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Whitsunday Islands aerial
Images of the Whitsundays Islands

The Whitsunday Islands

The Whitsundays are part of the Cumberland Group that form the largest group of Coastal Islands on the Australian Coast. In total there are 74 islands located right in the centre of the Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The Whitsunday group consists of 22 islands, that were named by Captain Cook on his voyage on the Endeavour in 1770. The islands became islands around 10,000 years ago when the Ice Caps melted and the sea level rose around 100 metres. The islands are actually mountain tops cut-off from the mainland by the ocean (aka Continental Islands).

Today the islands remain relatively unspoilt, with only eight of the islands having resort style development. The island resorts include Daydream, Hayman, Hamilton, South Molle, Long & Hook.  The largest Island, Whitsunday Island only has walking tracks, viewing platforms, signage and toilets.

The Whitsundays provide terrific sailing conditions, with consistent South Easterly breezes and many calm water anchorages nestled among the islands, making overnight stopovers comfortable. The Whitsundays are the number 1 location in the Great Barrier Reef marine park for extended live-aboard sailing holidays offering unique visitor opportunities such as sleeping on a yacht, snorkelling on coral reefs, watching sunsets over the ocean, swimming off a yacht in pristine waters, exploring islands and stunning beaches. If you have the time, we recommend that an extended tour for 2 or 3 days will give you a chance to fully immerse yourself into the islands and the sailing experience and leave you feeling relaxed by the end of your voyage.

At Southern Cross Sailing Adventures we work in a partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service to ensure that our Tours minimise ecological risk while sustaining the future of the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday Islands, so for years to come, visitors may appreciate the natural beauty of the area.