The multi-award winning 4.5-star Daydream Island Resort & Spa offers affordable luxury with beautifully appointed rooms, stunning restaurants and a world-class rejuvenation spa offering the latest in naturopathy, hydrotherapy, aromatherapy and reflexology to stimulate the senses.

The resort occupies the majority of the island and offers a wide range of water-based activities.

Snorkel the island’s fringing reef or explore the man-made outdoor aquarium, a stunning network of reef lagoons containing more than 40 marine fish species and 50 coral varieties.

Explore the island along several walking tracks. Stroll through tropical jungle to the centre and highest point of the island for great views. Along the way, watch out for colourful parrots and tiny sunbirds.

More about Daydream Island


Long Island, Whitsundays

Long Island

Long Island is a national park and one of the most beautiful islands in the Whitsundays, with a choice of several resorts

Relax under the palm trees on the white coral sand beach or stroll the 20km of bush trails that criss-cross the island and lead to beautiful secluded beaches.

Spot life under the water such as dolphins, turtles and tropical fish, as well as land wildlife including goannas and wallabies. Activities offered by the island’s resorts include snorkelling, diving, water skiing, parasailing and sailing.

Choose between the luxurious 5-star Elysian Retreat or the family-friendly 4.5-star Palm Bay Resort Whitsundays.

More about Long Island


Hook Island, Whitsundays

Hook Island

Explore the deep fjord-like inlets and sheltered bays of Hook Island – the second largest island in the Cumberland group with an area of 58km² (22mi²).

With multiple moorings and safe anchorages, Hook Island is ideal for sailing and kayaking.

Hire a yacht or join a local tour from Airlie Beach to experience quality snorkelling and diving at Maureen's Cove and Luncheon Bay or anchor overnight at picture-perfect Stonehaven beach.

Hook Island also offers beautiful bushwalks, pristine waterfalls and unspoilt beaches.

Look out for wildlife including sea eagles, kites and ospreys, turtles, reef fish, dolphins, manta rays and humpback whales in the Whitsunday Passage (between June to September).

Don't miss the ancient rock art at Ngaro Cultural Site. Protected from the elements in a once-hidden cave, the Ngaro artwork adorns the rock surface and tells the story of these sea-faring Aboriginal people.

More about Hook Island


Things to do in the Whitsundays

The Whitsundays offer a wide range of outdoor activites for adventurous couples celebrating a honeymoon or romantic getaway.

For a memorable romantic interlude why not charter a chopper and spend a day 'marooned' on an island atoll – just the two of you and a champagne picnic hamper. How good does that sound?

More traditional activies in the Whitsundays include…

Whitsundays sailing

Sailing

As the Great Barrier Reef protects the Whitsunday Coast and islands from ocean swells, the sapphire waters of the Whitsundays are considered among the safest and most beautiful cruising grounds in the world.

So why not charter a yacht (with crew or without) to island hop for a day or longer?

Yacht charter seasons typical run as follows:
High season: from Sept 13 to Oct 13; and from Dec 24 to Jan 7;
Mid season: from Apr 1 to Sept 12 and from Oct 14 until Dec 23;
Low season: from Jan 8 through to Mar 31.


Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef

Snorkelling & Scuba diving

Strap on your flippers and dive into the warm shallow waters of the Whitsundays to swim among some of the most colourful fish and coral formations found anywhere in the world.

Experience the thrill of diving alongside green and loggerhead turtles, majestic manta rays, sea snakes and clown fish.

Explore stunning reefs of gorgonia, tabletop and fan coral as schools of black-tipped fusilier drummer and yellowtail fish swim around and above you in the warm, crystal clear water.

Glide around scattered coral bommies with overhangs, swim-throughs and amazing natural grottos.

Whatever your skill level, there’s much to see at the Whitsundays. Local companies cater for every skill level, from novice to dive master, and dive courses are available from operators on the mainland and at some island resorts.


Solway Circuit, Whitsunday Island

Bushwalking

With more than 24 different bushwalks in the Whitsunday islands alone, you're spoiled for choice when it comes to exploring both the mainland and the rugged, densely vegetated islands in the Whitsundays.

