How do I get to the Whitsundays?

The Queensland coast is spectacularly long – thousands of kilometres of beaches, towns, cities and rainforests. Halfway between the Gold Coast and Cape York in central Queensland, the Whitsundays are right in the middle of it. Getting here is a breeze, by air, road or rail.

Flying In

The Whitsundays are serviced by two domestic airports: Whitsunday Coast Airport on the mainland at Proserpine, and Hamilton Island Airport.

Direct domestic flights with Qantas, Virgin Australia, Tigerair and Jetstar arrive from Australia’s east-coast hubs: an hour from Cairns, 90 minutes from Brisbane, 2.5 hours from Sydney and 3 hours from Melbourne.

Whitsunday Coast Airport is 38kms inland from Airlie Beach. Hire a car at the airport or pre-book a shuttle into Airlie Beach. If you’re arriving via Hamilton Island, our island resort services connects you with the airport and Airlie Beach.

By Train

Queensland Rail operates the ‘Spirit of Queensland’ train between Brisbane and Cairns, stopping at Proserpine along the way.

It’s a 14-hour journey from Brisbane and 9.5 hours from Cairns, with trains departing both cities five times weekly.

‘RailBus’ coaches run between Proserpine Train Station and Airlie Beach, connecting with each arrival and departure.

On the Bus

Queensland’s main long-distance coach operators are Greyhound Australia and Premier Motor Service.

Both companies run daily services to Airlie Beach from Brisbane (19 hours) and Cairns (10.5 hours), and major towns in between.

For more information:


The Bruce Hwy (A1) runs roughly parallel to the Queensland coast between Brisbane and Cairns. The turnoff to Airlie Beach is 1km north of Proserpine; from here it’s a 24km, 20-minute drive into town.

Airlie Beach is a 12.5-hour drive from Brisbane (1100km), 7.5 hours from Cairns (625km), three hours from Townsville (275km) and two hours from Mackay (150km).