Whitsunday

Whitsunday (including Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays )
Collection of popular and beautiful islands in the Great Barrier Reef.
Today the words Whitsunday and Whitsunday Islands encompass the large 'town' of Whitsunday (which includes the mainland settlements of Airlie Beach, Cannonvale and Shute Harbour) and the Whitsunday Islands which include 74 islands off the Central Queensland coast of which the most important are Daydream Island, Dent Island, Hamilton Island, Hayman Island, Hook Island, Lindeman Island, Long Island, and South Molle.

If there is a perfect holiday destination on the Queensland coast it is probably the Whitsundays. It is here that the delights of the Great Barrier Reef, the warmth of the tropics, a range of activities from bushwalking to scuba diving, and a diversity of lifestyles from backpackers and takeaways to luxury hotels and international a la carte restaurants, all meet in a wonderfully harmonious combination of delights. No wonder that in 1989 the Whitsunday Tourism Association was proudly boasting that 'the Whitsundays has blossomed into the largest tourism development region in the world with $3 billion being invested here within the next ten years'.

Over the years the Whitsunday Islands (known affectionately as 'The Whitsundays') have loomed large in the imagination of Australians. Everyone has heard the names - South Molle, Lindeman, Hamilton, Daydream and Hayman to which can be added Long Island and Hook Island. These islands are synonymous with paradise. The very words conjure up images of lying in the tropical sun, having a really good holiday, perfect green tropical seas, exquisite tropical sunsets, good food and drink.

To try and disentangle the myth from the reality is no easy task. Like the Gold Coast, the Whitsundays have recently become an amalgam of sleepy little villages and holiday resorts. Created in 1987 as a 'town' it now combines Airlie Beach, Cannonvale, Jubilee Pocket and Shute Harbour. It is rather amusing, when driving towards Cannonvale and Airlie Beach to come across a sign in the middle of the bush which reads 'Welcome to the town of Whitsunday'. The sign is surrounded by nothingness. There is barely a sign of human life let alone the sign of a town.

Geologically the Whitsunday Islands are all drowned mountains. Prior to the last Ice Age they were connected to the mainland and would have all been prominent mountains in the area. The melting of the polar caps drowned the valleys between the mountains creating a network of 74 islands of which only 7 have resort facilities. Beyond the resorts the whole area is part of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and the uninhabited islands are all controlled by National Parks and Wildlife.

It is possible to visit the uninhabited islands by charter boat, private boat of water taxi. However it is necessary to obtain camping permits from the National Parks Office if you are intending to stay the night. Many of the smaller islands have no paths or tracks and exploration is often restricted to walking around the lonely beaches and rocky points. The largest island in the group, Whitsunday, has a walking track which connects Sawmill Bay with Dugong Beach. Sawmill Bay was named after the sawmill which was established on the island at the end of the nineteenth century. For some years there was an active timber industry on the island and it is still possible to see the remains of the sawmill.

The first European to explore the area was Captain James Cook who travelled through the area on his journey up the eastern coast of Australia in 1770. He passed through Whitsunday passage, a narrow channel which lies between the mainland coast, South Molle and Daydream Islands to the west and Dent, Whitsunday, Hook and Hayman Islands to the east, on Sunday 4 June which happened to be Whit Sunday (the seventh Sunday after easter) - hence the name of the area.

Things to see:

Cannonvale
The road winds through Cannonvale with its residential area and substantial industrial area. There are houses nestled in the foothills. This is a holiday retreat which is close to the main centre of Airlie Beach but far enough away to be slightly removed from the bustle of tourism. There's a lot of development but the views over the mangroves is really lovely. Not surprisingly it has become a popular haunt for locals being slightly removed from the high level tourism of Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour.

Of particular interest at Cannonvale is the molten volcanic rock at the end of Cannonvale Beach which gives an insight into how the area was geologically created.

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The Islands
All the main islands are covered individually. For more information click on the appropriate hotlink below.

1. Brampton Island

2. Daydream Island

3. Hamilton Island

4. Hayman Island

5. Lindeman Island

6. Long Island

7. South Long Island

8. South Molle Island

Whitsunday Islands & Coast Tourist Centre
Shute Harbour Rd
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 1354, Cannon Valley: (07) 4946 1003
Facsimile: (07) 4946 1214

Whitsunday Information Centre
Bruce Hwy
Proserpine QLD 4802
Telephone: 1800 801 252, (07) 4945 3711

Airlie Beach Motor Lodge
Lamond St Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6418
Rating: ***

Cannonvale Reef Gateway
Shute Harbour Rd Cannonvale
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6588
Rating: ***

Colonial Palms Motor Inn
Shute Harbour Rd Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 7166
Rating: ****

Coral Point Lodge
Harbour Ave Shute Harbour
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 9500
Facsimile: (07) 4946 9469
Rating: ***

Reef Oceana Village Motel
Shute Harbour Rd Cannonvale
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6137
Rating: **

The Islands Inn
Shute Harbour Rd Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6755
Rating: ***

Airlie Beach Hotel /Motel
16 The Esplanade Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6233
Rating: **

Club Crocodile Resort
Shute Harbour Rd Cannonvale
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 7155, 008 075 151

Club Med Lindeman Island
Lindeman Island
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 9333
Facsimile: (07) 4946 9598

