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We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Whitsunday Islands National Park and hope that you enjoy and respect this special place.

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Whitsunday Islands National Park will take your breath away. I cannot think of a more beautiful, peaceful place in the world. The majestic hoop pines towering over the islands with the aqua blue waters lapping at the beaches, together creates a majestic scene. There are endless fringing coral reefs to be explored; when in season, humpback whales calving and nursing their young; sea turtles swimming around; and sea-eagles calling overhead.

There are 23 islands within Whitsunday Islands National Park where we have 11 camping areas and seven walking tracks, some of which are part of the Great!Walk Ngaro Sea Trail. On these you can easily find a private island camping area, a place to snorkel or scuba dive or a walking track to enjoy to your fitness level.

Ranger Kay

Image: © Meagan Ischenko © Queensland Government

COVID-19 closure of a number of HIGH use visitor locations in QLD national parks, state forests and recreation areas

A closure of a number of HIGH use visitor locations in national parks, state forests and recreation areas is in effect until further notice. Check Park Alerts for more information.

Camp Key

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Legend

Tent camping No tent camping
Caravan camping No caravan camping
Campervan camping No campervan camping
Motorhome camping No motorhome camping
Camper trailer camping No camper trailer camping
Toilets No toilets
No showers
Camp fires allowed (conditions apply) No camp fires
No barbecues
Generators allowed (conditions apply) No generators
Picnic tables No picnic tables
Dogs allowed on leash No dogs
Wheelchair access (may require assistance) No wheelchair access
World Heritage Area
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Journey Key

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Walking No walking
Wheelchair access (may require assistance) No wheelchair access
Mountain biking No mountain biking
Horseriding No horseriding
Two-wheel driving No two-wheel driving
Four-wheel driving No four-wheel driving
Trail-bike riding No trail-bike riding
Canoeing & kayaking No canoeing & kayaking
Boating No boating
Dogs allowed on leash No dogs
No lookouts
Tent camping No tent camping
World Heritage Area
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Attraction Key

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Legend

Picnic tables No picnic tables
Sheltered picnic tables No sheltered picnic tables
Toilets No toilets
No barbecues
No lookouts
Dogs allowed on leash No dogs
Wheelchair access (may require assistance) No wheelchair access
Mooring points No mooring points
Anchoring allowed (conditions apply) No anchoring
World Heritage Area
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Note: This is a trial version, featuring our 34 most popular parks. View the full list of parks.

Beach track

© Queensland Government

Beach track

Walking No Walking
Wheelchair access (may require assistance) No wheelchair access
Mountain biking No mountain biking
Horseriding No horseriding
Two-wheel driving No two-wheel driving
Four-wheel driving No four-wheel driving
Trail-bike riding No trail-bike riding
Canoeing & kayaking No canoeing & kayaking
Boating No boating
Dogs allowed on leash No dogs
No lookouts
Tent camping No tent camping
World Heritage Area

Legend

Walking No walking
Wheelchair access (may require assistance) No wheelchair access
Mountain biking No mountain biking
Horseriding No horseriding
Two-wheel driving No two-wheel driving
Four-wheel driving No four-wheel driving
Trail-bike riding No trail-bike riding
Canoeing & kayaking No canoeing & kayaking
Boating No boating
Dogs allowed on leash No dogs
No lookouts
Tent camping No tent camping
World Heritage Area

Take a stroll through gorgeous coastal vegetation to arrive at a white sandy beach, overlooking crystal-clear water.

Enjoy the sunshine or rest in the shade at Lookout Beach.
Enjoy the sunshine or rest in the shade at Lookout Beach. © Queensland Government
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Park Whitsunday
Traditional Owners Traditional Owners
Park Ranger Park Ranger

Branching off the Hill Inlet lookout track, head downhill through coastal forest to the ivory-white sands at the mouth of Hill Inlet.

Walk along a boardwalk lined with lush, green cycads on this part of the Whitsunday Ngaro sea trail and learn how the Whitsundays' landscape has shifted and changed over time.

Continue on to Betty's Beach and be spoilt by spectacular scenery as you stroll along the pristine sand.

Whitsunday Islands National Park is part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area, famed for its superlative natural beauty, outstanding examples of reef ecosystem development, evolutionary history and amazing diversity.

