Known as the largest group of offshore islands in the entire country, the Whitsundays is one of Australia’s most iconic destinations!
Dubbed a tropical utopia within Australia, boasting crystal clear shores, epic rainforests, and a laid-back atmosphere that has any traveller revelling in pure bliss. The entire region is not just one coastal area, but a large collection of tropical islands scattered about the Queensland coast. Here we break down what islands actually make up the Whitsundays, highlighting the top sights to see and the hidden wonders worth the visit.
74 separate islands make up the Whitsundays
The Whitsundays are made up of a total of 74 islands in the area, stretching out 282.8 square kilometres of magnificent beauty and creating the largest group of offshore islands in the entire country. However, out of the entire lot, only 8 of them are inhabited, with Daydream, Hayman, Hook, South Molle, Whitsunday, Hamilton, Long and Lindeman island all home to a collection of houses, luxurious resorts, and restaurants. The remaining 66 islands are completely deserted, with 32 of them forming the Whitsunday Islands National Park.
What Island suits you?
For those after the Top Sights: Whitsunday Island
The largest island in the Whitsundays is also perhaps the most often visited. Used as the key subject for the majority of the Whitsundays promotional material, all due to its most spectacular tourist destination; the Whitehaven Beach. Considered the most stunning beach in all of Australia and listed in the top ten beaches in the entire world. The beach stretches along the shore for 7-kilometres, boasting white silica sands and a stunning blend of green, blue, and crystal-clear waters. This island is usually always on Whitsunday Island’s tour route, as it is an unforgettable sight well worth the visit.
If you prefer Bustle over Peace: Hamilton Island
It is one of the most recognised names in the Whitsundays islands, with the beloved Hamilton Island forever jam-packed with visitors. Due to its popularity, the island aims to cater to all tastes, with plenty of vacation luxuries as well as some cheaper alternatives. The entire island is overrun with activities and boasts plenty of accommodation spots, restaurants, and even a few golf courses. However, due to its magnitude of attractions and activities, the space can get quite crowded, but as long as you don’t mind sharing all these benefits with plenty of others, you’ll have a fantastic time at this island.
Best for those after a Luxury Vacation; Hayman Island
When it comes to luxury, the Whitsundays have you covered. But no island has it quite as good as Hayman Island, the renowned go-to destination for all things deluxe! Travellers who visit here enjoy a completely tranquil holiday which is dedicated to all things luxurious, perfect for those after a peaceful retreat or honeymooners looking to get loved up in extravagant settings.
Perfect for Snorkelling Enthusiasts; Hook Island
For those interested in what’s underwater, Hook Island is renowned for being the best base spot for plenty of reef exploration. It is the second-largest island in the Whitsundays, but it is barely developed, with 95% of the island apart of the National Parkland. Travellers can really get lost in the natural beauty of the Whitsundays here, spending their days trekking through the bushland and snorkelling along the reef.
Ideal for a Secluded Adventure: Haslewood Island
If you are after Whitehaven Beach’s beauty, but can’t deal with the crowds, this is a great substitute. Haslewood Island is home to Chalkies Beach, a spectacular beach that is just as stunning as Whitehaven beach but gets far less publicity. Stroll along the same soft silica sands and enjoy the beach to yourself, even plunging into the waters for a nearby snorkel or undisturbed swim!