Guide to visiting the Whitsundays Plan of Management Area for recreational users

The Whitsundays is well known for its spectacular island scenery, especially its fringing and offshore reefs. The area supports a variety of wildlife, including protected species such as humpback whales, dugong and turtles.

A range of marine habitats including significant seagrass beds, mangroves, coral reefs and mudflats all play an important role in protecting the amazing plants and animals that call the Whitsundays home.

The Whitsunday Planning Area extends from Gloucester Island in the north to the Repulse Islands in the south. It includes the Whitsunday and Lindeman Island groups, as well as Cape Conway.

The Whitsunday islands and marine areas are one of the most highly visited regions of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

To help protect the diverse animals, plants and habitats of the World Heritage Area, zoning applies to most marine areas surrounding the Whitsundays (except for parts of Pioneer Bay and Shute Harbour).

In addition, the Whitsundays Plan of Management is in place to help manage human activities and minimise their disturbance to the many unique plants and animals that live here.

Click on the headings below to explore the guide.

What you need to know about the Whitsundays Plan of Management

As the Whitsundays is a very popular area for recreation and tourism, a range of management tools are used to make sure the area is protected. Find out about setting limits, significant bird sites, and where you can undertake motorised water sports. Details of where no-anchoring areas and public moorings are placed is also provided.

Maps and zoning information for the Whitsundays

Zoning is a way of ensuring that many different activities are able to co-exist in the Marine Park without conflict. Zoning and overview maps are available for download in this section. Frequently asked questions about zoning are also answered. Details of the activities you can do in the Whitsunday Public Appreciation Special Management Area are also provided.

Enjoying the Whitsundays

Boating, day tripping, and camping on the national park islands are some of the most popular activities in the Whitsundays. In this section, find out more about these activities and other activities (for example, fishing and snorkelling), as well as important information on Commonwealth islands in the Whitsundays. Tips on how to look after the marine environment and protect our magnificent marine wildlife is also provided.