Central Queensland & Whitsundays Holidays

From its close proximity to the Southern Great Barrier Reef and its superb marine life, to coral-fringed archipelagos with picture-postcard beaches, Central Queensland and the Whitsunday Islands have something magical for everyone.

The Queensland Central Coast stretches from Hervey Bay to Mission Beach and is dotted with beachside resorts and towns including Bundaberg, which as well as the gateway to the Southern Great Barrier Reef has museums, gracious colonial buildings, Botanic Gardens and cruises along the Burnett River. Gladstone is a dynamic, modern city that basks in a sub-tropical climate with islands, waterways and beaches providing year-round water activities. Relaxed and elegant Townsville is home to 19th century architecture, a beautiful white sand beach, swaying palms, water parks and eateries. At Magnetic Island, take in the spectacular scenery on a trail walk before relaxing under a palm at one of the 23 beaches and bays, or head to fabulous Mission Beach which boasts nine miles of sandy beaches backed by the rainforest.

The Southern Great Barrier Reef offers visitors the chance to see large hard coral reefs first hand and join colourful fish and big marine life, including turtles and manta rays, for a swim.

The 74 islands of the Whitsundays are located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. A true paradise with clear blue water, white powdery beaches and fringing coral reefs at their doorstep, a visit to the Whitsundays is a feast for the senses. The majority are uninhabited national park islands, but four offer a variety of resort accommodation, and on the largest island you'll find idyllic Whitehaven Beach, boasting brilliant white silica sand that is among the purest in the world.

With its gorgeous outlook over bays and islands, and the tropical feel of an island resort, Airlie Beach is regarded as the vibrant hub of the Whitsundays and the ideal mainland base for fun and adventure. Enjoy activities on the water and in the lush, green rainforest of the Whitsunday coast.

At the heart of Central Queensland is Rockhampton, a town of well-preserved old hotels and warehouses down by the river, with Quay Street listed on the National Estate's heritage register.

Also not to be missed is Carnarvon National park, where you can witness dramatic escarpments and narrow-sided gorges 27 million years in the making along with Aboriginal art and creeks filled with turtles, frogs ad echidna. Natural attractions appear to be on tap in the Mackay Region, from beach-lounging wallabies at Cape Hillsborough National Park to the shy platypus in Eungella National Park as well as numerous secluded beaches. Let's not forget Sandstone Wilderness, an area of outstanding natural beauty featuring unique sandstone gorges, water sculptured formations and significant Aboriginal art sites.

    Why visit Central Queensland & Whitsundays?
  • Great Barrier Reef
  • Beachside towns
  • Spectacular Whitsunday Islands
  • Idyllic Whitehaven Beach
  • Dramatic inland landscapes
  • Aboriginal art sites


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Where to stay in Central Queensland & Whitsundays

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Essential facts about Central Queensland & Whitsundays
Local Time

GMT +10 hour

Currency

Australian Dollar

Travel information

The Whitsunday Islands have two airports, Great Barrier Reef Airport on Hamilton Island or Whitsunday Coast Airport at Prosperine, which is 25 minutes from Airlie Beach. Both have flights from Brisbane and Sydney. From the port at Airlie Beach you can get to Hamilton Island and Daydream Island. Heron Island is easily reached from Gladstone by either boat or seaplane.

Best time to go

he sub-tropical climate makes it perfect for beach holidays, with a year-round warm climate and an average temperature of 27ºC. The maximum summer temperatures are around 30ºC, which is also when brief tropical showers can also be expected, while maximum winter temperatures are around 25ºC.