It would be fair to say that most charterers don't associate the Whitsunday Islands with fantastic walking tracks. Many people who plan a sailing adventure through the Whitsundays know they'll be exploring pristine beaches, snorkelling through beautiful coral and seeing glorious sunsets. All this is true of course, but walking is a lesser recognised activity which can add a whole new dimension to your Whitsundays sailing holiday.
The Whitsunday Islands are mostly national parks and many have walking tracks taking explorers through amazing forests and up to incredible panoramic views. 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 athlete to enjoy a great walk in the Whitsunday Islands. Provided you have a moderate fitness ability, there are a number of Whitsunday Island walking tracks to fit a range of abilities and interests.
Here are the hikes we recommend.
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.
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.
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!
There are two walks you can do from Sawmill Beach.
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 from 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!
After you’ve anchored or moored, 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 up to the lookout. While there make sure 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!
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 which have been upgraded by the national parks management and more trails are constantly being added. Make sure you chat to us about adding a hike or two to your cruising itinerary.
Join us to sail the Whitsundays and enjoy the freedom to explore