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Queensland Islands & The Whitsundays

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Queensland Islands & The Whitsundays

The Whitsundays is situated in the heart of Queensland's Great Barrier Reef, one of the unique holiday destinations in Australia. The region is home to 74 tranquil islands, surrounded by the tropical waters of the Coral Sea. The Whitsundays offers the holiday of a lifetime! Find resort islands, tourist attractions, secluded beaches and vibrant marine life not far away from the cosmopolitan coastline of the Whitsunday Coast. Snorkel or dive in crystal clear waters and enjoy one of the world's top natural attractions - the Great Barrier Reef.

Getting to the Whitsundays is best done by domestic flights from Brisbane, Cairns, Sydney or Melbourne. Two airports serve the region: the Hamilton Island airport (HTI) and Proserpine (PPP).

Hamilton Island

Lying in sparkling turquoise water at the heart of The Whitsundays and the edge of the Great Barrier Reef, Hamilton Island offers a tropical retreat like no other. Lovely warm weather, brilliant white beaches, pristine coral reefs, lots of water activities and great resorts, what more can you ask for?

Exploring one of the wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef, home to some of the most amazing coral formations and marine life ever seen is a favourite. Or, consider a scenic flight to explore The Whitsundays, go on a cruise, diving, snorkelling, sailing, kayaing, wind surfing and game fishing. On land, explore the island's tropical plant and animal life via an extensive network of bushwalking tracks. You can get up close and personal with a large collection of native animals including koalas, kangaroos, crocodiles, wombats and frill-necked lizards.

Getting to Hamilton Island is easy with direct flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Cairns and easy connections from other major cities.

Hamilton Island Must Do's

  • Grab a bottle and head up to One Tree Hill for sunset drinks. Its one of the highest points on the island and easy to reach by buggy or a free bus service.
  • Visit Whitehaven Beach. With kilometres of the purest, whitest sand you have ever seen and crystal clear blue waters, the beach is simply stunning. Book a day boat tour to make the most of the excursion. Alternatively, splurge and hire the seaplane for an experience like no other.
  • Go target shooting. How many islands have their own target range? Here on Hamilton Island you can spend a few hours playing James Bond on your tropical holiday. 
  • Fly like a bird. Get a birds eye view of the island while enjoying the thrill of the hang gliding flying fox. 
  • Explore the sea windsurfers, paddles boards, surf skis and other floaty equipment. You might even see a turtle diving under the surface at the family-friendly Cats Eye Beach. 
  • Breakfast with a Koala. The Hamilton Island Koala Gallery features a collection of Australian native animals including koalas, kangaroos, wallabies, crocodiles, wombats, Tasmanian devils, and more. Don't miss the daily 'Breakfast with the Koalas'.
  • Learn to Paint. The island has its own gallery and runs art classes for both children and adults. Guest artists change regularly and the classes are suitable for all, from beginners to experts.
  • Bushwalking. Over 70 percent of the island is protected National Park and there's a network of trails to follow. Grab a free map, hat and bottle of water and start exploring.

Lizard Island

The luxurious island resort has 24 sandy beaches, spectacular diving spots and excellent big game fishing. A perfect hideaway just for grown–ups, the tropical island is lush, sophisticated, romantic and very relaxing. As a fully inclusive resort, you don't need to worry about a thing. With lots of fresh seafood and superb local produce, enjoy a menu that draws on the flavours of modern Australian, Asian and European cuisine. You can also order a Gourmet picnic hampers for a private lunch. 

To get to Lizard Island regular flights are available to Cairns from all Australian Capital cities. From Cairns International Airport you will then need to take a short 60 minute Hinterland flight transfer to Lizard Island.

Lizard Island Must Do's

  • Aroma Stone Therapy - experience a rebalance the mind and body. Relax and let ancient healing powers rejuvenate your body. The therapy involves placing hot Basalt stones on your body's key energy points and signature massage techniques with luxuriously warmed oils. 
  • Snorkelling or diving at the world famous Cod Hole, renowned for its huge, but friendly, Potato Cod. The Potato Cod is a massive grey-brown fish that grows to up to two metres in size... but don't worry, they are very friendly and love to hang out with divers.
  • Check out the coral in a glass bottomed paddle ski. You won't have to paddle far to see lots of interesting coral and marine life beneath the sea. 
  • Tour a real research station. The Lizard Island Research Station is a world-leading supplier of on-reef facilities for coral reef research and education. They can tell you lots of interesting things, such as why coral is so colourful and what global warming is doing to the local ecosystem. 
  • Relax on a hammock. Each room has its own hammock and comes with a top Bose stereo system. You'll be chilled out in no time.

Green Island

Green Island is one of the most historic Islands of Queensland. In 1857, European colonisation commenced when a sea cucumber smoking station on the Island was founded. Things have progressed, the smoking station is long gone and now the Island is home to a superb island resort.

There are plenty to do on Green Island for adults and children. You can kick back and relax or explore at your leisure. The resort is family-friendly and includes a children's pool, a children's menu and a range of activities. Free water activities include windsurfing, canoeing, snorkelling and sea kayaking.

From Cairns, Green Island is about 45 minutes journey away via catamaran. Transfers are complimentary.

Green Island Must Do's

  • Check out the underwater observatory. Located at the Green Island jetty, this old diving chamber used during World War I was converted into the world's first underwater observatory and provides amazing views of marine life. Entry is free for kids.
  • Explore the rainforest. Of the 300 coral cays on the Great Barrier Reef, Green Island is the only one with a rainforest. The coconut trees around the island are not native, but were introduced in 1889 to provide food, drink and shelter for fishermen and stranded sailors. 
  • Visit Marineland Melanesia Aquarium, Museum & Crocodile Habitat. It's home to Cassius - the largest captive crocodile in the world. Here you can hold a baby 'croc', view the diversity of the reef through aquariums and see one of the world's largest private collections of primitive art and marine artefacts.
  • Take a tour with Seawalker, an amazing underwater walking experience on the sea floor at Green Island! There's no equipment to operate, non-swimmers are welcome and you don't even have to get your hair wet! Imagine walking along the sea floor with a giant glass bubble protecting your head, making it possible to see everything and breathe normally. 
  • Go Parasailing. Take to the sky behind a powerboat with the excitement of Parasailing and enjoy the breathtaking views of Green Island and the Great Barrier Reef. No experience is necessary, just sit back and get ready for the thrill