At a glance

Distance: 500m return (start and finish points are the same and the traveller must return via the same path).
Time suggested: Allow 20mins walking time.
Grade:
Journey type: Walk

Getting there and getting around

The Beach track is on Whitsunday Island in Whitsunday Islands National Park, located offshore from the Queensland central coast, 25km east of Airlie Beach.

  • The Beach track branches off the Hill Inlet lookout track at Tongue Point on Whitsunday Island.
  • Tongue Point is about 26.5nm (49km) from Shute Harbour (travelling in an anti-clockwise direction).
  • Public moorings are available in Tongue Bay.
  • Anchoring is permitted at Tongue Bay and Hill Inlet.
  • Access is possible from mid to high tide.
  • Read boat and fish with care for tips on boating and fishing safety and caring for parks.
  • For tourism information for all regions in Queensland, see Queensland.com, and for friendly advice on how to get there, where to stay and what to do, find your closest accredited visitor information centre.

Getting to the Whitsundays

  • Travel on the Bruce Highway to Proserpine, 125km north of Mackay.
  • From Proserpine, drive 25km east along Shute Harbour Road to Airlie Beach, and continue a further 10km to Shute Harbour. Book your tour or charter boat or launch your vessel from here.
  • All roads to the boat launch sites are suitable for conventional 2WDs.

The islands' national park is easily accessible by commercial tours and transfers, charter boat and private vessel from the coastal towns of Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour. Hamilton Island (20km south-east of Shute Harbour) is also accessible by aircraft.

Commercial tours

  • Commercial operators offer day trips, camping tours and boat, camper and kayak transfers departing from Abell Point Marina at Airlie Beach and from Shute Harbour.

Charter boat

  • Bare boats or private charters are available from Airlie Beach, Shute Harbour and Hamilton Island.

Private vessel

  • There are public boat ramps at Port of Airlie and Abell Point Marina in Airlie Beach, Shute Harbour, Cannonvale (4km east of Airlie Beach), Dingo Beach (50km north-west of Airlie Beach), Conway Beach (38km south of Airlie Beach) and Midge Point (60km south of Airlie Beach).
  • Always take the weather and tidal influences into account when boating in the Whitsundays.

Aircraft

  • Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach have airstrips and commercial operators offer sightseeing tours.

Road conditions

All roads to the boat launch sites on the mainland are suitable for conventional 2WD vehicles.

Navigating the waters around the Whitsundays by boat can be challenging. The Whitsunday area has a large tidal range of up to 4m, with an average range of 2m–3m. Tidal currents are variable and weather conditions can change quickly.

Fuel and supplies

The nearest fuel and supplies can be found in Proserpine and Airlie Beach.

  • For tourism information for all regions in Queensland, see Queensland.com, and for friendly advice on how to get there, where to stay and what to do, find your closest accredited visitor information centre.

Wheelchair access

There are no wheelchair-accessible facilities.

When to visit

Opening hours

Beach track is open 24 hours a day.

Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Climate and weather

Pleasant conditions can be experienced throughout most of the year in the Whitsundays. From April to September, daytime temperatures are mild to warm (21–26°C) with cool nights (16–22°C) particularly when prevailing south-easterly winds blow. Water temperatures on the reef flat vary from 22°C in July to 27°C in January.

From October to January, days are hotter (26–31°C) and more humid. Balmy nights follow strong but cooling north-easterly afternoon sea breezes.

January to April is the wet season though showers may fall in any month. Cyclones are more likely between November and March.

Permits and fees

Camping permits

Organised events

  • If you are planning a school excursion or organising a group event such as a wedding, fun run or adventure training, you may need an organised event permit. Maximum group sizes and other conditions apply depending on location and activity type.

Transfers

  • Commercial operators offer boat transfers to the national park islands. Fees apply. If you are camping, make sure you book your transfer before obtaining your camping permit.

Pets

Domestic animals are not allowed here.

Staying in touch

Mobile phone coverage

None. Check with your service provider for more information.

Tourism information

For tourism information for all regions in Queensland, see Queensland.com, and for friendly advice on how to get there, where to stay and what to do, find your closest accredited visitor information centre.

