Imagine the Whitsundays and you’ll likely conjure up images of pristine white beaches, water as clear as the sky is blue, and sun-kissed skin glowing in the soft, peachy twilight. In short: the perfect tropical holiday. For most of us, a trip to this pocket of paradise in northern Queensland is a once-off: a chance to lap up the beauty of the region while we still can. In light of summer approaching in Australia, we’ve created a guide on how to best experience the Whitsundays in style.
With over 400 types of coral, 50 recommended anchor spots, and 74 islands to sail around, the reasons for sailing through the glistening blue seas of the Whitsundays are self-evident. If you’re game to skipper your own boat (no license is required), look to Whitsunday Escape. If your group requires a little more assistance, luxury boats can be hired with skippers at Whitsunday Holidays. Once you’ve battled it out for the best cabin, all that’s left is to gulp in the salty air as you lie back on the deck of your white yacht, looking at the majestic sails above you.
There is only one place to stay if you’re coming ashore. Qualia, a 6-star resort on Hamilton Island, is the place of dreams. Private decks spill into infinity pools that look over the pristine waters below. For a guest, it’s a place to worship the beauty of the surrounds while surrendering to the service of one of the most luxurious retreats in the country. The beauty of the area can be explored from the mainland, too, where Airbnb lists some of the most luxurious properties in the country. We love this property in Airlie Beach.
Whitehaven Beach has earned the reputation as the most beautiful beach in the world. White sands are shaded by palm fronds that lilt in the warm breeze gently passing through. On a clear day, the shallow azure waters beckon with their pristine clarity. When viewed from above, the landscape appears painted - jolts of blue swirl through creamy sands like melted ice-cream. Of course, no trip to the Whitsundays is complete without snorkeling. Guided tours are available from Hamilton Island itself, where transport, equipment, and even personalised assistance is available on request.
If ever there was an excuse to invest in a new swimsuit, a holiday to the Whitsundays is it. We love Eres for their simplicity and minimalism, and Marysia Swim for their nod to poolside glamour in technical fabrications. A straw bag for your belongings is relaxed but still city-appropriate for your return. We’d take an oversized option from Worn Store for toting towels and magazines, and a smaller woven bag from Posse for cocktail-hour. And lastly, sunglasses are a must to shade your eyes from the white sand and sunshine. Top of our list are classic pairs from Celine or YSL.