On Whitehaven Island, try the Solway Circuit, a 1.2km return walk from Whitehaven beach uphill to a natural rock platform with spectacular views over Solway Passage and the surrounding islands.

Or take the Whitsunday Peak Track: this 5km return uphill walk from Sawmill Beach day-use area weaves through windblown heaths to the ‘roof of the Whitsundays’, with impressive panoramic views along the way.

On the mainland, take the Whitsunday Great Walk to discover lush rainforest, sparkling creeks and the native wildlife of the Conway Range.

Regarded as one of the six great walks of Queensland, a series of walking tracks takes you through some of the region’s most beautiful natural areas, with breathtaking views over the Whitsunday Islands.


Great Barrier Reef

Reef cruises

Explore the islands and Outer Barrier Reef aboard a luxury mini-cruise ship. Choose to cruise for a few days or a week.

Navigate the amazing Reef River – the channel dividing the main reefs – and snorkel and dive at your leisure, dine al fresco and enjoy the creature comforts of a luxury cruiser.

Or take a day cruise out to Knuckle Reef Lagoon, one of the region's most spectacular Great Barrier Reef sites.


Scenic flights

Get a bird's-eye view of the stunning reef formations from the air in a helicopter fitted with floats or from a seaplane.


Spa

Pamper yourself with a revitalising health and wellness experience at your resort’s spa. For sheer indulgence, check out Daydream Island’s award-winning Rejuvenation Spa or Hayman’s Spa Chakra.

The latter offers an exclusive selection of tailored beauty and wellbeing programs, with 13 individual treatment rooms including a dedicated wet treatment room, a relaxing hydrotherapy area, saunas, steam rooms and a state-of-the-art hair salon incorporating special occasion make-up.


Game fishing

Hook up a charter for some of the best game fishing in Queensland. Cruise out to the rich waters of the outer Great Barrier Reef for tuna, mackerel and coral trout, or opt to tag and release sailfish and marlin.


Whitsundays sightseeing

The Whitsundays offers a choice of must-see natural attractions for inquisitive couples, including…

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island

Whitehaven Beach

Experience one of the most photographed beaches in Australia. The pristine pure white silica sand of Whitehaven stretches more than 7km (4mi) along Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 Whitsunday islands.

Stroll the beach, paddle a kayak along Hill Inlet, a stunning cove located at the northern end of Whitehaven, and later climb to the lookout for magnificent views over the beach.

Getting to Whitehaven is easy: travel by seaplane or helicopter for a spectacular aerial view over the island and beach, then indulge in a champagne picnic ashore; or sail, cruise, kayak or take a jet boat tour.

Read more about the Whitsunday Island


Snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef

Discover the world’s largest living structure and one of the seven natural wonders of the world.

Stretching more than 2000km (1243mi) in length and covering an area of more than 23 million hectares, the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef comprises more than 2100 individual reefs plus 500 islands with fringing reefs.

Explore a magical underwater world that is home to more than 400 varieties of coral and 1500 species of tropical fish and marine creatures – the perfect location for scuba diving and snorkelling.

If you would prefer not to get wet, stay dry and enjoy the reef views from an underwater viewing chamber, glass bottom boat or semi-submersible.

Don't miss Heart Reef – a coral formation that has naturally formed into the shape of a heart. While you can cruise to Heart Reef, it’s best appreciated from the air in a helicopter or seaplane – a perfect romantic surprise for a loved one.

The reef is easily accessible via fast, ultramodern catamarans, boats, seaplanes and helicopters, which depart daily from Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach.

More about the Great Barrier Reef


View on the Conway Circuit, Airlie Beach, Whitsundays

Conway Circuit

Previously known as the Whitsunday Great Walk, this challenging 28km (17mi) point-to-point multi-purpose trail can be explored by mountain bike or on foot.

Discover the Whitsunday’s must exclusive escape – the lush rainforest, sparkling creeks and native wildlife of the Conway Range.

