With another exciting year coming to an end, the Whitsundays again prove they are committed to delivering memorable holidays to all our visitors. The success of the regions continued growth from our core markets couldn't be achieved without your support, dedication and passion for the Whitsundays. The team at Tourism Whitsundays and our tourism industry would like to thank you for your valued partnership throughout 2018.

2019 is set to be a huge year for the Whitsundays, after a trying previous 18 months the Whitsundays is poised for its big return. The much-anticipated re-opening of two of the Whitsunday Islands Daydream Island and Hayman Island after extensive refurbishments, the opening of the new boho-chic boutique Elysian Resort on Long Island, and our flagship Hamilton Island continues to upgrade and improve with the works to construct the new Bougainville Marquee, a new meetings and events space set to commence shortly.

The new year also brings the completion of the underwater sculpture program which was funded by the Queensland State Government and Federal Government recovery funding, which sees the sculptures placed in their new homes available for tourists to view. The federal and state funding also includes the planting over 400 coral colonies in sheltered bays around the Whitsunday Islands on mid-water coral nursery frames for 6-12 months before being planted on surrounding degraded reef.

The arrival of summer brings picture perfect days to the Whitsundays, it's the time for relaxing by the pool, snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef and sailing amongst our glorious 74 islands. There is an activity to suit all ages and all budgets, so come enjoy the sunshine and soak up some essential vitamin sea.  

We would like to wish you all a happy, healthy and safe Christmas and look forward to continuing to work with you in 2019.

Product Update 

Recently Paul Darrouzet, owner of the multi award-winning Airlie Beach Marina precinct, Abell Point Marina, purchased the iconic Coral Sea Resort.
Read the full media release here

Cruise Whitsundays have some exciting new additions to their Reefsleep package, adding a range of new beverages to guests, drinks are available to purchase by glass or bottle. These changes will then roll out across all other tours. To ensure a seamless guest arrival experience with Cruise Whitsundays, some tour times have changed, the Whitehaven Beach Experience and the Camira Sailing Adventure will both be departing later in the morning, changes became effective on 1 November. As of December, Cruise Whitsundays welcomes Renee Branton-Brown as their new Regional Sales Manager, she brings to the role more than a decade of senior sales and marketing experience in the cruise industry. 

Daydream Island Resort will introduce three signature restaurants and three new bars, each defined by their own distinct design and flavour. Infinity will be the resort’s premium dining offering with an Asian fusion menu, open for lunch and dinner with expansive views over the Whitsundays. It also has a private Teppanyaki Suite offering diners an unforgettable dining experience. Graze Interactive Dining will welcome the outdoors in with draping greenery and floor to ceiling glass windows overlooking the Living Reef. It will be an interactive marketplace with live cooking stations and diverse dining options. Inkstone Kitchen and Bar will focus on modern Australian cuisine with local produce and Australian native flavours at the heart of the menu.

Hamilton Island are happy to announce the reopening of the newly renovated Sports Club, with a dedicated group fitness room, revamped bathroom facilities and improved weights, cycle and stretch room. As an effort to reduce it's impact on the environment, Hamilton Island are continuing with the implantation of water stations, which are located in three high traffic areas around the island. Several new features have been made to the Hamilton Island Airport, the arrival hall now has two automated baggage carousels and am automatic check-in counters for guests.  
A new airport baggage collection area in the departure lounge is expected to be completed by March 2019. A Pizzeria & Gelato Bar has recently opened in the Marina Village, offering a laid back and family friendly atmosphere, with 20 fine crust pizzas and 12 mouth-watering gelato flavours to choose from. 

BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday Resort, winner of the 2018 Queensland Tourism Awards, has added two brand new stunning Premium Cottages to their accommodation inventory. The Premium Cottages are the resort’s largest two bedroom accommodation option and can sleep up to eight people, perfect for family and friends travelling together! The cabins feature amazing images and prints showcasing the beautiful natural icons of the Whitsundays from Above and Below Photography Gallery.

As of 1 December, Explore Dive and Snorkel will be traveling direct to the Great Barrier Reef from Airlie Beach, Abell Point Marina. This eliminates travel time and provides passengers with more time to explore the Great Barrier Reef. 

Freedom Shores is a new accommodation provider that has recently opened in the previous months, providing unique boat style cabin rooms and resort cabins, that are the first of its kind in the Whitsundays. 

Mantra Club Croc have welcomed a new head chef Matthew Hammond to the region and to join the team at CC's Bistro. Matthew has moved from Victoria and brings great knowledge of the industry having recently worked in properties is Melbourne. Mantra Club Croc are also introducing desks into our Coastal Interior rooms, which are available to corporate guests, upon request.

