What should I know before visiting Whitsundays?
Cost of food
The cost of food and drinks is often one of the highest costs of any holiday, including those taken to the Whitsundays. Travellers who have booked Whitsundays holiday packages that include some sailing charters may have all food and drink taken care of while on the water. Otherwise, if you’ve chosen a land-based Whitsundays holiday package, you’ll need to sort out your meals by yourself. On average, travellers with Whitsundays holiday packages can expect to pay about $20 AUD for a main meal, and between $10 to $12 for smaller bites, such as a sandwich or salad.
The cost of your accommodation all depends on what hotel or resort is included in your Whitsundays holiday packages. Rates tend to start at $200 per night, if staying at a mid- to top-range hotel or resort. The best way to save costs on accommodation is to book your holiday package to the Whitsundays well in advance or around peak tourist times.
One of the best ways for travellers with Whitsundays holiday packages to get around the Whitsundays is with a ferry. Cruise Whitsundays is the main operator and offers transfers to Daydream Island, Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach. Transfers or travel between the major destinations in the region are not usually included in Whitsundays holiday packages. You'll have to budget between $62 to $83 per trip, depending on where you’re going and how many people in your party.
When is the best time to visit the Whitsundays?
During October to May, the Whitsundays experiences its stinger season, with box jellyfish and Irukandji moving into the tropical waters. Don’t let the presence of stingers put you off booking Whitsundays holiday packages for this period though. You can still have fun in the water, just keep an eye on the day’s condition warnings and opt to hire a stinger suit for extra protection if needed. If you don't feel like jumping into the water, other activity options worth exploring include fishing, hiking or simply relaxing on the beach.
What to expect from the weather
December to February is the Whitsundays summer. These months see conditions become hot and humid, with higher levels of rain and increased possibility of tropical storms. The flip side to this is that it can be an excellent time to snap up great-value deals on Whitsundays holiday packages. If you're seeking a getaway complete with cloudless blue skies, the best time to travel on Whitsundays holiday packages is the spring. The temperatures start to warm up from September through November, however the heat and wet conditions of summer have yet to hit. The reduced rainfall also makes the spring months the best time for keen snorkellers and divers to visit the Whitsundays. The underwater visibility is excellent for spotting brightly coloured fish and other marine life. Travel during winter and autumn months is a good option for the most reliable temperatures. Expect cool water temperatures if you’re travelling on Whitsundays holiday packages between June and August, but the mercury is still pleasant enough to take up land-based activities and excursions.
What can you do in Whitsundays over the weekend?
Go to Hardy Reef
If you're buying Whitsundays holiday packages for children and adults, one of the best places to visit on the weekend is Hardy Reef. It’s the largest floating pontoon in Australia! To get there, you’ll need to take a catamaran from the mainland. It’s a 40-minute one-way trip.
Fly over Heart Reef
Take to the skies while on your Whitsundays holiday packages for a scenic flight over Heart Reef. This unforgettable experience, while not cheap, is sure to become one of your most treasured memories. Heart Reef sits within the wider Hardy Reef and can only be seen from the air; snorkelling and diving on the reef is not permitted.
Go on a hike to Passage Peak
While the Whitsundays are a popular destination for water sports, there are ample land-based activities to add to your Whitsundays holiday packages itinerary. One of the best options is a hike up Passage Peak on Hamilton Island. It is an easy 45-minute hike that can be done solo or with the whole family if you've bought group Whitsundays holiday packages. Once you're at the top of Passage Peak, you'll have dazzling panoramic views across Hamilton Island and some of the neighbouring isles, too.
Go on a sailing excursion
If you're only buying Whitsundays holiday packages for the weekend, one of the best ways to get the most out of your trip is with a sailboat. Chartering a boat gives you the opportunity to visit some of the more remote Whitsundays islands, as well as swim in less crowded snorkelling spots. A full-day tour may cost about $165 per person, in addition to you Whitsundays holiday packages. There are operators based out of Airlie Beach, and these outings can be booked once you arrive in Queensland on your Whitsundays holiday packages.