The Whitsunday Islands are home to some of the most beautiful and scenic mainland walks and lookout hikes. With views of the coral sea, islands and fringing reefs it is easy to see why the Whitsunday’s is one of the natural treasures of the Queensland coast.
While the islands are home to stunning trails, the Whitsunday mainland also has equally as beautiful and picturesque walks. We’ve put together a few of our favourites to share with you.
Approximately 10 minutes out of Airlie Beach by car is the entrance to the Mt Rooper trails. With the option of Swamp Bay, Mt Rooper Circuit or just the look-out there is plenty to keep you busy.
Mt Rooper Lookout
Mt Rooper Lookout has views out toward Daydream Island and the Molle group, with Dent, Whitsunday & Hamilton Island off in the distance. This hike will get your heart rate up so choose a cooler part of the day for this walk. Take the swamp bay track and turn off about 200m to hike the 4.6km uphill trail through bushland to the lookout. Some parts of the track have pretty spectacular panoramic views of Shute Harbour. The path weaves in and out of the wooded hillside eventually reaching the lookout. You can then either return the way you came or continue on to do the entire circuit which is 5.4km long and will bring you back to join the Swamp Bay track.
Alternatively if you are looking for a less hilly walk then don’t turn off to the lookout and continue on to Swamp Bay which is quite nice on high tide. This is a 4.2km return trip.
Take drinking water, a hat and insect repellent.
A little further on from the Mt Rooper tracks is Coral Beach, located out at Shute Haven.
Coral Beach Walk
A 2.2km return walk with a few smaller inclines makes this an easy, and great option for families. The trail brings you out onto a coral beach which is nice at high to mid tide. With little shade on the beach if you plan on staying for a while make sure to take plenty of water.
From the beach you can take a moderate climb to the The Beak Lookout, which is an additional 1.2km return track. Head down to the eastern end of the beach to find the entrance.
A little closer to Coral Sea Marina Resort is the Airlie Creek trail and the much loved by fitness enthusiast Honeyeater Lookout.
Airlie Creek Track
Leaving from Waterson Way between Seaview Drive and Raintree Place, this 850m track gently winds up the hill behind Airlie Beach. A beautiful rainforest trail that leads to a scenic natural rock pool that has a small waterfall in the wet season. Full of flora and fauna you will see a Whitsunday Bottle Tree, sub-tropical palms and plants as well as the beautiful fig trees with their impressive root systems. This is the easiest of all the mainland walks.
This hike is not for the faint of heart! Starting at the Conway track entrance at the end of Kara Crescent this rugged trail has gradients up to 35degrees and can be quite strenuous in parts – but the view at the end makes it totally worthwhile! You turn off the main track around 2.3km into the hike and follow the path along the ridge of the Conway ranges until you come out at the lookout. With a stunning view over Cannonvale and Pioneer Bay you soon forget about the 4.1km you just walked to get up. An 8.2km round trip you definitely need to take water!
You can find out more about walking tracks in the Whitsundays here.