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  • Writer's pictureChanel Belej

A Luxury Travel Guide to Whitsunday Islands, Australia – Where to Eat, Stay & Play


A bucket-list vacation to add to the list if it’s not on there already, is to travel to any of the 74 Whitsunday Islands which lie between the northeast coast of Queensland, Australia and the famous Great Barrier Reef – the world’s largest stretch of coral known to mankind. Paying a visit goes without question upon booking a trip to Australia.

Even locals flee to the cluster of isles for a refreshing break from reality, and a chance to take in a new wondrous view. However your way of exploration phases you – whether by air, amidst the glassy waters, or on foot – you can curate your own unique itinerary. And with that, we’ve curated a bespoke guide to making the Whitsundays worth your while. 

Where to Stay & Eat

Image courtesy of Qualia

Qualia Luxury Resort, Hamilton Island

Flock to scenic pavilions and retreat to the true meaning of Qualia; “a collection of deeper sensory experience”. Such a place auspicious of drawing the outside in is conducive to the Oatley Family’s vision of sharing their love for Australia’s natural beauty with the rest of the world. Located at the far northern end of Hamilton Island–secluded from nearby travellers–accessing the five-star resort via helipad or sailboat is a dreamy way to make an entrance.

Once you’ve reached land you’re forced to succumb to Hamilton’s rarefied operation – that is finding your way around the island by a complimentary golf buggy provided by Qualia (there’s a total of only four cars on the island for staff only). Honestly, there’s no need to venture far when your sun-filled pavilion supplies you with all the awe you need. Comprising a clean contemporary style and surrounding shutters far from opaque, you might want to note ways to achieve this near sensorial bliss back home. 

Image courtesy of Qualia

Dining at Qualia: Talk and Taste

In between Qualia’s infinity pool and the seashore presents fine dining at its best. Start your day with a replenishing breakfast from the a la carte menu. Then, come nightfall, feast on a six-course degustation matched with flagship wines, all guided by Qualia’s expert sommelier. The restaurant’s signature offering of Crudo and Caviar makes profound sense for its leading spot across the entirety of the Whitsunday Islands. 

Address: 20 Whitsunday Blvd, Whitsundays QLD 4802  | Website: | Phone: 1300 780 959  | Email: | Instagram: @qualiaresort | Facebook: Qualia

Image courtesy of Lizard Island Resort

Lizard Island Resort 

Smaller compared to the other seven inhabited isles within The Whitsundays, Lizard Island comes second to none with the only luxury resort located directly on the Great Barrier Reef. Be fully immersed as you board a one-hour charter flight from Cairns and view the 200-kilometre expanse of the Reef’s coral system directly beneath you. This granite island is characterised by rocky terrain and Australian bushland, with a collection of lodges nestled amicably throughout. 

Depending on the level of privacy you’re searching for, there are several lavish yet understated abodes for you to surrender to island life. The main property “The House” is a three-storey three-bedroom accommodation where you’re invited to feel at home. Picture outdoor baths, an adjoining yoga deck and the most desirable rooftop spa, The House is your playground. To complete your stay, the Essential Day Spa calls upon you to renew the body, mind and soul – so you can have an enriching time inhabiting this wonder of the world. 

Image courtesy of Lizard Island Resort

Dining at Lizard Island Resort: Anchor Bay

The culinary and cellar teams on Lizard Island provide an elevated level of gastronomy like nowhere else. Finely curated partnerships with Australian farmers, winemakers and purveyors ensure you a premium experience across all food and beverage offerings. Dining degustation-style in a private gazebo at Anchor Bay is highly recommended – so is a private dinghy ride to a secluded beach with not a stranger insight; just you, your company of choice, and a selection of gourmet refreshments ready for you to devour. 

Address: PMB 40, Cairns Queensland 4870 Australia  | Website: | Phone: +1 (716) 276 0104 |  Email: | Instagram: @lizardisland | Facebook: Lizard Island


Image courtesy of Queensland

Whitehaven Beach

If there’s one activity you get up to during your stay, venturing to the unspoiled haven that is Whitehaven Beach is a must. Getting there either involves a high-speed catamaran or a private helicopter just a short trip from Hamilton Island. From the moment you imprint your first step on the powdery white sand, you immediately know you’ve landed in some kind of utopia. Queensland’s purest most pristine beach is simply where it gets it’s name, precisely containing 96% white silica emitting a luminescent colour. Other than lay upon the softness, Whitehaven Beach offers some pleasant hiking trails with magnificent views once you reach the top. Stay here for half the day or bask in sun all day long. 

Image courtesy of Lizard Island

Take the Plunge

With Lizard Island’s prime positioning at the Reef, chances to discover the sparkling world beneath are limitless. Snorkelling lessons and tours are available, as are inner and otter reef diving excursions for the more experienced ocean explorers. Otherwise, combine both on an adrenaline-charged marine adventure on motorised sea darts. Pass through the fringing reefs of Anchor and Watson Bays as well as the miraculous Clam Gardens. For personalised service, hire a small vessel to park along the reef where you can enter into the aquatic world on your own accord. 

Image courtesy of Qualia

Tour Over and Around Heart Reef

If Australia has been on your bucket list, chances are you’re no stranger to the alluring profile the Whitsundays has on-screen – with no exception to glimpses of Heart Reef too. Luckily, you can bring this vision to life with an itinerary of your choosing. For the ultimate experience, you can choose to land atop a private pontoon fixed within the crystalline waters where you’re free to swim up to the heart-shaped treasure – a once in a lifetime experience. Heart Reef Helicopters is the region’s premium aviation operator with more than 10 years experience onboarding guests to sore above Australia’s dazzling region and most precious outlook. 


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