The Whitsunday Islands

Dubbed the ‘heart of the Great Barrier Reef’ The Whitsunday region is iconic for its continental islands with fringing reefs and stunning offshore reefs. The community of Airlie Beach hosts a large tourism industry, which relies heavily on local reefs. Tourism in the Whitsundays is critically important, with more than 40% of visitors to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park visiting the region.

One of our very first surveys launched in the Whitsundays, at Blue Pearl Bay around Hayman Island. Today, we continue to monitor a number of long-term sites.


Regional Updates

New monitoring sites for Mackay

April 16, 2016
In 2016, the Reef Check Team established four new survey sites in the Mackay region. With help from the Mackay Dive Club and Megaforce Charters new sites were created on Keswick and Wigdon Islands. These reefs are located in the South Cumberland islands. While perhaps not as well-known as neighbouring reefs to the north in the Whitsundays, surveyors were thrilled to visit these new fringing reef locations. Good to only see relatively low levels of bleaching (6-12%), given some more startling bleaching reports from other areas further north. Will be keeping in contact with local operators for any updates on condition. These sites help provide new knowledge of reef health and monitor changes in years to come. This project is supported through Reef Catchments and we look forward to continuing to expand our work in this region.
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