Take the kids to the wonderful Whitsundays

Ever wanted to do the Whitsundays with kids? Trust us, it is totally worth it. 

The Whitsundays has more than 70 islands scattered across the warm waters of the Coral Sea. The Great Barrier Reef is a short hop away and it’s here that you will find that incredible heart. 

Great Barrier Reef Heart Reef
Heart Reef off the Whitsundays Queensland. Picture: Alison Godfrey

The year-round tropical climate is perfect for active families who want to explore both above and below the water. No matter which island you choose, you will find a huge range of activities and accommodation.

Here are a few reasons to choose the Whitsundays for your next family holiday.

BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort

BIG4 Adventure Whitsundays holiday park sprawls across 26 acres of sub-tropical gardens in Airlie Beach. This place is a leap above your normal holiday park. It has consitently been rated as the best place to stay in the Whitsundays with kids.

BIG4 Adventure Whitsundays holiday park has unpowered campsites, powered caravan sites and luxury cabins. They have the largest resort pool in the area, a kids playground, tennis, mini golf and a jumping pillow, and a brand new water park.

The water park has 13 slides of different heights and speeds which are geared towards kids (and adults) of all ages, together with water features for toddlers and a 30cm splash pool, coloured to reflect the kaleidoscope of corals in the Great Barrier Reef. The on-site Kids Club has outdoor movies screened during the school holidays. 

Cruise Whitsundays Reefsleep

No trip to the Whitsundays with kids is complete without time spent beneath the water’s surface exploring the Great Barrier Reef. “Reefworld” is a permanently moored pontoon on one of its most beautiful stretches, Hardy Reef, and an ideal spot for fun and safe family snorkelling excursions. Better still, extend your day trip to a sleepover, and get some private time on the reef once the day visitors head home.

After an unforgettable sunset over the water, a whole range of nocturnal animals come out onto the reef, including octopus, fire urchins and crayfish, which you can observe on a night dive, or opt instead for a spot of stargazing, with an incredible display of stars illuminating the night sky overhead. Bunk down in cosy swags for the night, then wake for a barbeque breakfast and morning snorkel before the day visitors arrive. NB: Minimum Age 15.

Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven beach on Hamilton Island is one of Australia’s most beautiful beaches. You can camp next to Whitehaven beach for less than $30 per night. Many cruises will moor in the bay for a day of swimming and sunbaking. But the most spectacular way to see Whitehaven beach is from the air. Helicopter flights and seaplane flights leave daily for tours of Whitehaven beach and the famous Great Barrier Reef Heart. 

Credit: Tourism & Events QLD

Bowen

One hour north-west from Airlie Beach is the historic town of Bowen, established in 1861 and one of North Queensland’s undiscovered gems. Palm-fringed beaches line the coastline in places such as Horseshoe Bay, and there are some great short walks to take in the coastal views. It’s also the birthplace of the much-loved Kensington Pride mango.

Stop at Le Sorelle Coffee House for the best coffee in the Whitsundays, then feast on freshly-caught fish and chips for dinner at the Birds Fish Bar, perfectly finished off with locally-made mango sorbet. To really explore all Bowen has to offer, spend a night or two at the beachfront Rose Bay Resort. One and two bedroom apartments are ideal for families.

Where to eat at Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach is a bit of a foodie haven, taste flavours from a different country every night, not to mention Queensland’s greatest selection of seafood, craft beer and fine rum.

In downtown Airlie Beach, Fish D’vine is an award-winning seafood restaurant and rum bar, famous for a relaxed atmosphere and fantastic seafood. Located at the Boathouse complex at Port of Airlie, Denman Cellars has a range of over 200 beers from around the world as well as a great tapas menu to nibble on. It’s a family favourite, with outdoor seating and plenty of room for kids to run around.

The Fat Frog Beach Café is known for great coffee, and house-made meals, while the stunning location at Cannonvale Beach makes for the perfect spot to relax and enjoy the views and gentle sea breeze. A great place to catch a drink around sunset is the Whitsunday Sailing Club. You can also enjoy buffet dinner on the waterfront balcony known to have ‘the best view in Airlie Beach’.

Getting Around:

Whitsundays 2 Everywhere

Meeting every flight which arrives at the Whitsunday Coast Airport, Whitsundays 2 Everywhere offers airport transfers and charter services in and around the Whitsunday Coast area.  

Cruise Whitsundays

Cruise Whitsundays is an award-winning marine operator based in Airlie Beach, offering a range of day cruises and island resort connections. 

READ MORE: 

12 Nights Great Barrier Reef Cruise on Celebrity Solstice

Great Barrier Reef islands you can camp on for less than $30

A Day on Fitzroy Island exploring the Great Barrier Reef

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