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Top 10 Whitsunday Experiences

1. See Heart Reef

Only accessible via air, Heart Reef is an incredible reef within the Great Barrier Reef which is naturally formed in the shape of a heart. This tiny reef can only be viewed on a scenic flight and continues to be one of the most popular things to experience when in the Whitsundays. There are a few different flights to choose from and all of which offer a picture-perfect view of the outer Great Barrier Reef. Many people actually propose during a scenic flight over Heart Reef!

2. Go Sailing

A holiday in Airlie Beach wouldn't be complete without a sailing experience around the glorious Whitsundays. Airlie Beach has more than 50 crewed overnight sailing tours to choose from; each one offering a unique and memorable experience for its guests. Among the trips are stylish getaways, scuba diving tours, budget tours, fun boats and everything in between!

3. Dive the Great Barrier Reef

This natural world phenomenon is a 'bucket list' destination which can easily be ticked off while on a Whitsunday holiday. For those short on time, why not head out to the Reefworld pontoon for a day of underwater exploring along the fringing reefs with the marine life. Or if you are keen on spending the night at the outer Great Barrier Reef, jump onboard Anaconda 3 or Kiana which both have scuba equipment onboard which means even more time exploring the exotic corals and marine creatures.

4. Visit Whitehaven Beach

Continually voted as the number 1 beach on TripAdvisor and other international forums, Whitehaven Beach is simply a must-see for every traveller visiting the Whitsundays. This incredible beach is made up of silica sand which is white in colour and so fine in texture, it actually squeaks when you walk on it. Almost every day and overnight tour visits this beach for obvious reasons, and Whitehaven Beach remains protected by Whitsunday Islands National Park.

5. Bushwalk to Hill Inlet Lookout

While at Whitehaven Beach (northern end), the crew of your tour will take you and fellow guests on an amazing guided bushwalk to the world-famous Hill Inlet Lookout. This is the peak point of Whitsunday Island and offers an incredible view of the swirling sands of Whitehaven Beach and the aqua waters below. Beyond the beach, is a breathtaking sight of the Whitsunday islands. During the bushwalk, gain an insight into the native flora and fauna and the history of the Ngaro people.

6. Swim with a turtle

A selfie with a green sea turtle is the ultimate bucket-list item in the Whitsundays - and many happy travellers achieve it! Turtles in the Whitsundays are inquisitive, friendly marine creatures and are quite happy for snorkellers to get up close to them. They are usually spotted cruising around the fringing reefs around the islands and bobbing above the waterline for air before heading back below.

7. Learn to sail

The Whitsundays offers plenty of opportunities to get some hands-on sailing experience on some of the most popular maxi sailing vessels. These gentle giants of the sea have the capacity to take up to 30--50 passengers on an overnight sailing tour, with guests able to help the crew set the sails and pull the ropes. Or if you prefer, sit back, relax and enjoy the fast ride! Some of the most popular maxi yachts are Condor, Boomerang, Broomstick and British Defender which are all 2 day/ 2 night trips.

8. See the Whitsunday Islands

Some of the best ways to cruise around these incredible islands is to jump onboard a fast day tour such as Ocean RaftingThundercat or the popular sailing vessel Southern Cross. Or if you want to take your time cruising around the Whitsundays' most iconic islands, then an overnight sailing trip is the best option, with more time to sit back and relax on the deck with a panoramic view of the natural surroundings. If you are a real nature buff, why not opt for an eco-guided tour such as SV Whitehaven.

9. Hug a Koala

Want to get up close and personal with one of Australia's most iconic native animals? Head over to the world-famous Hamilton Island for a nature escape where you will spend the day having breakfast with a cuddly koala, exploring the beaches, walking up to Passage Peak, followed by a relaxing and enjoyable meal for lunch!

10. Skydive over the islands

Of course the best view of the Whitsundays 74 islands is from the air, so why not do it from 14,000ft above and free-falling at 220kms per hour! Airlie Beach really is the perfect place to skydive and offers great views of its sandy white beaches, aqua blue waters and tropical islands.

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