There's always something happening in the Whitsundays, from regular weekly events to annual Whitsundays events, you'll always find a fun way to spend your time. There's always plenty of live music and markets each week and Wednesday Twilight Yacht Racing is one of the local club's longest running Whitsunday events. Throughout the year, there are also a number of special Whitsunday Island events which are held annually and celebrate everything from the spectacular natural environment to the creativity and skills of locals and visitors.
There are a number of excellent local markets located in and around the Whitsundays, the most popular of which include Airlie Beach, Proserpine and Bowen. The markets offer locally grown produce, handicrafts, souvenirs, live music, street performers and even camel rides on the beach.
Airlie Beach Markets: Held on the Airlie Beach Esplanade on the Airlie Beach foreshore every Saturday from 7am - 1pm.
Carbon Store Car Boot Market: Held every 2nd Sunday of the month from 7am - 12 noon.
Proserpine Farmers Market: Held every 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month at the Whitsunday Gold Coffee Farm from 6am - 12 noon.
Bowen Markets: Held every Sunday in Hansen Park on Horseshoe Bay Road from 8am - 12 noon.
Twilight Yacht Racing: Held by the Whitsunday Sailing Club every Wednesday from 3pm - 7pm. Novices can join experienced crews. The results and video replays are shared over dinner at the Yacht Club afterwards.
Gatorade Clash of the Paddles: Formerly known as the Hamilton Cup, this annual Whitsunday event is one of the toughest outrigger canoe races in the world and is conducted in partnership with the Australian Outrigging Canoe Association (AOCRA) and Surf Life Saving Australia. Athletes compete over four days and the event also includes plenty of off-water activities and entertainment.
Great Barrier Feast: A gourmet food weekend hosted by renowned columnist and critic Simon Thomsen at the luxurious qualia. Events include interactive AEG Master Classes with famous chefs as well as a 6 course Showpiece Dinner served in the Long Pavilion.
Whitsunday Writers Festival: A weekend featuring creative writing workshops, cocktail parties, panel discussions by well-known authors, dinners and hosted lunches allowing attendees to mingle with authors and interstate journalists.
Airlie Beach Running Festival: Showcasing the beautiful coastline, this recently created Whitsunday Islands event includes the half marathon (21.1km) as well as 10km and 5km fun runs.
Airlie Beach Race Week: Offering 6 days of onshore activities and sailing festivities, this annual Whitsunday event brings yachties from all over Australia and even some from overseas to compete in a number of divisions including the Australian Multihull Championship.
Whitsunday Reef Festival: A 4 day festival offering plenty of free entertainment in the heart of Airlie Beach. Movies, comedy galas, fashion shows, family friendly fun days, night time fireworks and a street parade are just some of the events held around town.
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: The largest offshore keelboat regatta in Australia, this annual Whitsunday Islands event attracts yachties from Australia and around the world. A favourite on the international sailing calendar, racing is divided into categories, including IRC Passage, performance and sport boat racing as well as the top-class Grand Prix. The whole island comes to life, with plenty of other activities and events planned around this annual celebration.
The Great Whitsunday Fun Race: So much more than just a race, this annual event allows serious boaties to let their hair down and allows novices to join in the fun with a large triangle course in Pioneer Bay raced by crews and boats dressed up in all kinds of costumes. Hilarious antics abound and crews must cross the finish line with a Miss Figurehead at the bow, resulting in plenty of hijinks.
Whitsunday Calling: A two-day music festival with camping available, market stalls provide food and drink, clothing and alternative therapies. Raising money for charity, this music event boasts acts such as Ash Grunwald, members from The Living End, AC/DC, The Angles and much more.
Airlie Beach Music Festival: One of Queensland's best music festivals, 74 bands will rock 16 venues around Airlie with shuttles running continuously between stages.