Long Island in the Whitsundays is a 20-minute ferry or 1-hour cruise from our base in Shute Harbour, making it the closest island to the mainland. It also happens to be one of the prettiest Whitsunday Islands thanks to its striking landscapes and the entire island holding national park status.
As the name alludes to, Long Island is a 9km long stretch with its widest point only being 400-200m. There are several secluded bays, graded walking tracks across the island and expansive coral fringing reefs to snorkel.
Long Island hosts overnight anchorage and mooring opportunities for visiting private yacht charters as well as two eco-resorts for those wanting a secluded island escape.
Whether you're planning to stop over on a private yacht charter or visit the island for a relaxing eco holiday, this post will cover everything you need to know about a Whitsundays' natural beauty, Long Island.
Bareboaters can enjoy activities around the island, including snorkelling and SUP/kayaking. There are several bushwalking trails maintained by Parks with a track running between the resorts.
Happy Bay is a popular overnight anchorage for those wanting a place to pull up without resort access. There used to be a resort here, but it’s closed making Happy Bay a peaceful place to spend the night.
When going ashore, check the tide, so you don't get stuck, the beach has a gradual slope, and it does out a long way. There is access to the island's great walking tracks from the beach. Go left and head and take the base point trail which loops around showing you both sides of Long Island.
Happy Bay is a great first or last night stop for people leaving Shute Harbour, it's under one hour from our base.
Protected from North-East & South-West winds.
Bareboat guests are able to book a mooring at the Palm Bay Resort for a fee. A mooring here gives access to the resort's pool, grocery store, restaurant and bar complete with top-shelf cocktails. It's also possible to hire kayaks and tennis gear if you want to do some extra activities while staying in Palm Bay.
Please note that Pam Bay, since April 2022, only welcomes children over the age of 16.
To book a morning at Palm Bay, ask our reservations team or make a request in your "radio scheds" while on charter.
There is offshore snorkelling available in the island’s surrounding fringing reef roughly 150 metres from the shoreline. Popular snorkelling spots around Long Island include the jetty at Happy Bay and Anderson's Bay (opposite Sandy Bay)
Long Island is mostly a rainforest National Park and has around 17km of walking tracks to explore. Trails will take you looping around most parts of the island, showcasing beaches, dramatic headlands and changing landscapes.
For the enthusiastic bushwalkers, take the Sandy Bay trail, a three-hour journey across 5.8 kilometres over gentle hills, protected bays, lookouts and mangroves.
Fishing is permitted around Long Island with some people throwing a line in out the front of their accommodation. Good fishing is around Palm Bay and off the jetty at Happy Bay, or around the rocks at high tide.
Happy Bay is a great place for a SUP or kayak. Having a paddle out the front of the resorts is also worthwhile.
Long Island in the Whitsundays is a quiet paradise for visitors seeking tranquillity with two resort options; both focused on sustainable and eco practices.
The Palm Bay Resort is a unique "adults only" resort destination. With a focus on unplugging and escaping the grind, you won't find wi-fi or television in your room. Instead, you'll find simplicity and entertainment from secluded beaches, nature trails and relaxing in a hammock with a book.
Balinese style accommodation ranges from beachfront villas to larger guest houses, and all have an air of merging into their natural surroundings.
The resort's facilities include a restaurant which is open 7 nights a week. (note that Plam Bay used to be a self-catered resort, but this offering as changed in 2022)
Attractions and things to do at Palm Bay Resort:
We recommend bareboaters without children anchor it at Palm Bay Resort while on their charter, particularly if they come up against some unusually bad weather while on their sailing holiday.
Those travelling the Whitsunday Islands on a bareboat charter are able to pick up a mooring at the Palm Bay Resort for a night. Staying on a mooring at Palm Bay will give you full access to the resort facilities. Please note that there are no daytime or hourly visits and children under 16 are not permitted.
Found on the southern point of Long Island, Elysian Retreat is the most secluded resort in the Whitsundays (it’s also the first solar-powered resort on the Great Barrier Reef).
Elysian is a boutique and luxe all while maintaining a strong eco-friendly ethos. Set amongst 3 hectares of rainforest with magnificent uninterrupted water views staying here is about relaxation and privacy.
Accommodation is ten exclusive, sustainable villas for adult guests. There was mention of 16+ teens being able to attend, but would you really want to take them?!
The nightly rate at Elysian Retreat is all-inclusive offering:
You can access Long Island from Hamilton Island or Shute Harbour on the mainland.
If you're coming directly from the Whitsunday Coast airport, travel with Island Transfers who will conveniently collect you from the Airport and take you directly to Shute Harbour where you can catch a water taxi.
Those with cars can park for free at Shute Harbour before catching an Inslad Transfer water taxi.
If you fly into the Hamilton Island Airport, you can get to Long Island by taking a direct transfer with Mars Charters.
Perhaps the biggest drawcard of Long Island in the Whitsundays is you can stay in a tropical paradise away from the tourism buzz and crowds. With pristine protected rainforests, a variety of secluded beaches and views over breathtaking landscapes Long island is perfect for those looking for a Whitsundays escape.
Join us in the Whitsundays, visit Long Island and enjoy the freedom to explore