We are a young couple looking to travel to whitsundays end of the year. Its so confusing as none of us has been to the Whitsundays before! We are on a strict budget too.
I did some research and it seems like Airlie or Cairns are cheaper than staying on the islands. Having said that it seems like you cant do much on airlie (not even swim because they dont really have natural beaches) except taking day tours that depart from Airlie which will actually cost around $100 per person. Staying in Cairns has more options of visiting the forest etc but is so far away from the islands, and flights from Cairns to the islands are quite dear. I havent explored the option of Port Douglas yet but its been suggested to me too.
So my question is, where should I stay, Cairns, Airlie, Port Douglas or one of the island for eg longman island?
We want to do more of the snorkelling/diving but would like to visit the Daintree etc.