The advantages of staying on the mainland are cheaper accommodations, a choice of restaurants, and the freedom to visit a different island each day, and plenty of activities such as jet-skiing, kayaking, parasailing, catamaran rental, and windsurfing.
But if you are here it would be a shame not to spend at least a couple of days soaking up the island life. The main advantage of staying on an island is that swimming, snorkeling, bushwalking, and a huge range of watersports, many of them free, are right outside your door. You won’t be isolated if you stay on an island, because most Great Barrier Reef cruise boats, sail-and-snorkel yacht excursions, Whitehaven Beach cruises, dive boats, fishing tour vessels, and so on, stop at the island resorts every day or on a frequent basis. Be warned, however, that once you’re “captive”on an island, you may be slugged with high food and drink prices. And although most island resorts offer non-motorized watersports, such as windsurfing and sailing, free of charge, you will pay for activities that use fuel, such as parasailing, water-skiing, and dinghy rental.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.