There are many ways to honeymoon in the Whitsundays, with famous places such as exclusive Qualia on Hamilton Island and The intercontinental on Hayman Island being the most well known. But for those looking for something a little more unique, we have five honeymoon suggestions to consider.
Read on to find accommodation inspiration for your honeymoon in the Whitsundays, romantic things to do, secluded beaches to visit and places to dine.
Introducing the Whitsundays
It’s pretty easy to understand why many couples choose the Whitsunday Islands to honeymoon. Not only are the Whitsundays on Australia’s doorstep, but they also offer some of the most sublime and stunning scenery in the world.
Home to the famous Whitehaven Beach, the lush, green paradise of the Whitsundays offers fantastic views across the South Pacific, where migratory whales can sometimes be spotted making their way along the East Coast of Australia.
The Great Barrier Reef runs along Queensland’s coastline and makes up the fringing reef around the Whitsunday Islands. While on a yacht charter or tour, you can snorkel or dive, explore pristine beaches, secluded coves and hike to the most breathtaking views.
When is the best time to visit the Whitsundays?
Located on the north coast of Queensland, the Whitsundays are a subtropical environment meaning it’s lush and warm for most of the year. Winter, spring and autumn are warm with hot summers.
The winter and spring temperatures are ideal, sitting at between 22-25 degrees. Generally, water temperatures are around 25 degrees Celsius for most of the year, making swimming possible no matter what the season (wear a stinger suit in “stinger season”)
The wet season runs from January through to March. The days can get humid, and there is often a passing tropical shower in the afternoon, which can be delightful.
Getting to the Whitsundays
Two airports service the Whitsundays, Proserpine and Hamilton Island. Both airports have flights from Virgin and Jetstar.
Hamilton Island Airport: The Airport on Hamilton Island services flights from Sydney, Melbourne and Cairns.
If you’re coming to the mainland from Hamilton, you will need to get a one hour ferry with Cruise Whitsundays to either Airlie Beach or Shute Harbour. Long-term parking is available at the Port of Airlie terminals and other parking within the precinct.
Proserpine Whitsunday Coast Airport: Proserpine is approximately 40 minutes from Airlie Beach. Shuttle bus and taxi services run regularly. We suggest you book a transfer in advance with either – Airlie Beach Transfers & Tours, Whitsunday 2 Everywhere or Heart of the Reef Shuttles.
The Spirit of Queensland runs five times a week return from Brisbane to Cairns, to Proserpine, with coach connections to Airlie Beach.
The 1,100km drive north from Brisbane to Airlie Beach takes around 12 hours non-stop. Follow the Bruce Highway to Proserpine, then exit Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour on the coast.
5 Whitsunday Honeymoon Ideas
Charter a bareboat for your honeymoon
What’s better than sailing with your loved one on a beautiful yacht in paradise? A Whitsunday bareboat charter can be an incredibly romantic honeymoon, with breathtaking sunsets, secluded beaches, and a yacht’s intimate setting.
Bareboat refers to a sailing yacht or catamaran which comes fully equipped. You skipper the boat yourselves, enjoying the freedom explore at your own pace.
For those wishing to have a small ceremony on board a catamaran, you can say your “I Do’s” at an island setting of your choice. After the ceremony, Whitsunday Rent a Yacht can make arrangements for your celebrant and guests to return to the mainland. At the same time, the bride and groom continue exploring the Whitsundays for their honeymoon.
Stay on the Great Barrier Reef
A honeymoon in the Whitsundays doesn’t get much more unique than Reefsleep.
Reefsleep allows 12 guests the opportunity to sleep on a pontoon right next to the outer Great Barrier Reef. A private double room honeymoon suite is available on the pontoon with a glass window looking out to the reef from your bed.
Guests arrive during the stay, stay one night and enjoy another day on the pontoon among the day-trippers. Meals are provided, and there are several activities to choose from, such as a scenic flight, scuba diving, and snorkelling.
Elysian Retreat on Long Island
Elysian Retreat is the most secluded island resort in the Whitsundays. They offer a boutique adults-only experience, emphasising tailored experiences and personal service to a maximum of 20 guests at one time.
The resort includes a locally-sourced custom menu, personalised organic spa treatments and, the best bit; each guest is allocated a dedicated host on hand day and night!
