Whitsunday Islands

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Whitsunday Islands
Whitsunday group Australia en.svg
Aus - Whitsunday Islands.PNG
Location Queensland, Australia
Coordinates 20°18′S 148°56′E / 20.300°S 148.933°E / -20.300; 148.933
Total islands 74
State Queensland

The Whitsunday Islands are a collection of continental islands of various sizes off the central coast of Queensland, Australia, situated between just south of Bowen and to the north of Mackay, some 900 kilometres (560 mi) north of Brisbane. The island group is centred on Whitsunday Island, while the group's commercial centre is Hamilton Island. The traditional owners of the area are the Ngaro People and the Gia People (Birri Gubba Language Group), the Juru Clan of which has the only recognised Native Title in the Region.[1]


The term is a mis-nomer, based as it is on Captain Cook’s naming of what is now known as the Whitsunday Passage (in Cook’s Journal, Whitsunday’s Passage) in the belief that the passage was discovered on Whitsunday, The Sunday of the feast of Whitsun or Pentecost in the Christian liturgical year, observed 7 weeks after Easter. As the International Date Line had not been established it was actually Whit-Monday.[citation needed]

Whitsunday Islands.

Contention has existed as to exactly what islands are within the informally named Whitsunday Islands, in particular as to the southern extremity and the inclusions to the west. What is certain is that they lie within the chain named Cumberland Isles by Captain Cook (now officially approved as the Cumberland Islands) and a reasonably defined section of that chain and surrounding waters have become known world-wide as The Whitsundays based on a contraction of the Whitsunday Islands designation.


The Whitsunday islands are a popular tourist destination for travellers to Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef with the area being one of the most popular yachting destinations in the Southern Hemisphere. The island received about 700,000 visitors between March 2008 and March 2009.[2]

The Ngaro Sea Trail Great Walk is a mix of seaways and short walks, crossing South Molle, Hook and Whitsunday islands.[3] The tracks across the islands are linked by seaways suited to kayaking, sailing or powerboating. Camping is available at eight camping areas on the three islands. Several islands have large resorts, offering a wide variety of accommodation and activities.


Listed below are islands of The Whitsundays, divided by group locality. Named rocks and islets can be found listed within the entry for the nearest island to that feature.

Hill inlet on Whitsunday Island.
Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island.
Hill inlet, north of Whitehaven Beach.

The Whitsunday Group[edit]

There are some 74 islands in the Whitsunday group

Lindeman Group[edit]

The Lindeman Group of islands is located at 20°27′S 149°04′E / 20.450°S 149.067°E / -20.450; 149.067. Situated within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park the Lindeman Islands are part of the greater Whitsunday Islands.

The islands in the Lindeman Group include:

The Molle Group[edit]

Northern Group[edit]

  • Armit Island
  • Double Cone Island
  • Eshelby Island
  • Gloucester Island
  • Grassy Island
  • Gumbrell Island
  • Olden Island
  • Rattray Island
  • Saddleback Island


Panoramic view of the Whitsunday Islands.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ * Prior on behalf of the Juru (Cape Upstart) People v State of Queensland (No 2) [2011 FCA 819 (26 July 2011)] (17/12/2011)]
  2. ^ Andrew Bain (21 November 2009). "The alternative Whitsunday". Brisbane Times. Fairfax Digital. Retrieved 1 February 2010. 
  3. ^ "Whitsunday Ngaro Sea Trail". Department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing. 25 March 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2013. 

External links[edit]