Regarded as one of the six great walks of Queensland, a series of walking tracks takes you through some of the region’s most beautiful natural areas, with breathtaking views over the Whitsunday Islands.

Choose from a short one-hour self-guided circuit through lush rainforest or a half-day walk past shady tulip oaks to a secluded creek.

For the more adventurous, enjoy the complete 28km walk from Brandy Creek via Repulse Creek to Airlie Beach – a three-day odyssey through groves of towering palms, into lush valleys and over bubbling creeks.

All trails on the Conway Circuit are shared-use, with the exception of the Kingfisher circuit which is accessible to walkers only. Bike riders must always give way to people on foot on the trails.

Conway National Park covers 22,500ha of lowland rainforest covered with hoop pine cut with rocky escarpments and lush green gullies. The park sits on a peninsula to the east of Airlie Beach overlooking the Whitsundays.


Cedar Creek Falls, Airlie Beach, Whitsundays

Cedar Creek Falls

Located 19km (11.8mi) from Proserpine on Conway Beach Road, the picturesque Cedar Creek Falls are spectacular in the wet season and offer a year-round natural swimming pool at the base of the falls.

Relax in a natural rock amphitheatre surrounded by stunning native flora including strangler figs, red and white cedars and wild orchids.

Take a bush walk up and around the falls and admire the majestic Alexandra palms that line the creek as it winds its way to the ocean.


Whitsunday Coast

With its pristine national parks and bustling, friendly coastal towns that offer an endless array of fun-filled activities, the Whitsunday Coast is not to be missed.

Check out the bustling and friendly Airlie Beach – gateway to the Whitsundays – as well as a series of colourful towns set along the Whisunday Coast.

As the ideal mainland base for fun and adventure in the Whitsundays, Airlie Beach is the perfect launch pad for water-borne activities as well as land-based exploration of the lush, green rainforest of the Whitsunday Coast.

Read more about Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday Coast


Where to stay in the Whitsundays

The Whitsundays offer newlyweds some of the most romantic locations in the world and are typically one island, one resort.

Unfortunately – following the destructive force of Cyclone Debbie in 2017 – the resorts on South Molle Island, Brampton Island and Lindeman Island have remained closed. However, you can still visit these islands on day-trips and overnight at camp sites.

Combine the superb facilities and huge choice of activities on offer, including snorkelling, scuba diving, fishing, swimming or simple relaxation, and you have the makings of the honeymoon of a lifetime at any of these Whitsunday resorts…

One&Only Hayman IslandInterContinental Hayman Island Resort
Location: Hayman Island
Rating: 5-star
Prices: from AUD845 per room
Description: Experience world-class service at the InterContinental Hayman Island Resort – a tropical oasis of white sandy beaches, lush palm trees and sparkling waters. Located on a pristine 400-hectare private island on the northernmost point of the Whitsundays, the InterContinental Hayman Island Resort features 168 rooms, suites and villas across three distinct wings. Guests can experience elegant resort living in luxurious and modern accommodation, with all rooms featuring a private balcony and sea or garden views. Free WiFi and complimentary breakfast are included. The spa is a blissful sanctuary, dedicated to personal pampering including facials, body wraps and massages. Also on offer are a state-of-the-art fitness centre, tennis court and swimming pool. The resort features 5 restaurants with Italian, Asian and modern Australian cuisines. Facilities incl.: Beach, 5 restaurants and bars, 2 swimming pools, a brand-new luxury spa with 11 treatment rooms, all-new resort boutique, extensive health club, watersports activity centre, game room, concierge, tour desk, 24-hr room service, laundry service and dry cleaning.

Qualia ResortQualia Resort
Location: Hamilton Island
Rating: 5-star
Prices: from AUD4000 per room
Description: Qualia Resort offers guests a distinctively understated style and luxury, with a choice of elegant private pavilions that promise privacy and luxury on Hamilton Island’s secluded northern tip. Each of Qualia’s 60 light-filled pavilions faces the water, surrounded by tropical bushland with uninterrupted views over the sea. Natural tones of timber, stone and glass reflect the serenity of qualia’s Whitsundays locale, subtly framing the seafront setting and providing sweeping views from every room.
Facilities incl.: 2 restaurants, 2 bars, 2 pools, exclusive use of a two-seater golf buggy, 24/7 chauffeur service, spa, 24-hr. room service, laundry service, dry cleaning and watersports.

