For families looking for fun in the sun and activities galore, The Whitsundays fits the bill. Family-friendly accommodation options are endless on any budget, and there are so many activities on offer – both free and for a fee – that it’s worth coming up with a shortlist before you leave. Read on to explore some of the best ways to see and experience this amazing part of the world.
1. Escape to glorious weather
The tropical Whitsundays enjoys warm, sunny days for much of the year. In winter, visitors can shed their winter woollies in temperatures of around 23 degrees in June and July, and bask in summer temps of up to 30 in the height of summer. Swimming at any of time of year will be high on your agenda, with water temperature staying at a welcoming 25 degrees. The Whitsundays does have a wet season, however, so best to avoid the rain and steamy days between January and March.
2. Best beaches in the world
Whitehaven Beach is the jewel in the crown of The Whitsundays. With its white silica sand and clear turquoise waters, it spans seven kilometres. This multi-award winning beach is prized not just for its beauty, but for being eco-smart, clean and friendly, too. Beautiful beaches are to be found throughout the islands of The Whitsundays, with stunning coves, long stretches of beach and sublime views at every turn.
3. Daydream Island
With 74 islands to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start, but one of the area’s iconic islands is Daydream, and for good reason. This multi-award winning, laid-back resort offers families an iconic Whitsundays experience; talcum powder sand, glass-clear water and a delicious array of dining options. Their family rooms, which are actually two interconnecting resort rooms, will give you all the extra space children need with an added touch of luxury for parents.
4. Snorkelling for the whole family
Donning a mask and snorkel to view the aquatic wonderland beneath the surface is certain to be a long-lasting memory for all ages. Some of the best snorkelling can be found off Hook Island. Although it is a rugged island, the many sheltered bays and inlets are ideal spots to admire coral in all the colours of the rainbow and a diverse display of marine life.
5. The Great Barrier Reef
No visit to the Whitsundays is complete without a dip in the warm waters to marvel at the brilliant colours of the fish, coral and other sea creatures who call these waters home. Whether snorkelling or scuba diving, it will soon become obvious why the reef has been named one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Non-swimmers need not miss out – glass-bottomed boats and underwater viewing chambers are available.
6. Action-packed kids’ clubs
The family-friendly Whitsundays combines unlimited fun for the kids and tranquil relaxation time for parents with the help of kids’ clubs. The three-star Long Island Resort caters for children aged four to 14 at its well-run kids’ club, while the five-star Daydream Island Resort and Spa offers age-appropriate activities for children aged six weeks to 12 years, ranging from arts and crafts, to coconut bowls, tennis and treasure hunts. There is a fantastic outdoor playground just for the kids’ club, which runs from 8am to 4.30pm. Babysitting is available day and night.
7. Master of your own destiny
Life doesn’t get much more relaxing than kicking back on board a white-sailed yacht meandering through azure waters. If you like the idea of donning the skipper’s hat, a ‘bareback’ yacht, catamaran or motor launch charter could be the way to go. Crewed sailing tours let you lie back while others do the work, but feel free to hoist the sails if you want to. There couldn’t be a more spectacular place to learn to sail.
8. Airlie Beach
There’s more to the Whitsundays than islands. Airlie Beach is the bustling hub of the area and can be a great base from which to explore. The town has a vibrant atmosphere for those wanting to be part of the action and there is a huge range of accommodation and dining options on offer. Enjoy activities on the reef by day, and Airlie Beach fun when the sun goes down.
9. Tailor-made holidays
To some, the perfect holiday involves nothing more than relaxing on the beach with a good book, while others want to be on the go from dawn to dusk. Whether you want to take advantage of what a resort has to offer – activities can be arranged when you arrive – or set a detailed plan in place before you leave, there are options for every age and energy level, from skydiving to swimming with dolphins.
10. Value for money
Family-friendly holiday accommodation ranges from heaven-sent camping spots and simple motels, to boutique bed and breakfasts, holiday houses and wilderness retreats. All budgets are catered for and even the upper-end of the accommodation options recognise the need for families to stay within a budget.