A true escape where each day you can choose to idle your time away swinging in the hammock soaking up the peace, diving into the ocean or, exploring around the uninhabited part of the island.
Palm Bay Resort on Long Island
Palm Bay Resort on Long Island is located in a private cove on the neck of the island. It’s a stunning place to find seclusion in paradise.
Palm Bay offers 25 spacious Balinese inspired villas with extensive views to the Whitsunday passage. Uniquely, the resort is a self-catering accommodation with kitchen facilities for guests. Provisioning can be arranged, and there’s a cocktail bar and “pizza night” restaurant.
Palm Bay is not five-star accommodation like Qualia, but it is a beautiful place to unwind, unplug and enjoy time relaxing together after your big day.
Take a crewed overnight sailing trip
Airlie Beach is a sailing mecca with many crewed sailing holiday options.
We recommend looking at the smaller, more luxurious vessels with a skipper, host, and private cabin accommodation for honeymooners.
Whitsunday Blue and Whitsunday Getaway both take eight guests in total and are equipped with private cabin accommodation. You share the boat with other couples. Wings Charters can also accommodate honeymooners.
Talk to Whitsunday Rent a Yacht about booking Point of Sail, our Leopard 50 catamaran, for a private skippered sailing trip. This vessel has four double cabins, three outdoor seating areas, plus a self-contained cabin for the skipper, so you’ll have plenty of privacy.
Things to do while on a honeymoon in the Whitsundays
No matter where you decide to stay for your honeymoon in the Whitsundays, you’ll find that there is explore by boat, on foot and by helicopter.
- Visit Whitehaven Beach:
Voted the number one beach globally on Trip Advisor in 2022, Whitehaven has maintained a reputation as one of Australia’s bucket list destinations for years.
- Scuba Dive:
Scuba diving tours run from Airlie Beach. Honeymooners keen on diving while on a bareboat charter can organise their dive gear to be delivered to their vessel through Aqua Dive . We recommend diving at the famous Woodpile Dive Site on Hook Island.
There are snorkelling day tours run from Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island. If you’re on a bareboat charter, check out our interactive snorkelling sites map.
The Whitsunday Islands are dotted with hikes showcasing changes in the local flora and fauna and of course non-stop Island views. The Ngaro Sea Trail circumnavigates three Islands and showcases the Ngaro culture, the first nation custodians of the Whitsundays. Also, check out our top eight Whitsunday hikes.
- Cedar Creek Falls:
Cedar Creek Falls is a magical waterfall not far out of Airlie that requires zero hiking! Take your bathers; you might like to have a dip.
- Hydeaway Bay Day trip:
Hideaway Bay is a secluded little spot about 50 Km from Airlie Beach. Enjoy an unforgettable lunch at Montes Reef Resort or take a picnic and catch a beach sunset all to yourself.
- Heart Reef Flights:
Heart Reef is the Whitsundays’ most romantic photo opportunity. Take a scenic helicopter or seaplane flight from your private charter, Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island. Enjoy the views before flying over the Great Barrier reef and taking in this incredible natural spectacle. Seaplanes with Air Whitsundays or Helicopters are with Heart Reef Helicopters.
- Scenic Flight:
As well as the Heart Reef tours, there are options with Air Whitsundays to take exclusive flight tours such as the Seaplane Reef Adventure or Panorama Tour.
- Private Day Charter:
Book a private day tour with Whitsunday Paradise Explorer and customise a day among the islands with your guide.
Romantic Beaches to visit on a Whitsunday Honeymoon
Whether you’re on a bareboat charter or planning a private tour for the day, consider these romantic island beaches for a honeymoon picnic and swim.
- Chance Bay, Whitsunday Island
- Neck Bay, Shaw Island
- Cateran Bay, Border Island
- Plantation Bay, Lindeman Island
- Butterfly Bay, Hook Island
Where to dine while on a Honeymoon in the Whitsundays
Suppose you’re heading off on a private charter or spending time at a self-contained resort or apartment. In that case, you can arrange seafood platters, bubbles and catering to be delivered to your accommodation. We suggest getting in touch with Airlie Providores or Whitsunday Provisioning.
A honeymoon in the Whitsundays suits those looking to relax, those wanting adventure and those who love to indulge – there’s something for everyone! Get in touch if you want to book a bareboat charter for your honeymoon or elopement.
Honeymoon in the Whitsundays on your own yacht and enjoy the freedom to explore