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It was in 1917 the settlers decided to open up a road to Proserpine to facilitate their ambitions to start a sugar cane farm. A year later the track was completed. Meanwhile the inhabitants of some of the islands had ideas of entertaining guests on their properties, and this was achieved by inviting Proserpine locals to catch the mail boat which frequented the islands on a regular basis. From those early beginnings we now have an enormous Tourism Industry in operation. Gone are all the sheep and their grazing areas, but deer are still to be found on Hamilton Island.

Island List with Map Ref.

Ben Southall.

Another busy day in the life of Ben Southall, the young man commissioned by Tourism Queensland to promote this wonderful area to the rest of the world. Pictured here with Liz of The Queensland Armchair Guide at Abel Point Marina, Ben has just arrived for a day of meetings with folks in the Whitsundays Tourism Industry.

The Island Reef Caretaker.

Liz and Ben Southall at Abel Point : Airlie Beach.

Liz and I at The Queensland Armchair Guide would like to thank Ben personally for the wonderful job he is doing for The Whitsundays and we will continue to follow his adventures and hope to catch up with him for a few ales when his schedule permits. You can follow Ben on Twitter
and make sure to follow Ben's adventures on his Blog

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Ngaro Sea Trail.

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Hayman Island visit.

Coral Point Lodge.


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Whitsunday Islands.

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Coach Australia.

The Whitsunday Islands and mainland areas were first occupied by the Aboriginal Ngaro People. Evidence of their presence is seen on many of the islands in the form of middens and rock cave paintings. It was in the 1880's that grazing leases for the islands were granted to settlers. At this point in time Airlie Beach was basically Rain Forest. It wasn't until 1904 that the Abell Family arrived on the beach to start a new life away from the drought ridden Boonah District in S.E.Queensland. The next few years were spent in clearing ground for market gardens and orchards.

View to Whitehaven

Hill Inlet Whitsundays.

Airlie Beach Accommodation image link.

Hamilton Island Accommodation image link.


reef gateway restaurant text image link. : Airlie Beach.
coral sea resort restaurant text image link. : Airlie Beach.
club croc restaurant text image link. : Airlie Beach.
cactus jacks restaurant text image link. : Airlie Beach.
capers restaurant text image link. : Airlie Beach.
terraces restaurant text image link. : Airlie Beach.
toscana restaurant text image link. : Airlie Beach.
waters edge restaurant text image link. : Airlie Beach.


Pacific Sunrise text image link. : Airlie Beach.
manta ray charters cruise text image link. : Airlie Beach.
reefjet cruise text image link. : Airlie Beach.
tongarra cruise text image link. : Airlie Beach.
australian tall ships cruise text image link. : Airlie Beach.
cruise whitsundays cruise text image link. : Airlie Beach.
see the whitsundays cruise text image link. : Airlie Beach.
whitsundays cruise text image link. : Airlie Beach.
illusions cruise text image link. : Airlie Beach.
whitehaven xpress cruise text image link. : Airlie Beach.

Camel rides on Airlie Beach Market Day.

Camel Rides : Airlie Beach.

Adventure Whitsundays : Airlie Beach.

The Whitsunday Passage is without doubt, one of the most beautiful areas on the planet. There are 74 islands in the group and several of these have their own resorts. The town of Airlie Beach is the main tourist centre for the area, and with the addition of 'The Lagoon' and the new look 'Esplanade' it makes for a very enjoyable stay in the area. Backpackers abound in this neck of the woods, so scooter hire is a popular means of transport for getting about during the day. Shute Harbour is the departure point for Fantasea Cruises that operate services to most of the island resorts and run daily trips to the reef and Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island. Abel Point Marina is the Airlie departure point for lots of other cruise options. Bareboat charters are numerous,so if you want to 'go it alone', you can. Proserpine,The Whitsundays Administrative Centre, is just 20 mins away, and visits to the Sugar Mill and The Historical Museum are available. Call Andy for a fishing trip to Faust Dam.

