If you find yourself in town with a couple hours to spare, there are a few hiking trails through Conway National Park that start in Shute Harbour. For a great view overlooking the island and the harbor itself, take a quick drive up to Coral Point. One of the other reasons people come to Shute Harbour is for the waters just offshore that host some of the top fishing spots anywhere in the region. The most popular catches in the area are barramundi and coral trout. Accordingly, a large contingency of operators run sportfishing tours. It is also home to one of the most active seaplane bases in the entire Southern Hemisphere.
Things to know before you go
- Glass-bottom boat tours that explore the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef are also offered from Shute Harbour.
- The harbor’s fishing jetty is a popular spot from which to catch tropical fish and squid.
- Nearby Snow's Beach is a dog-friendly beach that offers barbecue facilities and picnic tables.
How to get there
Shute Harbour is connected to the other Whitsunday Islands not only by charter boats but by an extensive ferry system. There are regular ferries to Airlie Beach, Daydream Island, Long Island, and Hamilton Island. If you intend to arrive in Shute Harbour by air, you'll need to come via float plane or fly into Hamilton Island and then catch the ferry over.
When to get there
September, early spring, is considered the best time to visit the Whitsundays Islands. That’s because you can expect sunny days, little rain, low humidity, and ideal water temperatures. Summers in the Whitsundays can be very hot and wet, and during the winter (June to August) the water can be chilly.
Conway National Park
The largest coastal national park in Queensland, Conway National Park boasts several walking trails and panoramic outlooks. Climb (or drive) to the peaks of the Conway Range to take in impressive views of the Whitsunday Islands. There’s also a multi-day Conway Circuit and a campsite for travelers who want to explore for longer.