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Experiences in Whitsundays

Reaching Whitsundays

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If you are arriving at the Whitsundays by plane you will fly into one of two airports. Whitsunday Coast Airport is located in Proserpine which is about 25 minutes to Airlie Beach. Virgin Blue and Jetstar fly here daily from Brisbane with connecting flights from other cities. Shuttle buses meet every flight to transfer guests to Airlie Beach, or to ferries to the Whitsunday Island Resorts. The second airport is Great Barrier Reef Airport on Hamilton Island., Jetstar, Virgin Blue and Qantas Link fly here daily from Brisbane, Cairns, Sydney and Melbourne. Fantasea Adventure Cruising and Cruise Whitsundays operate ferries from Hamilton Island to transfer passengers to the Whitsunday Coast and other island resorts like Daydream Island Resort & Long Island. There is a ferry departure terminal alongside the airport.

People traveling by bus in Austrailia can access Airlie Beach by Greyhound or Premier Coaches.  Buses arrive daily.  At Airlie Beach, you can rent a vehicle for driving on the mainland.  If you want a car waiting at the airport at Prosperine, you will have to make arrangements several days ahead. 

If you have a car in Australia and want to travel to the Whitsundays, you will need to take Bruce Highway and take the exit at Prosperine, which should be well marked.  (Most auto accidents take place at night due to kangaroos on the road and most tractor-trailer rigs traveling at night, so you might choose to make your trip during daylight hours.)

For rail travelers, the gateway city of choice is Prosperine.  From Prosperine, visitors can board a Whitsunday Transit bus to get to Shute Harbour.  Most of the Whitsunday Transit fleet are handicapped accessible.

If you want to visit the Great Barrier Reef, you must take one of several chartered sailing vessels that make the trip.  You can arrange a flight on a helicopter or seaplane to sea the Reef from the sky. 

Arrival by Air
Airports are at Proserpine (Whitsundays Coast Airport) and on Hamilton Island. Jetstar and Virgin Blue offer flights to both airports from the main cities. From Prosperine it is 35 minutes to Shute Harbour where the ferries operate from.

Arrival by train
If you arrive by train, even early in the morning, a bus will be waiting at Prosperine station to take passengers to Airlie Beach , and also to Shute Harbour, from where the ferries leave.

Arrival by bus
Most of the long-distance bus services divert to here and if this is your destination, it is best to take such a service, although local buses, operated by Whitsunday Transit, run regularly from Proserpine if needed.

Arrival by car
Airlie Beach is 1100 km north of Brisbane, 125 km north of Mackay and 60km south of Bowen.

Flights to Australia
Searching for cheap flights to Whitsundays? Make sure your visit Cheapflight's travel guides for the best insider information, and latest deals.


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