Scattered between the northeast coast of Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsundays include 74 idyllic islands that are ringed by picture-perfect beaches and colorful coral reefs. These continental islands are part of a subsurface coastal range, with all but five declared national parks, and the Great Barrier Reef provides them with naturally protected waters.

Eight of the islands are home to luxury resorts that provide the perfect base for exploring the turquoise waters, dense rainforests and hiking trails of the Whitsundays. Select from the family-friendly Hamilton Island and Daydream Island resorts, the luxurious One&Only on Hayman Island or one of the boutique eco-resorts on Long Island. Most resorts feature gourmet restaurants that highlight Australian produce and wine, as well as indulgent spa facilities where you can get a massage or treatment and infinity pools.

Airlie Beach on mainland Queensland is the main gateway to the Whitsundays, with islands excursions and resort transfers launched from Shute Harbor. You can charter a yacht to explore at your leisure or hire a jet ski, as well as join day trips to go snorkeling and scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef.

Don’t miss a visit to Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island, which is renowned for its powdery white sands and rightly considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. You can also capture a bird’s eye view of the Whitsunday Islands during a scenic helicopter or seaplane flight, as well as plunge from the skies while skydiving above its magnificent landscapes.