Hiking guide to the Whitsunday Peak hike in the Whitsunday Islands, Queensland.
The Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, Australia, are renowned for their pristine beaches, crystal clear waters, and stunning coral reefs. However, for those seeking a more challenging and rewarding experience, the Whitsunday Peak Hike is a must-try.
This was one of my favourite hikes in the Whitsunday Islands. The awesome short walk leads to the highest point on Whitsunday Island. And, from the top, hikers are rewarded with expansive views over the entire Island group! In this guide, I’ll detail everything you need to know about how to get here, what to expect on the trail, and photos to inspire your trip!
By Olly Gaspar, traveler, travel blogger & photographer for 5+ years with 600+ published travel guides. I visit every place I write about & share real tips from what I learn.
How to Get to the Whitsunday Peak Trailhead
Getting to the Whitsunday Peak Hike requires access to a boat. For those cruising or sailing in the Whitsundays, head to Cid Harbour, a popular anchorage on the West side of Whitsunday Island.
There are plenty of decent anchorages in Cid Harbour, and the beach is only a short stretch from the anchoring bay.
If you don't have your own boat, then you are out of luck. I've scoured the internet and I can't find any tours that visit this island for the hike. However, below I've included a few more similar experiences that you can book online as an alternative. I recommend the tour to Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet Lookout.
Whitsunday Island Yacht or Boat Access
Getting to the Whitsunday Peak Hike requires access to a boat. If you're lucky enough to find yourself on your own yacht or boat then you're in luck.
If not, Charter Yachts Australia is a very popular charter company that also leases yachts and boats for those seeking their own adventure in the Whitsunday Islands.
Tip: Beware of Sharks in Cid Harbour
For those sailing or cruising into Cid Harbour, you'll notice yellow buoys in the water and signs on land warning you not to swim in Cid Harbour. Sadly, there have been numerous shark attacks in this bay in recent years.
Whitsunday Peak Hike - Complete Guide
Upon arriving at the beach, you will notice a sign indicating the start of the walk. The hike starts directly on the beach and winds steeply up the mountain, through dense shrub and crossing several creeks towards the 437-metre high summit of the Whitsunday Peak Track.
The track is roughly 5 km for the return trip. Whitsunday Peak reaches an altitude of 425 m, the tallest point on Whitsunday Island.
The signage indicates that hikers should allow at least four hours for the return trip. If you're relatively fit, it will probably take about 1.5 hours up and 1 hour down. But, you'll probably want to dedicate some time to enjoy the views from the summit.
You may notice the scenery change as you get higher up the mountain, from shorter shrubs to an almost rainforest-like scene towards the top.
The View from Whitsunday Peak
As you get to the top of the shrubby peak, you'll be greeted with panoramic views over the entire Whitsunday islands.
Take note of Hook Island in the North, The Molle Island Group to the West and even Hamilton Island and the Southern Whitsundays on the other side.
Finding the Best View from Whitsunday Peak
Once you reach the top, you can walk a little further through a short stretch of bush to reach another viewpoint on the other side. It's not clearly marked and you'll need to have a look for a thin path leading there.
Best Time to Hike up to Whitsunday Peak
The best month to visit these islands is in September. This is due to higher water temperatures, warm days and the least amount of rainfall.
However, it is possible to visit the Whitsundays all year round. The high season for sailing and cruising the Whitsunday Islands is between May and September.
While Summer definitely offers hotter weather, there is more tropical rain and the threat of cyclones. Also, Summer is the peak season for dangerous marine stingers in the Coral Sea waters.
More Photos From Whitsunday Peak
If you can't wait and want photos from Whitsunday Peak, check out some of my snaps from an early morning hike.
More Queensland Travel & Adventure Guides
I hope you've enjoyed this short guide to hiking to the summit of Whitsunday Peak in Queensland. Before you head off, check out some of my other travel and adventure guides below for more inspiration!
- 60+ Things to do in Cairns - my ultimate Cairns and FNQ travel resource covering the best activities, hidden gems, and unmissable experiences.
- Cairns Hiking Guide - a huge list of epic rainforest, waterfall, and lookout hikes in Cairns.
- Cairns Waterfalls - a huge list of epic waterfalls that I've visited in Cairns and the surrounding tropics.
- Cairns Islands - discover my favorite Great Barrier Reef islands near Cairns and Port Douglas.
- Cairns Tours - my roundup of the best tours you can book in Cairns and FNQ, from the Great Barrier Reef to the Daintree Rainforest.
- Cairns Packing List - tips on what to pack for a trip to Far North Queensland.
- Top Things to Do in Port Douglas - a comprehensive guide to the sleepy Far North Queensland town of Port Douglas.
- Epic 5-Day Cairns Itinerary - my suggested adventure itinerary if you only have 5 days to spend in Cairns.
- Cape Tribulation Travel Guide - discover where the rainforest meets the reef at one of my favourite places in Australia.
- Magnetic Island Travel Guide - your ultimate resource for visiting "Maggie" near Townsville.
- Best Things to do in the Atherton Tablelands - my guide to one of Far North Queensland's most underrated adventure destinations.
- Accommodation Resources: Discover where to stay in Cairns, the best hotels in Port Douglas and my Cape Tribulation accommodation guide.