Lou’s Top 5 Whitsunday Bush Walks
Take time to reconnect with nature in the beautiful Whitsundays!
Mount Rooper Circuit (5.4km) – Probably my favourite of the local walking trails. There are plenty of glimpses of the aquamarine sea as you take the path both up and down the mountain. The trek, which is steep at various points, is well worth the view at the top; looking over Shute Harbour towards Daydream Island and the Molle Islands. Throughout the rainforest, there are plaques describing the flora and fauna and history of the traditional Ab
original owners of the land, the Ngaro People. You can also extend your walk, by taking the trail to Swamp Bay. This is a secluded coral beach with views of the islands and the walk adds an extra 1.8km to the circuit.
How to get there: Take the local bus from Airlie Central (in front of Skydive Australia). Tell the bus driver that you want to get off at Mount Rooper as there is no set stop. It is in between Flametree and Shute Harbour.
Honeyeater Trail (8.2km Return) – Allow 2-3 hours for this walk, which definitely requires a decent level of fitness as the first half of the hike is very steep. However, the view from the top is magnificent – a birds eye view over Cannonvale and the Whitsunday Islands. The first 2.3km of the walk before the Honeyeater turn off is actually the start of the 27.1km Conway Circuit. If you have the time and camping equipment, why not extend your hike and make it an overnight bush adventure?
How to get there: From the end of Airlie Beach’s Main Street, it is only a 700m walk to the start of the trail. Turn left at the roundabout and then right via Lamond Stre et to the cul-de-sac at the top of Kara Crescent. Wooden steps indicate the beginning of the walk.
Coral Beach and The Beak (3.4km Return) – an easy 1.1km walk to this gorgeous secluded beach, then only another 650m to The Beak lookout with panoramic views of the Whitsunday Islands. A leaflet outlining the Indigenous history of the area is available from a box at the start of the trail.
How to get there: Take the local bus to Shute Harbour from Airlie Central (in front of Skydive Australia). The start of the walk from here is via the car park at the top of Shutehaven.
Airlie Creek Track (1.7km Return) – the shortest of the local walks, the Airlie Creek Track follows the creek up the hills towards small rock pools. It is not a strenuous hike although parts are slightly inclined. Your path also takes you past an old fig tree, which is a fantastic photo opportunity.
How to get there: Walk 750m to the roundabout at the back of Waterson Way and you will see a wooden archway indicating the start of the trail.
Bicentennial Walkway (7km Return) – Not a bush walk but a scenic coastal walk between Airlie Beach and Cannonvale Beach. If you love running, this is a great “track” and every Saturday you can join the locals taking part in ‘ParkRun’.
If a leisurely pace is more your style, there are great options to stop along the way for lunch or cold drink – Sorrento’s, Marina Kiosk, The Garden Bar and Bohemiam Raw at Coral Sea Marina, My Rainbow Bakery at Shingley Beach and The Fat Frog at Cannonvale Beach.
How to get there: The Bicentennial Walkway starts directly across the road from Magnums.