Be prepared

  • Parks are natural environments and conditions can be unpredictable. You are responsible for your own safety and for looking after the park.
  • Carry a first-aid kit and medical supplies. At least one member of your group should have first aid training or practical knowledge. Be familiar with first aid procedures for blisters, heat exhaustion and sprained or twisted ankles.
  • Carry emergency supplies—include food, water, AM/FM radio and spare batteries.
  • Mobile phones are useful but not reliable—satellite phones are best.
  • Monitor weather forecasts—listen to radio messages for vital information about changing weather conditions.
  • Leave your itinerary with a reliable friend or family member—keep them informed of your whereabouts.
  • Our national parks, including our precious Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area islands, need your help to remain pest‑free.
  • Read stay safe and visit with care for important general information about safety, caring for parks and essentials to bring when you visit Queensland’s national parks.

  • Check park alerts for the latest information on access, closures and conditions.

Drinking water

  • Fresh drinking water is not provided on any of the islands in the park.
  • Ensure you carry enough fresh water for drinking, cooking, washing and bathing. Allow at least 5L per person per day.
  • Treat all water before use.

Rubbish

  • There are no bins. Take your rubbish with you when you leave.
  • Pack all rubbish, including food scraps and fishing tackle in secure containers and take back to the mainland.
  • Remove excess food packaging before your trip to minimise the rubbish you bring home.
  • Do not bury or burn anything. Even small fragments of line and string can become entangled around birds' legs with fatal results.
  • Dump fish scraps at night. Food scraps and fish frames thrown from passing boats can attract crocodiles and silver gulls, unnaturally increasing their population and predation on seabird young.

Walking

  • Choose your walks carefully—some longer walks are difficult and are suited to fit and experienced walkers only. Be well prepared before departing and leave enough time for your return journey.
  • Avoid disturbing turtles and nesting sea and shorebirds. Using strong lights, making loud noises or moving suddenly can disrupt nesting behaviour.
  • Read walk with care for tips on walking safely and walking lightly.

Canoeing and kayaking

  • If you plan to access the island by kayak, you need to develop an itinerary according to your fitness level and ability to carry water.
  • You need to know and understand the effects of weather to cross various passages and channels, and know what to do when the weather prevents you from following your itinerary and camp bookings.
  • Consult the trip planner for the Whitsunday Ngaro sea trail for approximate paddling distances around camping areas and points of interest.
  • Read water safety for important information about staying safe in and near water and caring for parks.

Boating and fishing

  • The waters adjacent to Whitsunday Islands National Park are in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park and Great Barrier Reef Coast Marine Park.
  • Before heading out on the water make sure you have a zoning map, know the zones and what's allowed there.
  • There are public moorings in the waters around the Whitsundays. Moorings reduce coral damage from anchors and provide safe and sustainable access to popular reefs and islands. They suit a variety of vessel sizes and are accessed on a first-come-first-served basis. Time limits may apply during the day, but all mooring are available overnight between 3pm and 9am. Learn more about moorings and responsible anchoring and see maps and mooring locations.

  • Fisheries regulations apply. You can obtain information on bag and size limits, restricted species and seasonal closures from Fisheries Queensland.
  • Go slow when boating to avoid colliding with turtles basking at the water surface.
  • Report marine strandings. To report injured, sick, or orphaned wildlife, phone RSPCA Queensland on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625).
  • Stingers (dangerous stinging jellyfish) may be present all year. Beware marine stingers.
  • Read boat and fish with care for tips on boating and fishing safety and caring for parks.

Around water

  • Stingers (dangerous stinging jellyfish) may be present all year. Beware marine stingers.
  • Look but don't touch! Some marine organisms, such as cone shells, blue-ringed octopus and stonefish deliver painful and potentially fatal stings if handled. Beware bites and stings.
  • Never dive or snorkel alone. Be very careful of tides and currents.
  • Beware of estuarine crocodiles. They inhabit mainland estuaries but may be present in island waters. Be croc-wise in croc country.
  • Read water safety for important information about staying safe in and near water and caring for parks.

Communication

  • Mobile phones are unreliable on the islands. Satellite phones are best and a marine VHF radio is very useful. In emergencies you can contact other vessels in the vicinity on VHF marine channel 16 (emergency channel) or VHF channel 81.
  • The Whitsundays receive good broadcast radio reception and weather forecasts are available on most channels hourly, or by calling 1300 360 426.
Last updated: 22 March 2018
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