Directly north of Whitsunday, and pretty similar in appearance, Hook Island is the second largest in the group. The easiest passage to the island is on a transfer with Voyager from Abel Point Marina west of Airlie Beach to the low-key and fairly basic resort at the island’s southeastern end. There are also several National Parks campsites around the island, the pick of which is at southern Curlew Beach – sheltered, pretty and accessible only with your own vessel or by prior arrangement with a tour operator.
Snorkelling on the reef directly in front of the resort is a must. The water is cloudy on large tides, but the coral outcrops are all in fairly good condition and there’s plenty of life around, from flatworms to morays and parrotfish. Day-cruises run from Airlie to the snorkelling spots and visit the top-rate fringing coral at Manta Ray Bay, Langford Reef and Butterfly Bay, on the northern and northeastern tips of the island – visibility can be poor here, but on a good day these sites offer some of the best diving in the Whitsundays.