Accommodation - Shelter
- Long Island
- Daydream Island
- Hook Island
- Hayman Island
- Lindeman Island
- Hamilton Island
If you’re looking for backpacker accommodation you’ll have to stay in Airlie Beach and catch a tour to the islands from there. Try:
For people who want to get away from all the pre-packaged tourism, there is a superb variety of choices for campsites on the Whitsunday Islands. The Queensland Government Environment Resource website gives a good outline of the different campsites and a map of where everything is. To book a campsite you need to contact the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (+61 137 468), you can book online, or visit the Airlie Beach QPWS Office.
Camping costs $4 per person per night and offers a brilliant way to to see the scenery unhindered during the day, and stars when night falls and no one is left in sight. You just need a pack for some food, water and a tent and you are away! For water the recommendation is five litres per person per day, and three days more for emergencies. So as not to be overcharged, purchase big containers of water at a petrol station or the Airlie Beach Supermarket and take it across to whatever island you're staying on. Another regulation, from the collective wisdom of the two authorities, is that boat companies need special permits in order to drop campers off on an island (even though someone with their own boat would need no permission!) If you’d like all the details, transfers, equipment and food sorted for you check out Camping Whitsundays.
Long Island is mostly undeveloped save for:
- Long Island Resort Can be a good budget option with rooms as low as $110 a night.
- Paradise Bay Eco Resort This place is lovely, and only accessible by helicopter so you have to factor that cost in ($300) when booking accommodation. Bungalows start from $500, but this is a superb location with superb service.
Daydream Island Resort and Spa A small single resort with paths connecting the resort activity centers with the accommodation rooms. The island is quite family friendly, and includes a range of activities for guests.
Hook Island Wilderness Resort Dorms cost $35 a night, but they also have rooms for about $100, and they face directly onto the little beach. It's a bit dated but there is a bar, a swimming pool, snorkeling in the bay in front and free kayaks. The managers are relaxed - very relaxed, but are friendly and can help in organising boats for trips to the more impressive parts of the reef or other transfers. The resort will also arrange for you to hop on board the ferry (named Voyager) to take you there and back, which costs $25 per person each way. Day trips on Voyager around the islands cost around $80, so if you asked you might be able to do this as well on the way there and back. There is little bushwalking to do, except the trail to Pebble Beach.
Hayman Island Resort A beautiful and by far the most exclusive resort in the Whitsundays. The whole island is privately owned, therefor pople without pre-booked accommodation may not dock. Some of the best coral reefs are just off shore on the north-west side of Hook Island.
There are many options, all part of the Hamilton Island Resort (+61 13 7333), but they range from standard hotel room to your own house! The most cost effective is probably renting a house or apartment, especially for larger groups. There are many developments including unit complexes and high rises, a bit 80's in style from the outside, nevertheless the views from the upper rooms are stunning. Most of the resorts surround Catseye Beach. To book any accommodation contact the Hamilton Island Resort. Some options are:
- Palm Bungalows A good option for couples or small families who want an affordable island holiday with the added privacy of a garden bungalow. Catseye Beach and the main island pool are a short walk away. Rooms from around $325.
- Reef View Hotel Four stars from $340 a night.
- Beach Club Designed for couples with a private bar and restaurant, located right on Catseye Beach. Rooms start from $570.
- Qualia Located on the island's northern tip, this is super luxury accommodation from $950 a night.
- Yacht Club Villas From $1350 a night, yeah, they’re pretty good.