This group of roughly 160 beautiful tropical islands lies off the north-eastern coast of Queensland and is today one of the greatest tourist attractions in Australia, drawing more than 600,000 visitors a year. This aquatic playground lies 95 miles (150km) north of Mackay and 190 miles (300km) south of Townsville, which offer easy access to the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef. Holidaymakers flock to the adjacent mainland and island resorts to enjoy sailing, diving, exploring the reefs, or simply relaxing on thousands of sandy beaches. Seventy percent of the region has been declared a national or marine park. The main town in the area is the cosmopolitan resort village of Airlie Beach on the mainland that has a plethora of tour offices offering trips to the Whitsundays.
Transport: There are domestic air links to Proserpine Airport from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Cairns. Queensland rail operates regular services to Proserpine from most major Australian cities, as do most coach companies. Once in Proserpine visitors have easy access to Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays via bus and taxi services.