Koala, Hamilton Island

7 things to do these school holidays in the Whitsundays

School’s out! The sun is shining in the Whitsundays so let playtime in paradise begin with these school holiday activity ideas.

1. Half day paddle fest

Salty Dog Kayak | Whitsunday holidaysCast off from Shute Harbour and kayak to White Rock. The water is so clear that whether you are looking at an eagle or a giant turtle the visibility is the same.  Salty Dog Sea Kayaking also provide you with cheese and fruit platters. So no worries mate.

2. Lounging at the lagoon

Slather on the sunscreen (wait 20 minutes for it to absorb) and jump into the Airlie Beach Lagoon. This is going to be a haven from the heat and a great place to be if you need to make a quick trip for some ice-cream. Bring BBQ supplies and make a day of it.

3. Crocodile hunter

Become the next Bob or Bindi Irwin on a croc spotting tour on the Proserpine River and learn more about the Goorganga wetlands with Whitsunday Crocodile Safari. You’ll cruise down the river and look out for crocs hiding in the mangrove habitat. After lunch, hop into a tractor-drawn wagon for a journey through the wetlands. Billy tea and damper will top off your true blue Aussie adventure!

4. Cute and cuddly

Hamilton Island is full of things to do but nothing is more cuddly and cute than holding a Koala. WILD LIFE (all capitals because of the excess of cuteness) has more than just koalas, there are also big pythons just waiting to give you a cuddle. Maybe check with the zookeepers first.

5. Wheelie crazy

Hamilton Island Quad Bikes | Whitsunday holidays

Photo by @jpetz81

Getting bored of all the white sand and swaying palm trees? Take your future Formula One drivers to burn off some of that restless energy with a spin around Hamilton Island’s go-kart track in Palm Valley. There are single and double go-karts for hire, with speeds of up to 45km/hr!

Trade high-speed thrills for mud hills and jump on the junior quad bike circuit with the kids only activity running every day in the school holidays.

6. Fishing fun

Cast a line and get ready for a fight because Peter Faust Dam is home to more one-metre-plus barramundi than any other dam in Australia. Bring the kids along and watch their jaws drop as you reel in one massive barra after another or give them a shot at landing one themselves, just hold on tight.

If you are in the area in September pack the lures and head to Bowen for a weekend of fishing fun at the Bowen Family Fishing Classic. See if you can reel in one of the prized fish species like coral trout, mangrove jack or sweetlip or get involved with family beach cricket, yabby pumping competition, turtle tagging and releasing, sandcastle competition and rides.

7. Aye aye captain

Derwent Hunter | Whitsundays holidaysMake like Captain Cook and sail around the Whitsundays islands on a tall ship. Junior Jack Sparrows will love learning new sailing lingo and helping the captain and deckhands hoist the sails of The Derwent Hunter on a day trip to Langford Island and Bali Hai. With snorkelling, swimming and plenty of wind in the sails, you’ll be a bona fide salty sea dog by the time you reach land back in Airlie Beach. The full-day tour runs every day except when private functions are booked.

Are you adventurous enough to tick off all 7?

*This post was first published in 2014 and updated in 2018