When planning your bareboat itinerary, have a few bushwalking ideas up your sleeve. A hike can be a great way to break up your “ocean life”, manage the weather and connect with the Islands in a totally different way.
Walking the Whitsundays will add a new perspective to your sailing adventure
It would be fair to say that most people don’t associate the Whitsunday Islands with fantastic walking tracks. Many visitors to the Whitsundays are focused on relaxing in a resort or a sailing adventure. But the Whitsundays are more than just resort pools, pristine beaches, beautiful coral, and glorious sunsets, they are also full of incredibly diverse flora and fauna as well as many jaw-dropping views.
Hiking the trails scattered across the Whitsunday Islands will add a whole new dimension to your Whitsundays holiday.
The Whitsunday Islands are mostly National Parks and many have well-planned walking trails taking hikers through amazing forests and coastlines. To add to the experience, on some trails Queensland Parks and Wildlife have installed access infrastructure and signage sharing points of interest on some islands.
You don’t have to be an elite cross-country bushwalker to enjoy a great walk in in the Whitsundays. Provided you have a moderate fitness ability, there are a number of Whitsunday Island walking tracks to fit a range of abilities and interests.
The top seven Whitsunday Island walking tracks
The Newest Whitsunday Island Walking Track at Chalkies Beach – Haslewood Island
Photo credit to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services
Queensland Parks and Wildlife Services have recently completed a new walking track heading from Chalkies Beach up to a lookout.
The new 275-metre Class 3 stepped track is suitable for people with some bushwalking experience.
Haslewood Island’s hike is 300m one way. Allow 20 mins
Minimal to Moderate Ability
Ngaro Cultural Site, Hook Island
The Ngaro people have inhabited the Whitsundays for over 9,000 years. Ngaro artwork can be found telling the story of these sea-faring Aboriginal people on Hook island.
The track to the artwork’s cave begins deep inside Nara Inlet. It’s a short, steep walk up a track which leads up the side of the inlet to a viewing platform at the cave’s entrance. You will find information and signage guiding you along the trail. Please look but don’t touch this sacred site.
The Ngaro Cultural Site Walk is 170m one way, allow 30 min
Minimal to Moderate Ability
Bauer Bay – South Molle Island
Take the leisurely stroll past the golf course, then up the easy track around the southern hillside of South Molle to magnificent Spion Kop or take the Mount Jeffries track. Both these relatively easy walks will present you with views and photo opportunities to die for!
The Sandy Bay to Spion Kop and the Mt Jeffrey Loop is 5.6km one way. Allow 4 hours return.
Walk along the unique sandspit that is Langford Island and heads towards the hill. Walking uphill, you’ll initially pass mangroves, then head through large trees, ferns and small orchids if you keep your eyes peeled. The plant diversity on such a small island is incredible. Views from the top will showcase the island’s spit and nearby Hook Island.
Langford Island’s hike is 300. Allow 20 mins
Sawmill Beach, Cid Harbour – Whitsunday Island
There are two walks you can do from Sawmill Beach in Cid Harbour.
For something slightly challenging, walk up to the peak of Whitsunday Island. From the southern end of this beach, you take the track uphill through the rainforest to the awesome vistas offered by Whitsunday Peak. The sign on the beach will advise that this is a round trip of approximately four hours, but the views from the top are so worth it! Take water and snacks, and please, don’t forget your cameras!
A shorter, more relaxed walk begins from the northern end of Sawmill Beach and winds pleasantly around the forested shoreline to exquisite Dugong Beach. This beautiful walk will take around 20 minutes, and Dugong Beach itself is one of the most romantic settings in the Whitsundays. Hint: take a picnic lunch and a favourite wine!
Long Island Palm Bay Track
We like this hike because it includes a stop-off and beer or dip in the pool at the welcoming Long Island Palm Bay Resort. Take a leisurely hike along the walking track behind the resort through dense vine forest. There’s a small detour to Humy Point, which will give you views of Palm Bay.
The Palm Bay Track is a 2.2km circuit. Allow 1 hour
Tongue Bay, Whitsunday Island
After you’ve anchored or moored at Tongue Bay, take your dinghy to the little landing beach and take the five or six-minute stroll along the track to the beautiful Betty’s Beach. After enjoying a swim and some beachcombing, take the 15-minute track to the famous Hill Inlet lookout. While there, ensure you get the obligatory “Whitehaven selfie”, with the incredible vista across Hill Inlet and Whitehaven Beach in the background. A sure way to make your friends back home jealous!
The Hill Inlet Lookout hike is 1.3km one way. Allow 40 min
By adding some hiking to your Whitsudnay’s bareboating itinerary, you will be able to experience the islands from a completely different perspective, and everyone will get a chance to stretch their legs!
There are many Whitsunday Island walking tracks that the management of the national parks has upgraded, and more trails are constantly being added. Make sure you chat with us about adding a hike or two to your cruising itinerary.