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Queensland Islands continue......

The Whitsundays


The Whitsundays are a group of islands, 74 in all, off the coast near from Airley Beach - Proserpine Airport is about 20 minutes away. While they are mainland islands, not coral cays, coral reefs do occur in sheltered bays and beaches, and the Reef proper is close by boat. While all can be visited - a bare-boat or crewed yacht charter is ideal - ten have resorts, each with its own flavor. Access is by boat from Shute Harbour, or by light plane from Proserpine of jet to Hamilton Island from Brisbane and Sydney. From Hamilton Island you can get to most of the others. The resort islands are described below.

Brampton Island

Brampton Island is the most southern of the Whitsundays, and has something for everyone, including coral reef snorkeling adventure trails, catamarans, tennis, walking trails, yoga and even Sumo wrestling! The Sea Spa is particularly appealing after an active - or inactive - day. Of course, superb beaches, dining and swimming - there are two pools in addition to the calm waters around the island - are part of the package as well. Non-motorized and most island activities are included in the tariff, as are all meals; the resort has four levels of accommodation. While children are welcome on the island, there are no specific facilities, activities or special rates for them. There is a baby-sitting service. You can find out more about Brampton Island here.

Lindeman Island

Lindeman Island covers about 1700 acres, in which is nestled a Club Med resort. Nowadays Club Med has shed its wild reputation and offers activities for singles, honeymooners, couples and families. Kids become part of one of three age-group clubs, open 12 hours per day, with suitable age-related activities and staffed by trained personnel. Parents can relax and enjoy themselves knowing their kids are well looked after. Access to Lindeman is from Hamilton Island, light plane from Shute Harbour, or launch.

Long Island

Long Island is home to three resorts, one of which, Paradise Bay Island Eco Resort, has only helicopter access and is restricted to just 16 guests in 10 beachfront bungalows. Everything including standard alcohol is included in the tariff, as well as scenic helicopter transfers and daily cataraman sailing safaris. Long Island Resort by Club Crocodile is for the active and fun-filled, regardless of age, but especially those for whom sleep is an afterthought. Fortunately it has a kids club for the 4-14 year olds, so parents can also let their hair down. Long Island Resort is ideal for the more budget-minded island traveler. Peppers Palm Bay is another small - 21 guests - and secluded resort with cabins, bungalows and bures, along the lines of many Fijian island resorts. Peppers operates a number of upscale resorts and small lodges around Australia.

Hamilton Island

Hamilton Island is the most developed of all the Whitsunday islands, and with the exception of Magnetic Island near Townsville the most developed of any Queensland island. It has an airport capable of landing standard domestic jets, and there are direct flights to Hamilton Island from the main east coast cities, including Sydney. Ferry service is also available from the nearby Airlie Beach on the mainland. Although all owned by the same company - Hamilton Island Resort - there are different hotels including 3, 4 & 5 star, and 3.5 star self-catering apartments. Brand new on Hamilton is Qualia, a super luxury self-contained resort set on a private peninsula. Qualia is aimed at those used to Aman and Four Seasons resorts elsewhere in the world, and is only available at an inclusive rate. Hamilton has a variety of restaurants, cafes and take-aways (take-outs), and bars. Everything that you would expect to find on a well-developed multi-resort island is here, from sunbathing to sports to sailing. There are over 12 miles of walking trails on the island. Fine dining, spa experiences, trips to the Great Barrier Reef and pretty much anything else that takes your fancy is available for your enjoyment. The resort lists 40 available activities, plus 20 shops and galleries. With its daily jet services, Hamilton is an easy arrival point for many of the other islands in the Whitsundays. Hamilton is a good choice if you want to combine an island vacation with a lot of other activities, including shopping.

South Molle Island

South Molle is a 1000 acre National Park with over 10 miles of walking tracks. The resort is casual, and all-inclusive - meal and activities are included in the rate, including snorkeling, small catamarans and windsurfers, golf (it has a 9-hole course), tennis and many others (motorized activities and tours off the island are not complimentary). While not the fanciest or most modern island resort in the Whitsundays, South Molle views itself as an affordable place for couples, families and newly-weds to relax and enjoy the beach. There are tours to the outer reef, and other Whitsunday areas daily from South Molle.

Sailing the Whitsundays

The Whitsundays are Australia's prime sailing destination, and several companies offer a variety of ways to do this, from scheduled departures on tall ships to private yacht charter. For more information please go to our Sailing in the Whitsundays page.