Beach ClubBeach Club
Location: Hamilton Island
Rating: 4.5-star
Prices: from AUD720 per room
Description: Boasting an infinity pool and a private beach area, this resort offers adult only, beachfront accommodation with free WiFi and free airport transfers. Each room has a private balcony with stunning Coral Sea views. The stylish, adult only rooms have flat-screen cable TV, an iPod dock and a DVD player. The private bathroom has a bathrobe, hairdryer and guest toiletries. Chinese TV channels are available. Surrounded by tropical gardens, Beach Club offers a free chauffeur service to take guests around Hamilton Island. Guests can make use of the free water sports equipment, including windsurfing and snorkelling. Staff are able to converse in English and Chinese. Overlooking the palm-fringed pool, Beach Club Restaurant offers à la carte dining and creative cocktails. There are also a number of restaurants within a 5-minute walk. Hamilton Island Beach Club is only 1 km from the Great Barrier Reef Airport. Dent Island is a 5-minute ferry ride away.
Facilities incl.: restaurant, 2 bars, outdoor pool, spa, fitness facilitiy, nighclub, room service, laundry service and watersports.

Reef View HotelReef View Hotel
Location: Hamilton Island
Rating: 4-star
Prices: from AUD275 per room
Description: Located directly opposite Catseye Beach, Reef View Hotel features a restaurant, bar and outdoor swimming pool. Each room offers free WiFi and a private balcony overlooking the gardens or the Coral Sea. Reef View Hamilton Island offers modern rooms with a furnished balcony, plus a bathroom with a separate bath and shower. All rooms include air conditioning, a refrigerator and a flat-screen TV with Chinese TV channels available. Buffet breakfast, light lunches and an à la carte dinner menu are served in the Pool Terrace Restaurant, overlooking the 35-metre heated swimming pool. The Reef Lounge offers a selection of beer and wine. Guests have free access to the island’s fitness centre, sauna and tennis courts. Guests enjoy free use of all non-motorised water sports equipment, including windsurfing and snorkelling gear. Staff are able to converse in English and Chinese. Free Wi-Fi access is available at the Reef View Foyer & Lounge and at various areas throughout the property (download limits apply).
Facilities incl.: restaurant, 2 bars, outdoor pool, 24-hour reception and concierge, nearby spa, fitness facility, nearby tennis and squash courts and watersports equipment.

Daydream ResortDaydream Island Resort & Spa
Location: Daydream Island
Rating: 4.5-star
Prices: from AUD180 per room
Description: The refurbished 277-room and multi-award winning 4.5-star Daydream Island Resort offers affordable luxury with well-appointed spacious rooms and suites, with a modern living area, air conditioning and flat-screen TV with free in-house movies. You can also expect free WiFi and a full buffet breakfast. Most rooms feature a private balcony or terrace with views of the ocean, marina or tropical gardens. Interconnecting rooms for families and accessible rooms are available. The resort features an open-air cinema, outdoor pools and three bars and restaurants. A world-class rejuvenation spa offers the latest in naturopathy, hydrotherapy, aromatherapy and reflexology to stimulate the senses. The resort occupies the majority of the island and offers a wide range of water-based activities. The property also boasts over 20 free island activities including kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and a public fish feeding show.
Facilities incl.: 3 restaurants, 3 bars, 2 outdoor pools, outdoor aquarium, spa, tour desk, laundry and watersports equipment.


While on the mainland, bustling Airlie Beach also offers a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets and a plethora of land- and water-based activities.

