With overseas travel off the cards indefinitely, the second half of 2020 is shaping up to be a fantastic opportunity for Queenslander to travel to the Whitsundays and explore their stunning backyard.
Experiencing the Whitsunday Islands via bareboat yacht charter is one of those bucket list holidays you may have been dreaming of for years.
Well, now is your chance!
With staying on a yacht an easy way to practice social distancing, reduced crowds and whale season running from June – Sept it's the best time to visit the Whitsundays.
How to Travel to the Whitsundays from June 2020
The Queensland Government's new travel roadmap outlines that:
From June 1st, Queenslanders can travel anywhere in Queensland for any purpose at any time except for restricted areas.
Take advantage of a discounted direct flight from Brisbane
The recent lifting of travel restrictions within Queensland has seen quick action from airlines offering discounted direct flights from Brisbane to the Whitsundays Coast Airport.
Alliance Airlines announced flights from Brisbane to Proserpine airport (Whitsunday Coast Airport ) from June 22nd 2020 onwards. Flights start from $99 one way.
Jetstar Australia has also recently relaunched their route from Brisbane to the Whitsundays. From June 27th they will offer three flights a week arriving into the Whitsunday Coast Airport at an incredible relaunch price from only $39.
The mainland town closest to the Whitsunday Islands is Airlie Beach. Getting to Airlie from the airport can be done simply with an airport transfer services.
We recommend using Heart of Reef Shuttles offer private group transfers for express shuttle services directly to Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour.
Take a road trip
No matter where you live in Queensland, a road trip to the Whitsundays is bound to be full of adventure and exciting places to explore.
Road Trip from Brisbane to Airlie Beach:
Coming from Brisbane, the coastal drive up to Airlie Beach is a fantastic 1,099km journey north up the Bruce Highway.
Must see places to stop include:
Noosa is a holidaymaker's hot spot. The main beach is enormous, and the nearby national park has a stunning coastal walk with incredible views. For those camping / vanning see if you can stay at the beachfront national park campground.
- Eumundi Markets:
In the hills out the back of Noosa is a town called Eumundi which hosts a famous market on weekends. Everything on sale at the market must be an artisan or homemade product. Get ready to spend hours here; it's massive and there is so much to browse.
- Rainbow Beach:
While it’s not far from Noosa, Rainbow Beach is a great place to stop or stay. Park near the Surf Club, walk down the steps and head north for about two kilometres to see the famous cliffs made of coloured sand. If you head for Carlo Sand Blow, you can go sandboarding down the dunes.
- Hervey Bay - Fraser Island:
Hervey Bay is famous for whale watching and for being the gateway to the stunning Fraser Island. Fraser is one of the world's largest sand islands, complete with over 100 freshwater lakes, tee tree and rainforests as well as a thriving dingo population Fraser is one of Australia’s top island destinations. You can do day trips out to the island, but stay here is you can.
It’s hard to go to Bundaberg and not think of rum! Stop in at the Bundaberg rum distillery for a tasting and tour covering the history of this famous Australian beverage. The Turtle Rookery is a short drive where you can see turtles returning to nest from Nov – March, an attraction the kids will love.
- Agnes Waters and 1770:
Famous for being the second landing place of Captain Cooke when he was chartering the coast in 1770, these two small coastal towns have retained their charm and avoided over development. There are many different beaches and national parks to explore with a thriving surf culture. Campers/vanners should check out the council campground right on the coast at Agnes.
38 km east of Rockhampton, Yeppoon is a large coastal town with a great buzz about it. The council have recently installed the most amazing free lagoon right on the coast; it feels like you’re in an expensive resort. 4WD and camping enthusiasts will love exploring the nearby Byfield National Park.
It’s a 5-hour drive from Yeppoon to Mackay, which is probably the biggest stretch you’ll do on this road trip. Mackay is a small city which offers access to great fishing, hiking and rainforests. It’s only an hour from Mackay to Airlie.
Road Trip from Cairns to Airlie Beach:
Driving south from Cairns along the coast to Airlie Beach is a 619km, which could be done in a day if you’re travelling without kids! But if you have some time, take it and enjoy this impressive stretch of north Queensland's tropical coastline.
Must see places to stop include
- Mission Beach:
2 hours south of Cairns, Mission Beach is a classic Queensland coastal town which has retained its charm and relaxed atmosphere over the years. The beach is a vast stretch of sand with Insta famous palm trees, and there are loads of great places to eat around town, but one of the best things to do is have a BBQ on the beach.
- Wallaman Falls:
If waterfalls are your thing, then Queensland is your state with Wallaman being one of the best. Drive an hour inland from Ingham to see the falls in the Lannercoast State Forest. Take the steep hike down to the base of the falls for a fantastic view, and if you can camp, spend the night at the fall's camping ground.
- Magnetic Island:
From south Townsville, take the 20-minute car ferry over to the famous Magnetic Island. With its thriving koala population, huge granite boulders and access to The Reef, you might want to stay here a night or two. The kids can cuddle a koala at the Bungalow Koala Village or you can see plenty of wildlife in the wild on one of the many walking trails.
Grab Photo with the Big Mango and spend some time at Horseshoe Bay, one the best beaches in the Whitsundays. Bowen is a historic town worth exploring with many accommodation options.
- Hydeaway Bay:
On your way to Airlie Beach, pull off to Hydeaway Bay and stop in at Montes Reef Resort for a fantastic lunch with a view you'll never forget (call before you go to check they are open). Montes is only a 50-minute drive from Airlie.
Why it’s the best time to visit the Whitsundays
The 74 tropical islands of the Whitsundays are one of Australia's premium holiday destinations, attracting visitors from all over the world. 2020 is seeing us in uncharted waters, opening unique opportunities for Australian locals.
- International visitors are few and far between meaning the unspoiled beauty of the islands can be easily experienced without crowds.
- Whale season runs from June until September. Can you imagine anything more amazing than whale watching from your own private yacht?
- The winter and spring months in the Whitsundays offer the best weather and sailing conditions.
- Save money and travel time by taking a local holiday and feel good about supporting our local economy to get back on its feet.
- Get away from crowds. A sailing vacation in the Whitsundays means exploring remote anchorages, beaches and islands that are only accessible by boat. Once you are on your yacht, the only people you will physically interact with are your crew.
Getting to our base at beautiful Shute Harbour
Shute Harbour is a 10-minute drive through the Conway Rangers from Airlie Beach, and it's the closest mainland port to the islands. Within an hour of leaving Shute Harbour, you could be moored at one of three resorts, or anchored in at a secluded bay on Lindeman Island which is only 35km away.
It’s possible to catch a direct shuttle bus from the Whitsunday Coast Airport to Shute Harbour. If you want to stop off in Airlie and don’t have a car, there is a regular bus operated by Whitsunday Transit.
For those travelling by car, you can park at the nearby outdoor council car park or by pre-organising secure valet parking for a fee with Whitsunday Parking (0427 317 218)
It's hard to imagine anything more amazing than cruising untouched tropical islands at your own pace and with your crew.
Whether you’re keen for an exciting, action-packed adventure, or a relaxed, romantic getaway, travel to the Whitsundays and book a yacht charter for your next holiday.
Join us to sail in the Whitsundays and enjoy the freedom to explore
Contact us 1800 075 000 or firstname.lastname@example.org