Whitsundays Getaways.


nomads text image link. : Airlie Beach.
beaches text image link. : Airlie Beach.
magnums text image link. : Airlie Beach.
koala adventures text image link. : Airlie Beach.
backpackers by the bay text image link. : Airlie Beach.
yha.com text image link. : Airlie Beach.
Bush Village text image link. : Airlie Beach.


Cumberland Charter Yachts : Airlie Beach.
Yacht Charters text image link. : Airlie Beach.
rentayacht text image link. : Airlie Beach.
whitsunday escape text image link. : Airlie Beach.
coral-reef text image link. : Airlie Beach.
see the whitsundays text image link. : Airlie Beach.
ocean rafting text image link. : Airlie Beach.


sky dive oz text image link. : Airlie Beach.
air whitsunday text image link. : Airlie Beach.
tiger moth adventures text image link. : Airlie Beach.
 crocsafari_cruise text image link. : Airlie Beach.
pro sugar text image link. : Proserpine
proserpine golf club text image link.
proserpine eco tours text image link.
andys fishing text image link.
Sailing Club text image link. : Airlie Beach.
qld rail heritage text image link. :Proserpine.
The arrival of P & O's 'Sapphire Princesse's saw an estimated 2000 visitors to Airlie Beach on Jan.6th.2008. Awaiting their arrival at Abel Point was the team of volunteers from The Tourism Whitsundays Ambassador Program. On arrival the visitors are warmly greeted and presented with a Information Booklet on Airlie Beach and directed to the coaches waiting to transport them to the town centre. Alternatively they are informed of the opportunity to take a pleasant stroll along The Boardwalk into the centre. Many of the passengers prebook trips and tours, of which, Oceanrafting and the Camira cruise are extremely popular.The Whitsunday Sailing Club is another popular venue for them to sit back and relax on the verandah and watch the world sail by. The Ambassador Program has proved extremely popular with our guests as many have expressed their desire to return and spend more time with us.

Airlie Beach Cruise Visits.

This Seasons Full Cruise Schedules image link. : Airlie Beach.

Ambassadors Welcome image.


to Judi Dunn and all of the cruise ship volunteers that have been working tirelessly to greet all of the people coming off the ships. Below are the names of the volunteers who have given their time over the past 12 months (all 36 of them). Some have been doing it for years, others have only just started in the past month: Amanda March, Angeles Alfonso, Carole Brauner, Carolyn Williams, Chris Rees, Doug Hillary, Edith Forse, Eric Loft, Faye Garland, Gay Bowden, Graham Wyatt, Gwen Jackson, Helen Loft, Helen O'Keefe, Ingrid Maring, Jackie Black, Janice Davis, John Powell, Julie Adriaans, Cathy Meallin, Keith Beetham, Keith Dunn, Kossy Halemai, Liz Welch, Margaret Moulding, Michael Thomas, Mike Connor, Sandra Hardy, Sue Bowen, Sylvia Smith, Therese Boote, Tony Dunn, Trish Rundle, Wendy Downes, Yvonne Chaloner.

Cruise Schedule.

Mon 22 Sept 14
Pacific Dawn

Mon 6 Oct 14
Pacific Dawn

Fri 24 Oct 14

Mon 3 Nov 12 Aug 14
Pacific Dawn

Tues 4 Nov 14

Full Schedule

Cruise Whitsundays expands Operations.

As from 29th June it has been announced that Cruise Whitsundays will take over operations at Hardy Reef and the Hamilton Island ferry services from Shute Harbour and Abel Point. The acquisition of vessels 'Sunrise' and 'Charmer' will enable the company to cover the additional services required. The departure points for ferry services will remain until such time as the new Port of Airlie facilities are operational.

Cruise Whitsunday's Hardy Reef Pontoon.
Cruise Whitsunday's vessel Seaflight.

Departing daily from Abel Point to The Great Barrier Reef is Cruise Whitsunday's vessel Seaflight. On her way she gives passengers a great view of Hayman Island as she waits offshore to pick up the island's contingent. A day on the Queensland Barrier Reef with Cruise Whitsundays is an unforgettable experience.