Coral Sea Resort
25 Ocean View Rd Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6458
Facsimile: (07) 4946 6516
Rating: ***

Hamilton Island Resort
Hamilton Island
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 9999, 1800 221 066
Facsimile: (07) 4946 8888

Hayman Island Resort
Hayman Island
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 9100, 1800 335 855

Palm Bay Resort
Long Island
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 9233

Whitsunday Terraces Resort
Golden Orchid Dve Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6788, 1800 075 062
Facsimile: (07) 4946 7128
Rating: ****

Whitsunday Wanderers Resort
Shute Harbour Rd Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6446, 1800 075 069
Rating: ***

Whitsunday Wilderness Lodge

Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 9777
Facsimile: (07) 4946 9777

South Molle Island Resort
South Molle Island
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: 1800 075 080

Club Crocodile Long Island Resort
Long Island
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 9400, 1800 075 125
Facsimile: (07) 4949 9555

Airlie Apartments
22­24 Airlie Cres. Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6222
Facsimile: (07) 4946 6222
Rating: ***

Colonial Court Holiday Apartments
Cnr Shute Harbour Rd & Broadwater Ave Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6180
Rating: ***

Orana Lodge Holiday Apartments
13 Beach Rd Cannonvale
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 7124
Rating: ***

Palm Tree Lodge Holiday Apartments
14 Beach Rd Cannonvale
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6461
Rating: ***

Sunlit Waters Studio Apartments
20 Airlie Cres. Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6352
Facsimile: (07) 4946 6352
Rating: ****

Whitehaven Beachfront Apartments
285 Shute Harbour Rd Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 5710
Facsimile: (07) 4946 5711
Rating: ***

Whitsunday Apartments
48 Beach Rd Cannonvale
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6860
Rating: ***

Whitsunday Vista Apartments
1 Heritage Dve Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6427, 1800 67 1172
Facsimile: (07) 4946 6087
Rating: ****

Paradise Court
181 Shute Harbour Rd Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 7139
Facsimile: (07) 4946 7139
Rating: ***

Roger¹s Flats
Shute Harbour Rd Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6224
Facsimile: (07) 4946 6087
Rating: ***

Whitsunday on the Beach
269 Shute Harbour Rd Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6359
Facsimile: (07) 4946 7995
Rating: ***

Sailz Boutique Holiday Villas
Pandanus Dv, Cannonvale
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 5605, 1800 806 688
Rating: ***

Airlie Beach Motor Lodge
Lamond St Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6418, 1800 810 925
Facsimile: (07) 49465 400
Rating: ***

Boathaven Lodge
440 Shute Harbour Rd Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6421
Facsimile: (07) 4946 4808
Rating: ***

Hook Island Wilderness Lodge
Hook Island
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 9380, 018 775 142

Whitsunday Bay Terrace Lodge
12 Bay Tce Shute Harbour
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 49469 609
Facsimile: (07) 49469 609

Whitsunday Wilderness Lodge

Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 9777
Facsimile: (07) 4946 9777

Airlie Cove Resort Van Park
Shute Harbour Rd Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6727
Rating: ****

Island Gateway Caravan Park
Shute Harbour Rd Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6228
Facsimile: (07) 4946 7125
Rating: ***

Shute Harbour Gardens Caravan Park
Shute Harbour Rd Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6483
Rating: **

Whitsunday Wanderers Resort Caravan Park
Shute Harbour Rd Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6446

Adventure Whitsunday Resort Caravan Park
25 Shute Harbour Rd Cannonvale
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 1166
Facsimile: (07) 4946 1166
Rating: ***

Flame Tree Tourist Village
Shute Harbour Rd Shute Harbour
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 9388, 1800 069 388
Rating: ***1/2

Brasserie Restaurant
Beach Plaza Bldg (Upstairs) Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 7448

Cannonvale Reef Gateway
Shute Harbour Rd Cannonvale
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6588

Charlie's Sports Bar & Grill
Cnr Shute Harbour Rd & Coconut Grove Ave Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6250

Chatz Bar & Brasserie
390 Shute Harbour Rd Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 7223

Club Med Lindeman Island
Lindeman Island
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 9333
Facsimile: (07) 4946 9598

Hamilton Island Resort
Hamilton Island
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 9999, 1800 221 066
Facsimile: (07) 4946 8888

Hayman Island Resort
Hayman Island
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 9100, 1800 335 855

Hogs Breath Cafe
261 Shute Harbour Rd Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 7894

Hook Island Wilderness Lodge
Hook Island
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 9380, 018 775 142

Magnum's Bar & Grill
Shute Harbour Rd Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6266

Panache on the Beach
263 Shute Harbour Rd Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6337

Post & Rail Steakhouse-Tavern
Cnr Shute Harbour Rd & Island Dve Cannonvale
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 7220

South Molle Island Resort
South Molle Island
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: toll free: 1800 075 080

Whitsunday Palace Chinese Restaurant
Shute Harbour Rd Cannonvale
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 5233

Wok Inn Chinese Restaurant
The Esplanade
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6713

Airlie's Fish Cafe
25 Ocean View Ave Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 6877

Capuccinos Cafe
Shute Harbour Rd Airlie Beach
Whitsunday QLD 4802
Telephone: (07) 4946 5033

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