Whitsunday Islands

The Whitsundays are a collection of 74 islands located at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reefs in Queensland, Australia.

The most famous attraction of the Whitsundays is Whitehaven Beach, located on Whitsunday Island. Whitehaven Beach is the most photographed beach in Australia, and the second most beautiful beach in the world (the first being the Maldives). The beach stretches for 7 kilometers and is consisted of 99% pure silica, which does not retain heat; no matter how hot it is, the sand will not burn your feet. The sand is so fine that it feels like powdered snow. Because of the sand’s fineness, visitors along the beach are exfoliating, clean jewelry, and some have gone as far as to cleaning their teeth with the sand—though it can potentially take off your enamel. Photographers beware as well, as the sand is so fine it could potentially seep through into your camera and render it unusable.

Getting there:

Airlie Beach is the destination point you would get to in order to visit the Whitsundays. If flying, the closest airport is the Whitsunday Coast Airport in Proserpine—about 25km away—serviced by Virgin Australia, Jetstar, and Qantas Link. Flights run daily from Cairns, Brisbane, Sydney, and Melbourne.

Airlie Beach itself is a beautiful beachside town with an awesome swimming lagoon free to the public. There are plenty of tour companies that sell pretty much the same type of tours—difference being the number of days, the extravagance, and which location you want to go to first. Tours offer snorkeling at multiple spots around the islands, and some offer a free introductory dive.

I wanted a 3 days, 2 nights tour, and ended up booking my tour on the Apollo—once a racing boat that won the Sydney to Hobart race and carries about 23-25 passengers. The trip was managed by a captain and one other tour guide. It was not an extravagant ride, but I liked it that way—it felt more real to ride a racing ship the way it should be: all hands on deck. I volunteered to assist in the main sail, which took three of us to raise; this is the first time I’ve sailed a boat this large, and potentially very fast. There were moments all of us had to move to one side of the boat to assist in the balance. It felt like you were joining your friend’s boat for a weekend excursion.

Our first day included a SCUBA diving trip in Blue Pearl Bay of Hayman Island, the northern most island of the Whitsundays. During our dive we met the infamous Elvis—the GIANT Napolean Maori Wrasse. We spend the night moored in Hook Passage off Hook Island, southeast of Hayman Island.

The next day, we made our way to Whitehaven Beach to witness the splendor of the powdery beach and Hills Inlet.

Our last day was spent snorkeling in Langford Reef, where we followed sea turtles and saw reef sharks.

If you’d like to enjoy a Whitsunday trip with the Apollo, you can book with them on this page here.

Whitehaven Beach in the morning before the influx of tourists.
Whitehaven Beach in the morning before the influx of tourists.
Lookout from the Solway Circuit walk
Lookout from the Solway Circuit walk on Whitsunday Island
Whitehaven Beach
Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island
Moored for the night, watching the sunset behind the Phoenix
Moored for the night, watching the sunset behind the Phoenix
Island at Langford Reef
Island at Langford Reef

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s