On the way to Proserpine, turn left onto Conway Road and follow the signs to Cedar Creek Falls. The falls and the cool freshwater pool are spectacular in the wet season, and they are always worth a visit. Many people are not aware of the fact but you can walk around to the right side of Cedar Creek Falls and there is a little track. It goes all the way up to the top. When you get to the top, keep walking there is a natural rock pool up there.

Cedar Creek Falls.

Cedar Creek Falls.
Ngaro Sea Trail

Shute Harbour

Conway Beach

Conway Beach is only 15 minutes away from Cedar Creek and it's in a large tidal bay with a peaceful beachside community. BBQ facilities are available and it's an ideal place for a family picnic. Just a short distance from here is Wilson Beach that is even quieter, and an ideal place to try your luck at a spot of fishing, so throw out a line. A whole day can be spent in this gorgeous area of the Whitsundays and quite often you will be the only ones on the beach.

Conway Beach.

View to Conway Beach.

Conway Beach Tourist Park

Conway Beach Tourist Park offers the best of both worlds, a peaceful stay in a quiet, friendly park with great facilities and a new pool with a shallow beach area for the kids, yet still so close to all that Airlie Beach has to offer. The Grey Nomads flock in during the winter months in droves to escape the colder climes of the Southern States. Most dogs are welcome at the park so you should be able to bring your pooch along too!

Beaches and Mango's.

Check out the Big Mango at the Bowen Info centre 4klms.south of the town and remember to pick up a map. The Big Mango represents the delicious fruit which carries the name sake of the town 'Bowen Mango'. The town boasts 7 of the most beautiful beaches found anywhere. Horshoe Bay is probably the most well known, Grays Beach the most picturesque, but Rose Bay is our favourite spot out of all of them.


Beautiful Beach at Bowen.
Bowen Accommodation image link.

Bowen lies approx. 60 miles north of Airlie Beach and is renowned for it's beautiful unspoilt beaches and sparkling azure waters.

Mullers Lagoon

situated in the centre of the town, is a superb botanical garden and wetland habitat, home to about 176 species of bird life.Throughout the centre there are 25 historical murals that depict the diverse history of Bowen from early days to the present. Tourism Bowen hosts a guided walking tour featuring the Bowen murals every Wednesday morning and a more in depth look into Bowen's history can be retraced at the Bowen Historical Museum.

Mullers Lagoon.

Mullers Lagoon.


Play a round of golf and have lunch and enjoy an icy cold beer in the clubhouse restaurant or amble up to the lookout at Flagstaff Hill for the scenic views. Snorkle the magnificent fringing reefs that abound the area or take a fishing trip. Try windsurfing or sailing in the sparkling waters surrounding the town or just settle down and relax and listen to the birds singing in Mullers Lagoon. Staying in town or just on a day trip, Bowen has plenty to offer the visitor.


Peppers Palm Bay.

Peppers Palm Bay.

Nestled amongst swaying palms fringing the picturesque beach and turquoise waters of The Whitsundays,
Peppers Palm Bay is an exclusive Peppers Retreat offering a private, intimate and secluded hideaway.

whitehaven text image link.

Whitsunday Island

is the largest island in the Whitsundays and is 100% National Park.Kept in pristine condition, there are no resort facilities here, but there is a camping site. Visitor numbers to the island are quite significant as several tour operators run trips to the world famous Whitehaven Beach. This beach is probably one of the most photographed beaches in the world.

lindeman text image link.

Lindeman island

is the southernmost island in the group and is about 1 hour from Shute Harbour. Nature walks reveal lots of varieties of flora and fauna on the island. Windsurfing and snorkelling are popular off the beach , and the island also has a 9 hole golf course. In the cool of the evening you can take advantage of the 5 floodlit tennis courts and follow by visiting the nightclub on the island.

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Hamilton Island

has a variety of accommodation types on the island, ranging from The Palm Bungalows, through to Private Residences. At this point in time the north side of the island is being developed to accommodate a 6 star resort. Visitors will be transported by helicopter to their own private quarters. In the main resort, guests will find that on any given day there are at least 40 different types of activities that they can participate in. Buggies are the form of transport on the island ,or you can take advantage of the free shuttle service that operates throughout the day to all parts of the island. Fantasea runs reef trips from the island every day , and also trips to Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island. On the south side of the island there is a Go Cart Track, Rifle Range, and a Golf Driving Range. Plenty of things to keep you occupied here.

long island resort text image link.

