The Whitsundays | Events

The Whitsundays plays host to a raft of events throughout the year, from family-friendly celebrations to sporting events and music festivals.

Sailing Events

Spring is the Season of Sailing in the Whitsundays and it’s heralded by two great events on the Australian yachting calendar at the end of August – Airlie Beach Race Week and Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, both draw hundreds of competitors, their families and friends to the region. You can also come along and celebrate the Whitsunday Clipper Race Carnival in January.


One of the biggest events of the year is the Whitsunday Reef Festival, in August, which celebrates living in the heart of the reef and brings together fashion, food and plenty of family fun, with games and competitions for the kids. Also be sure to check out the Bowen River Rodeo and Campdraft or the Airlie Beach Festival of Music, on the mainland.

Endurance Events

Test your endurance at the Hamilton Hilly Marathon, a perfect challenge for the whole family with a marathon for the fearless, a half marathon, a three by 7km relay and three different distance options for the kids. All on pristine white beaches beside crystal clear waters.

Or, come along to the annual Airlie Beach Running Festival take place, the Whitsunday’s premier running event and the largest onshore mass participation event in the region, including the Heart of the Reef Marathon (42.2km) and the free Turtle Club 1km Family Fun Walk.

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Airlie Beach Foreshore Markets

Whitsundays, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Weekly from 21 July 2018
The Airlie Beach Saturday Markets are located on the foreshore of Airlie Beach, every Saturday morning. Complete with local produce, art, craft and all locally made souvenirs, it is a great place to spend some time, have a coffee or purchase a unique gift.

Airlie Beach Running Festival 2018

Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Area
From AU$10 - 165
21 – 22 July 2018
The Airlie Beach Running Festival is held annually in one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world. It is the Whitsunday’s premier running event and the largest onshore mass participation event in the region.

Lost Legends Showcase

Cannonvale, Whitsunday Area
From AU$25.00 - 25.00
22 July 2018
The ultimate Australian Rockumentary! Two hours of songs, footage, interviews, stories, costumes and recollections of Australian history including Glenn A. Baker. Delivered by world-class musicians who performed alongside all the Australian legends.

Bowen Markets

Bowen, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Weekly from 22 July 2018
Bowen Markets are held every Sunday from 8am to 12pm at Hansen Park. Features over 50 stallholders showcasing fresh food cooked on site plus tea and coffee, fresh fruit and vegetables, local and Balinese clothing and artifacts, fishing gear, toys and kids stuff, plants and jewellery just to name a few.

Pool Competition at The Gateway

Cannonvale, Whitsunday Area
Weekly from 24 July 2018
The pool competition is back in the public bar every Tuesday night from 7pm. Just AUD5 entry and the winner takes all! Plus runner up prizes. See Wayne for more details.

Whitsunday Reef Festival

Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
2 – 5 August 2018
The Whitsunday Reef Festival celebrates the reef and what it means to live in Airlie Beach, the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. The region's favourite festival is a delicious combination of family fun, all-night celebrations, local food and fashion and some of the biggest parties in the north.

Airlie Beach Race Week Festival of Sailing

Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
9 – 16 August 2018
The Whitsunday Sailing Club is located in Airlie Beach, gateway to the Central Region of Queensland‘s Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. It is also the Gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and fast becoming known as one of the World’s premier sailing destinations.

Hamilton Island Race Week

Hamilton Island, Whitsunday Area
From AU$275 - 275
18 August 2018
Hamilton Island Race Week is one of Australia's favourite yachting events and a firm fixture on the international sailing calendar. Competitors, family and friends come together to enjoy the convivial atmosphere and unique camaraderie of the event's on-water and off-water carnival.

Run The Great Whitsunday Trail

Brandy Creek,
From AU$35 - 170
19 August 2018
Run The Great Whitsunday Trail takes you on a 28.7 kilometre adventure through the beautiful rainforest of the Conway National Park, starting at Brandy Creek and finishing at the Airlie Beach Lagoon. It is a demanding course with many steep uphill and downhill sections with uneven ground.

COLORBOND Steel Airlie Beach Triathlon Festival 2018

Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Area
7 September 2018
This year is the 20th Anniversary of the iconic Airlie Beach Triathlon which promises to be bigger and better than ever before. With an Enticer, a Sprint and the addition of the Standard distance race options there is sure to be a race distance for everyone, from the seasoned professional to the first timer.
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