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 Whitsundays 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.
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 more about setting limits and where you can undertake motorised water sports. Details of where No Anchoring Areas and public moorings are placed is also provided.
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.
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, 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.
If you're heading out on the water, don't forget your free Zoning Map so you know where you can go and what you can do.
The Great Barrier Reef is a hive of activity. If you're lucky enough to see a humpback whale from May to September, make sure you keep a safe distance.
We're delighted to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park's World Heritage listing.
Visit our Great Barrier Reef and discover its amazing plants, animals and habitats. There are a range of tourism experiences on offer.
Everyone has a role to play in protecting our Great Barrier Reef. Find out what you can do to help protect this Great Australian icon.
If you see sick, dead or stranded marine animals please call RSPCA QLD 1300 ANIMAL
(1300 264 625)
A Vulnerability Assessment: of the issues that could have far-reaching consequences for the Great Barrier Reef.