Long Island

is blessed with 3 resorts.The original resort was Happy Bay, and was completely transformed in the 80's, and is now Club Crocodile Resort. The Resort has a wide range of facilities ,and several walking tracks. Situated 20 mins from the mainland, the island has a steady flow of daytrippers from nearby Shute Harbour.

South of the main resort are The Eco Resort and Peppers Palm Bay. Both Exclusive, and designed for the folks who want to get away from it all.These resorts have no televisions or telephones in the rooms. The Eco Resort is on the South side of the island and is only accessed by helicopter. Peppers can be accessed by boat but owners must be escorted in through the narrow channel into the lagoon.

daydream island text image link.

Daydream Island was called West Molle in the old days. Back in 1930 a couple from Sydney set of to voyage round the world in their yacht Daydream. On arriving at The Whitsundays they fell in love with the area and susequently bought the island from it's owner and stayed. The island has a Tropical Pool stocked with fish , and live coral also collected from this area. Plenty of day trippers visit this island, and they have a separate area set aside from the main resort. On the West side of the island there is a coral beach called Sunlovers. Just wade out a few metres and you can see the various coloured tropical fish up close.Try snorkelling and get a view of the coral that is close to the beach. This island has a real tropical flavour.

south molle island text image link.

South Molle Island in the long distant past was frequently visited by Queensland Aborigines. Their interest was in the basaltic rocks that are abundant on the island. These were used for making primitive cutting implements and axes.Take a walk on the track to Spion Kop, and you will see the evidence of a stone quarry . In the mornings on South Molle , fish feeding is carried out by staff on the pier. The island's guests are housed in units in the tropical gardens or on the beach front. Several walking tracks can be encountered, plus a 9 hole golf course. Water sports are plentiful, and reef trips are available from the island every day of the week. Ferry services from this island are to Abel Point Marina, not Shute Harbour.

hayman island text image link.

Hayman Island is located at the northern area of The Whitsundays. Originally opened in the 50's it was totally refurbished in 1985. The resulting change elevated the resort to exclusive membership of The Leading Hotels in the World. The garden areas are magnificently maintained and are adorned with giant Grecian Urns, Satues and Fountains. Plenty of watersports here, and several restaurants for the culinary artistes. Guests are transported by the island's luxury vessel from Hamilton Island Airport to their guest quarters with 5 star service all the way. If you can afford it, do it.

hook island text image link.

Hook island coral viewing is splendid. There is an underwater observatory here and a small resort with camping facilities. The island has some of the highest peaks in The Whitsundays, and is the second largest of the Whitsunday Islands. There are many beaches around Hook, and private yachts tend to visit regularly as the coral is probably the best in the area. Off the main tourist track ,as Fantasea the main ferry operator does not have scheduled trips there. A lot of locals tend to go to the beach areas of Hook Island to get away from the maddening crowds.

Living in The Whitsundays at Shute Harbour, Liz and I watch the continuous traffic emerging from Shute Harbour heading out every day to The Whitsunday Islands and beyond. Back in the early eighties, Frank Stephens skippered 'Banjo Paterson' on the first passenger trips from Shute Harbour to Hamilton Island for her owner, and founder of Fantasea Cruises Dave Hutchens. Fantasea Cruises has new owners now and 'Banjo Paterson' still operates out of Hamilton Island. Frank still sails The Whitsundays on his catamaran 'Chilli Frog' but strictly for pleasure now. We will be aboard with Frank and his wife Val for the Fun Race on 6th Sept.
The Lifestyle in The Whitsundays is far removed from the hustle and bustle of city life, but there are plenty of things to do and places to go, and we recommend a visit to the area will be one of the most rewarding experiences that anyone could possibly wish for. If you have any questions regarding a visit , just e-mail us and fire away.We will be pleased to accommodate your enquiries.

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