About The Whitsundays

The Whitsundays

Located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsunday region is a holiday must on the East Coast of Australia. Just over 1000km north of Brisbane and 700km south of Cairns it is a great drive destination and airports at nearby Proserpine (Whitsunday Coast) and Hamilton Island make it even easier to get to.

Townships of Bowen, Proserpine and Airlie Beach all offer great accommodation options and visitors can explore the nearby Conway National Park, Proserpine River and Whitsunday Islands.


We enjoy a wonderful tropical climate with typically hot and humid summer months, sunny yet warm winters and clear autumn and spring days. Temperatures range from 20 30 degrees Celsius in the warmer months and sea temperatures rarely drop below 25 degrees Celsius. Visit the Bureau of Meteorology for the latest forecast.

The Whitsundays was impacted by Ex Tropical Cyclone Debbie in late March 2017. As a result the natural environment of the mainland and islands has been affected. Some of the island resorts are closed for repairs until Mid 2018. For more information please contact our reservations team bookings@reefstarcruises.com.

Reef And Islands

The Whitsunday Islands and their fringing coral reefs form part of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area the first ever declared in Queensland. The Great Barrier Reef stretches more than 2000km along the coast and covers more than 35 million hectares.

The reef is home to more than 1500 species of fish, 4000 species of molluscs and 300 species of hard corals. Seagrass beds and mangrove forests also provide important habitat for threatened species such as the Loggerhead Turtle and Dugong as well as contribute to the health of the reef.

The Whitsunday islands are a series of large continental islands, which once formed part of the mainland of Australia. Rising sea waters after the last ice age, some 10000 years ago flooded the valleys and left what were ranges to stand as islands. Typically forested by beach scrub, vine forest, grass lands and outcrops of Hoop Pines, the lush green islands have mostly coral rubble shores.

This makes the white silica sands of Whitehaven Beach on the Eastern side of Whitsunday Island even more remarkable. Fine, soft and more than 98% pure silica, the sands form a 7km long beach which swirls into Hill Inlet in the North.


The Whitsundays is a traditional homeland to the Ngaro and Gia Aboriginal people, with many sites of significance including rock art and stone quarries forming part of the Whitsunday Ngaro Sea Trail.

The islands have a long and colourful history of occupation and use. From a homeland of Traditional Sea People to European explorers, forestry and grazing workers to tourist resorts, sailing tours and day trips. Many of the islands are now protected as National Park with some lease and freehold sections.

Traditional Custodians of the Land

Reef Star Cruises acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we work and pay our respect to their Elders past, present and emerging

The Ngaro are an Australian Aboriginal group of people who traditionally inhabited the Whitsunday Islands and coastal regions of Queensland, employing a seafaring lifestyle in an area that archaeologically shows evidence of human habitation since 9000 BP. 

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