Compare Cheap Flights from Mackay to the Whitsundays, Australia
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Need to Know About the Whitsundays
The Whitsundays is a destination that embodies every tropical paradise cliché you have ever heard. From its beaches that boast blindingly white sand, to its turquoise waters teeming with marine life and its laidback towns that embrace the ‘no shoes, no worries’ ethos; it is little wonder the Whitsundays lay claim to being one of Australia’s most coveted holiday destinations. All up, the Whitsundays has 74 islands (most uninhabited) in its arsenal and scoring cheap flights to the Whitsundays is the only excuse you need to discover this region located on the northeast coast of Queensland.
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When is the Best Time Visit the Whitsundays?
As is befitting its collection of palm trees and golden-sand beaches; the Whitsundays benefits from a tropical climate. Its summer is hot and humid with regular rainfall; winter enjoys milder temperatures and less rain, though the water is cooler for swimming. Head to the Whitsundays from January to March if you love the heat and making the most of outdoor pursuits. However, do keep in mind that many travellers, especially families enjoying school holidays, may do the same thing. Flights to the Whitsundays can increase in price as a result. Another busy time is over the Easter holidays. Hamilton Island Race Week is one of the region’s premier events and sees an influx of visitors to the area. If you can, time your Whitsundays trip around school holidays in May, August and September. Also take note of increased prevalence of stingers in the water from October to May.
Travelling to Whitsundays Airports
Whitsunday Coast Airport (WCA) or Proserpine Airport (PPP) is the main hub servicing the Airlie Beach and Whitsundays region. Airlines that offer flights to PPP include Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Qantas and Tigerair. There are services available from every Australian capital city, including direct flights to Proserpine departing from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Whitsunday Coast Airport (WCA) or Proserpine Airport (PPP)
Proserpine Airport is located a 30-minute drive from Airlie Beach. It does not have any public transport connections. Passengers have the option of booking onto a private shuttle service (either in advance or at one of the transit desks in the arrivals section) for the journey to Airlie Beach. There are also hire cars, coach transfers and taxis.
What to do in the Whitsundays
You may already recognise Whitehaven Beach from the postcards it features on. Located on Whitsunday Island, Whitehaven Beach is world-renowned for its pure white silica sand and thousands of visitors flock to this isle to kick off their shoes and walk barefoot along the shore. Only day tours are available to Whitehaven Beach; there are no airports, hotels or signs of modern civilisation on the island. Tours depart from Hamilton Island and Airlie Beach.
Hamilton Island is one of the flagship destinations in the Whitsundays. The island is home to five-star resorts, Catseye Beach and incredible access to the Great Barrier Reef, and it can be reached by a passenger ferry for those that have booked flights to Airlie Beach. Visit Hamilton Island as a day trip from the Whitsunday Coast mainland or find cheap Hamilton Island accommodation to complement your affordable airfares.
This chilled-out coastal town acts as a gateway to the Whitsundays and most visitors heading to one of the islands will no doubt pass through Airlie Beach on their travels. Flights to Airlie Beach will see you landing on the Queensland mainland and from there head out on an excursion to Heart Reef or Hill Inlet; discover the local market and explore off-the-beaten track beaches.
Great Barrier Reef
The delights of the Whitsundays aren’t limited to beaches and palm trees; one of this destination’s most famous treasures lies below the water’s surface. Use one of the Whitsunday islands or Airlie Beach as your launchpad for exploring the Great Barrier Reef. There are plenty of chartered tours available in the area and you can swim, snorkel or scuba dive to get up close to the coral and some of the reef’s more inquisitive (and finned) residents.
Getting Around the Whitsundays
Public transport is limited around the wider Whitsunday Coast. Those with cheap airfares to Airlie Beach will find that a hire car is the easiest way to get around town and the surrounding area. There are a handful of car rental kiosks at the Whitsunday Coast Airport (WCA), also known as Proserpine Airport (PPP). There is a local bus service operated by Whitsunday Transit linking Airlie Beach and neighbouring towns. Travelling from the mainland to any of the Whitsunday islands happens via water taxi, sea plane, chartered boat or hop-on hop-off ferry. Ask your hotel if they offer transfers.