Ocean Rafting, the multi award winning company have been entered into the coveted Ecotourism Australia Hall of Fame Fame for being continuously certified for 20 years or longer at the recent Global Eco Conference in Townsville. Ocean Rafting have also released a new promotional video, which you can view here

Red Cat Adventures now offer carbon neutral travel to guests that book directly online via their website. A brand new Ride to Paradise agent video has just been release and ready to view, click here to watch. A new partnership with Whitsunday Jetski Tours now allows guests to incorporate the adventure filled "Jetski to Paradise" tour with some downtime at Paradise Cove Resort.

Queens Beach Tourist Village have started construction of an inclusive family water play attraction, creating an alternative swimming option for an even friendlier family and all-inclusive destination.

Elysian Retreat are happy to announce the launch of a 3 night Helicopter Adventure Fishing Package, which includes 3 nights accommodation, a 1 day of a helicopter fishing adventure to the most secluded locations in the Whitsundays, and a beach picnic at Whitehaven Beach with sparkling wine. Elysian Retreat have also recently appointed a executive chef for their resort,  Cody McKavanagh. He brings 7 years of experience and has recently been working in Scandinavia and the UK. Elysian Retreat is set to open on 21 December 2018.

Reefstar Cruises have launched brand new day trip options, as well as gaining a Ecotourism Australia accreditation. This means passengers can make the most of pristine environment while embarking on one of their two tour options, tailored to suit everyone, from the leisurely traveller to the adventure seeker. The Ultimate Experience tour includes snorkelling at a beautiful fringing reef off Hook Island, a bushwalk to the infamous Hill Inlet lookout to see the swirling sands, and of course a swim at the spectacular Whitehaven Beach. Meanwhile the Relax and Explore tour includes a snorkel at their Hook Island snorkel spot, or opt for a guided tour of the coral reef in the glass bottom boat, then you have up to three hours to enjoy a swim at Whitehaven Beach with complimentary sun shelters or even take a short scenic bushwalk to see beautiful views of the surrounding islands.

Whitsunday Paradise Explorer have recently acquired a new, first of its kind in the state, underwater drone, which will be used to enhance guests experiences during tours. They are proud to announce they have secured special permits and now expanded their tours to visit Bowen and Cape Gloucester, and future Whale Watching tours during the annual migrations. Whitsunday Paradise Explorer are also happy to be apart of the Great Barrier Reef Marina Park Authority "Eye on the Reef" campaign, assisting with monitoring reef impacts. They are also partnering with the Queensland Government being apart of the "Be Pest Free" campaign, ensuring that passengers don't accidentally transfer any undesirable flora and fauna between the islands and national parks. 

Whitsundays Sailing Adventures, the specialists in 2 day/1 night charters in the Whitsundays, have now welcomed  2 new vessels to their fleet, Gypsy Dancer and Alexander Stewart. Now offering a total of 5 overnight charters. 

But wait, there’s more happening in the Whitsundays 
Langford and Boarder Island walks complete. Haslewood Island due to be complete early 2019. Hill Inlet lookout 3 completed with extension of lookout 1 under construction.
The Lake Proserpine Master Plan and baseline analysis report completed and being reviewed by Whitsunday Regional Council. Council to endorse
 Was crowned Large Regional Airport of the Year at the Australian Airports Association industry awards in Brisbane on 14 November 2018.
Architect being sought for concept completion and final design. Quotations have been received and are being reviewed and finalised by procurement.
Thanks to the Queensland State Government and Federal Governemnt recovery funding, the Whitsundays will be the first location on the Great Barrier Reef to be home to underwater sculptures. First sculpture to go in before end of 2018 with completion end of 2019.
Airlie Beach Foreshore Revitalization The Airlie Beach Foreshore is undergoing a $6.3M revitalisation to create a high quality seaside hub for residents and vistors. Due to be completed end March 2019.

In case you missed it 

Check out the brand new lookout from Hill Inlet

What's on  

Upcoming events in the Whitsundays:
Key Contacts 

As you may be aware, Tourism Whitsundays International, Brand and PR Manager Emma Whitney has recently departed, leaving the beautiful Whitsundays and venturing overseas to start a new chapter in her life. Following from Emma's departure, Donna van 't Hoff has been appointed to Marketing Manager, and will be your point of contact for all your domestic and international needs with Tourism Whitsundays. 

Donna van 't Hoff
Marketing Manager 

T +61 4948 5914
M +61 417 622 150

Natasha Miller
Marketing Assistant 

T +61 4948 5900
E natasha.miller@tourismwhitsundays.com.au

Cherie Morel
Administration Assistant

T+ 61 4948 5911
E cherie.morel@tourismwhitsundays.com.au
What's Happening in the Whitsundays Right Now 

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