Visiting the Whitsundays is a common fixture on every Australian travellers list, and so it should be! From picture-postcard white sands to epic snorkelling in the Great Barrier, the Whitsundays offer the perfect tropical island experienceHowever, what isn’t great about visiting the Whitsundays is often the price. This paradise-like destination is not renowned for its budget-friendly status. However, here are some great tips that will help you enjoy this bucket list beauty without burning a hole in your pocket.

1. Save on Sailing Trips

Everybody wants to enjoy the Whitsundays Islands and what better way than via a fabulous sailing trip. Boasting all sorts of fun and adventure, this is one of the most popular ways to see the Whitsunday Islands. However, they can be expensive.

There are a few tips to save some money on tours! Indeed you can either book it when you get to Airlie Beach as a last minute booking. Sailing boats depart from there every day, so you’re sure to bag yourself a bargain via a travel agent trying to fill up places on a boat sailing the next day. You’ve got to be flexible here, but if you can book one day and go the following day, you’re almost guaranteed a good deal. Another option is to book early ! Book your sailing trip way in advance so you can negotiate the price with the agent ! More and more companies are offering deals when you book in advance so they are sure to have full boats !

2. Consider a Day Trip

Rather than opting for a multi-day sailing trip, why not keeping your costs down by opting for a day trip instead? Many companies offer great day trips that still allow you to see all the best bits of the Whitsundays, meaning you can tick off seeing Whitehaven Beach for a fraction of the price.

3. Camping on Whitehaven

If you’re still keen to spend a night or 2 amongst the Whitsunday Islands, then why not considering a camping excursion there? As a National Park, many of the Whitsunday Islands have wonderfully cheap camping spots that can be enjoyed for as little as $6 per night! Facilities are basic, but it’s the ultimate way to enjoy the beautiful surrounds of these tropical islands on a budget. Plus, you’re very likely to have the place for yourself. Winner!


4. Stay at Barefoot Lodge

Another option, if camping isn’t quite your thing, is to stay at Barefoot Lodge on Long Island. This resort has the only budget friendly accommodation amongst the Whitsundays Islands and you can pick up a night in a dorm bed there for as little as $30. On top of that, staying at Barefoot gives you the chance to enjoy all the facilities of their sister hotel – Long Island Resort. So, whether it’s lazing by the swimming pool and enjoying a cocktail or working up a sweat on the tennis court, you can afford to treat yourself to a stay on Long Island.

5. Enjoy the Free Stuff

During your time in the Whitsundays area, it’s important to keep costs down by enjoying the ton of free activities on offer, rather than breaking your budget on expensive ones. From the Airlie Beach Lagoon, to the weekly markets or the visit of Cedar Creek Falls, there’s a great number of free things to do around there, so get involved!


6. Enjoy a Different View

The Whitsundays are beautiful close up, but they are also stunning from a distance. As such, there are plenty of walks and hikes to undertake on the mainland that will give you a very picturesque and different view of the Whitsundays.

Why not put on your runners out and get out there? A great choice, given the views of the islands you get, is to explore Conway National Park. The Whitsundays Great Walk is another awesome trail with some super photo opportunities. Both of these are free and are a brilliant way to soak up the Whitsundays bliss for next to nothing.


7. Head to Bowen

Rather than following the crowds to Airlie Beach, why not buck the tread and head to the quiet town of Bowen instead? Only an hour up the road, Bowen is still part of the Whitsundays’ area, but is far less known. This means things are a lot cheaper there! Bowen still boasts the same beautiful beaches, walks and reef trips, but all for a fraction of the price! Plus, the accommodation is much cheaper too. So, if you’re looking to save money on a Whitsundays trip, then definitely consider a trip to Bowen. I’m sure you won’t regret it.


There you go, 7 ways to save money on your Whitsunday trip! Hope you enjoy!

Updated on 23/09/2019 – Initially published on 07/12/16

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