Getting to the Whitsundays is easy. You can fly, drive or catch a train or bus – your journey is just the beginning of a wonderful adventure. Once you’re here, there are plenty of ways to get around.

The Whitsunday Islands are 55 km off Queensland’s north coast. The mainland tourist hub closest to the islands is Airlie Beach, which is 1,100km north of Brisbane and 700km south of Cairns.

Whitsunday Rent a Yacht operates from Shute Harbour, the closest mainland port to the island and just 10 minutes up the road from the Airlie Beach township.

Getting to the Whitsundays

By air

Jetstar, Qantas and Virgin Australia operate domestic flights to Proserpine’s Whitsunday Coast Airport (PPP) and Hamilton Island Airport (HTI).  Proserpine’s Whitsunday Coast Airport is approximately 40 minutes drive or bus ride to Airlie Beach.

Hamilton Island is the main hub within the Islands, you can arrange for your bareboat to be delivered to the Hamilton Island Marina to begin your bareboat adventure from there. (subject to availability & fees)

Mackay Airport, which is approximately 150 kilometres south of the Whitsundays, also takes domestic flights, some with connecting bus services to Airlie Beach.

International flight access to the Whitsunday Islands is via a connection from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane or Cairns.



By road

The Bruce Highway is the main route connecting Brisbane and Cairns. The Whitsundays region is on the Queensland coast approximately 1,120 kilometres north of Brisbane and 630 kilometres south of Cairns. The turn-off from the Bruce Highway east to Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour lies just north of Proserpine.  Google Maps provides directions.

Those travelling from Brisbane or Cairns will find some great road trip stop-offs along the way: Road trips to the Whitsundays 

By rail

Queensland Rail operates Tilt-train and Spirit of Queensland services to Proserpine from Brisbane and Cairns, and services from Proserpine at convenient times of the day. Connecting coaches operate from Proserpine to Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour.


By coach

Sit back, relax and enjoy the scenic countryside as you travel to your Whitsundays destination.  Coaches operate regular daily services between major cities and the Whitsundays.  These include Greyhound Australia and Premier Motor Service.


Getting to Shute Harbour

Our base at Shute Harbour is only 10 minutes from Airlie Beach. There are many advantages to chartering from Shute, with one of the biggest drawcards being the nearest anchorage is only 7.9km. We’re closer to the islands so you have more time to explore. We also have our own private jetty which you can drive right up to, making your check-in process simple and stress-free.

How to get to Shute Harbour from the airports

If you are coming straight from Proserpine Airport we suggest you book a transfer in advance. You may like to contact:

If you’re flying into Hamilton Island you can use the Resort Link island transfer to take you to the Hamilton Island Marina. From there, take a ferry to either Shute Harbour or to the Port of Airlie with Cruise Whitsundays.

We also offer a vessel delivery service to Hamilton Island which means you can start or end your sailing holiday from the Hamilton Island marina, subject to availability & fees.

How to get to Shute Harbour from Airlie Beach

Shute Harbour is only a 10-minute taxi ride from Airlie. Alternatively, you can get a public bus with Whitsunday Transit, but considering you may have luggage, we recommend a taxi which can take you right up to our office and private jetty.

Parking at Shute Harbour

If you are driving, please note there is no parking available at our base. You can organise undercover, secure parking online with Whitsunday Parking who will pick up your vehicle after you check-in, and return it to our base when you check out.

Whitsunday Council offers parking within metres from our base (pay and display / EasyPark App).


Exploring The Main Land

Car rental

All major rental companies have offices in the Whitsundays. Avis, Europcar and Hertz have outlets at Airlie Beach, along with local car rental operator Heart of Reef Car Rentals.


Companies operate from Airlie Beach, Proserpine and on Hamilton Island. 13Cabs offers 24-hour local taxi service with a taxi rank at Airlie Beach. Whether you want to get from A to B or tour the region, taxis are available.


Bus companies such as  Heart of Reef Shuttles operate regular services between Proserpine, including the Whitsunday Coast Airport and Proserpine Railway Station, and Shute Harbour via Airlie Beach. Services are coordinated to meet ferry transfers.


Ferries depart from Shute Harbour and Port of Airlie at regular intervals for transfers to the islands and reef. Cruise Whitsundays operates ferries from Shute Harbour and Port of Airlie to Hamilton Island and other island resorts including Daydream Island and Long Island, along with day trips to the Great Barrier Reef.

The Hub of Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach is a great place to enjoy eating out, shopping and a range of accommodations. Many people who charter with us choose to spend a night or two in town, checking out some of the restaurants we recommend and our suggestions of free things to do around Airlie.

Get In Touch

1800 075 000

+61 7 4946 9232


6 Bay Terrace
Shute Harbour QLD 4802

Office Hours

8am - 5pm Weekdays
8am - 4pm Weekends
8am - 4pm Public holidays

Ready to Explore?

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Whitsunday Rent a Yacht acknowledges Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and in particular the Traditional Owners of the Whitsunday's Region, the Gia, Juru and Ngaro People; We recognise their continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

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