Peppers Airlie BeachPeppers Airlie Beach
Location: Airlie Beach,
Rating: 5-star
Prices: from AUD576 per room
Description: Overlooking the Whitsunday Passage, Peppers Airlie Beach offers 5-star luxury apartments with wide verandas and panoramic ocean views. Each apartment features a separate lounge/dining area and kitchen. The apartments have an LCD TV with cable channels and an iPod docking station. The well-equipped kitchens include an oven, freezer, microwave and dishwasher. The luxurious bathrooms feature both spa baths and showers. Airlie Beach Peppers’ restaurant and bar serves food made with local produce. It features a variety of cocktails each evening.Facilities include a day spa, gymnasium, swimming pool and spa pool. Airlie Beach, just 700 metres from the hotel, features a selection of shops, cafes, clubs and pubs. A boardwalk links the Airlie Beach lagoon to nearby Cannonvale and Shingley Beach.
Facilities incl.: restaurant, bar, outdoor pool, full-service spa, health club and room service.

PeninsulaPeninsula Airlie Beach
Location: Airlie Beach
Rating: 5-star
Prices: from AUD369 per room
Description: Peninsula Airlie Beach offers a choice of apartments and penthouses, located directly on the waterfront. All apartments have a private balcony with views of the marina and the Whitsunday Islands. Each apartment includes a spacious lounge area with sofa, coffee table, LCD TV, DVD player and stereo system. The fully equipped kitchen features an electric stove, refrigerator and a dishwasher. The restaurants and nightlife of Airlie Beach are just a 20-minute walk away. It is only 3 minutes’ drive to the famous Airlie Beach Lagoon. The tour desk can organise trips to Whitehaven Beach and the Whitsundays. Facilities at Peninsula Apartments Airlie Beach include free internet access and an outdoor swimming pool with sun loungers.

Pinnacles Resort & SpaPinnacles Resort & Spa
Location: Airlie Beach,
Rating: 5-star
Prices: from AUD324 per room
Description: Pinnacles Resort offers 5-star luxury apartments with Coral Sea views, just 300 m from Airlie Beach town centre. The Port of Airlie is just 900 metres away. All apartments at Pinnacles Resort Whitsundays include an internal spa bath or hot tub, a balcony and stunning views of the Coral Sea. The 1-bedroom apartments have a kitchenette whilst the 2 and 3-bedroom apartments have a fully equipped kitchen. Guests can relax in the 20 metre infinity pool or in infrared sauna, and can work out at the fully equipped fitness centre. Pinnacles Resort is located in the heart of Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands. Whitsunday Coast Airport or Proserpine Airport is a 45-minute drive from the resort.
Facilities incl.: outdoor pool, full-service spa, sauna and health club.


Find the best deal, compare prices and read what other travellers have to say about resorts in the Whitsundays at TripAdvisor.


Best time to honeymoon in the Whitsundays

For the best weather visit the Whitsundays anytime between May and November. However, late March through December are considered the best holiday months.

The Whitsundays enjoys a tropical climate with hot summers, warm winters and a pleasant spring and autumn.

Summer, from December to February, averages between 25°C (77°F) and 31°C (87°F) and winter from 18°C (64°F) to 26°C (78°F).

For more information about Whitsundays weather


How to get to the Whitsundays

The Whitsunday Islands lie off the central coast of Queensland, around 900km (559mi) north of Brisbane and 600km (372mi) south of Cairns.

The most convenient route to the Whitsunday Islands is by air to either Hamilton Island Airport (HTI) or Proserpine Airport (PPP).

There are no direct international flights to Hamilton Island Airport (HTI) or Proserpine Airport (PPP).

From international destinations this may require first flying into Brisbane Airport (BNE) – or Cairns, Melbourne or Sydney – followed by a connecting flight to either Hamilton Island Airport (HTI) or Proserpine Airport (PPP).

Hamilton Island Airport (HTI), also known as Great Barrier Reef Airport, is the main gateway airport to the Whitsundays.

The smaller Proserpine Airport (PPP), also known as Whitsunday Coast Airport, is located 14km (8.6mi) south of Proserpine town, and is best if you are staying at Airlie Beach or are picking up a yacht charter from Shute Harbour.

For more about getting to the Whitsundays


More about the Whitsundays…



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Latest update: The Whitsundays: 4 January, 2021


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