Awarded accommodation meets world-class beaches
Tucked between the North Queensland coast and the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsunday Islands are an archipelago primed for private catamaran tours and marathon relaxation sessions. Coated in a light dusting of some of the purest sand in the world, Hamilton Island has a world of choices when it comes to accommodation, with apartments, villas and bungalows suitable for all budgets.
For a hotel that's easy on the hip pocket, opt for a lodge on laidback Long Island, just off the mainland. Families often flock to Daydream Island Resort and Spa, while honeymooners relish the exclusive luxury of Hayman Island.
High-end hotels from Hamilton to Hayman
While the Whitsundays may have some 74 islands to its name, only eight are inhabited: Hamilton, Dent, Whitsunday, Hook, Hayman, Daydream, Long, South Molle and Lindeman. While there are a number of family-friendly Whitsundays accommodation choices scattered around the islands, luxury retreats are a specialty of the region.
Soak in the Hayman experience at the 5-star Whitsundays resort, which has made its mark on the Australian Tourism Awards Hall of Fame, where the water temperature is always perfect and restaurants are headed by master chefs. On Hamilton Island, qualia is the perfect retreat for mums and dads (no kids allowed) complete with private salt-water plunge pools.
Wake up on the Whitsundays Coast
Airlie Beach is the heart of the Whitsunday Coast. While at certain times of the year it is known as a schoolies party hot spot, it's also a convenient launching pad for day trips to the Whitsunday Islands and outlying reef. From backpackers to bed and breakfasts, Airlie Beach accommodation extends from 3 to 5-star coastal retreats.
Ferries connect the Whitsundays Coast Airport at Proserpine with the islands multiple times during the day, departing from Able Point Marina at Airlie Beach. If you're still craving a little luxury without the Hayman price tag, look to the three P's of Airlie Beach: Peppers, Pinnacles and Peninsula.