A postcard -perfect beach lapped by clear waters, with swaying trees in the salty breeze and the jungle-covered mountains rising above.
Stop dreaming!! I actually enjoyed this for real!
A 3-hour flight from Melbourne by Qantas, Jetstar or Tiger Airways, Whitsundays was my Winter Holiday destination.
Well, if you ask me to describe my vacation stay at the beautiful and 3rd best beaches in the world, it would be something like this.
The crystal-clear water and the powdery white sands of the Whitsundays island are no less than a fairy tale stay. People dream of getting married in this beautiful Whitehaven beach and I was fortunate to celebrate my 6th Wedding Anniversary in this beautiful untouched island away from all the mundane Hussle.
So, thinking what a harbour city made up of 74 Wonder islands had to offer, other than the obvious? Here it is.
6 must do things at Whitsundays, Australia!
#Stranded in Paradise
We started our Whitsunday adventure with sailing.
Have you ever thought of waking up in paradise? Well, the Whitehaven beach is nothing less than one. The Ngaro people, who used to live in these lands, no longer inhabit these parts. So, we decided to sail through in a private yacht and spend our special day on the crystalline waters.
Perched at a 2-hour long Sailing distance, this beach offers everything you want, unfortunately, there isn’t any stay on the island, the long beach stretch and a national park are what this beach offers. Our overnight stay included a barbeque by the beach and sleeping under the stars and waking up before the sunrise. Plenty of sunshine during the month of July and August, the winter sun offers a pleasant weather.
Snorkel through the Hook and the South Molle islands, the reefs are colourful and if you’re lucky enough, a turtle might pay you a visit too.
The Hill inlet is considered as the 3rd most photographed places in Australia, well the picture says it all. A peaceful place, fringed by lush green bushes and mountains, overlooking the azure sea. Yes, this Hill Inlet located at a 25 mins trekking distance from the Whitehaven beach is a must visit place. Venturing beyond the resorts and catching this view at the day end of sailing took away all the pain and stress from us. There are 2 photo points offering the same view, make sure to stop by both of them to grab a selfie and a family portrait.
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There’s no dearth of islands in this beautiful Part of the Great Barrier Reef, but due to the Cyclone Debbie (Well, I have no connection for this, if you have been thinking why this name sounds like mine), the reefs, islands and the shores have been devastated. Therefore, we had only 2 islands Hamilton and the Whitehaven beach at our disposal to explore.
Just an hour by a day Cruise from the Airlie Beach ferry terminal, (Whitsundays Cruise) ensures you sail luxuriously along with their wide variety of morning tea which they offer.
Hamilton is the biggest island and has an airport of its own too, so if you don’t wish to fly to Whitsundays airport from anywhere in Australia, you can fly directly here as well. There are 3 different Island resorts to choose from, however, we stayed at the Hamilton Island Resort, I won’t suggest this island has the best of the beaches, but the island stay was worth it.
Take a buggy and roam around the island, or grab a quick lunch in any of the beach shack enjoying the waterfront view with the various shades of blue. The Tavern Marina is probably the best place to relax and enjoy a meal with family. Don’t forget to pose in front of the gorgeous waterfront.
The resort has their own private beach and the villas were all self-contained, so travelling with a kid is hassle-free. My 3-year-old toddler absolutely loved this lush green island stay. There’s a Wildlife Park, but unfortunately, due to the cyclone Debbie, this was closed for renovation. My 2-day Island stays included a dip in the Catsey Beach, Hamilton Island, lazing around on the beach, spending some quality time in the pool, the Summery Winter sun is harsh, so make sure to dab a lot of sunscreen lotion with 50 +SPF.
The Resort offers a free buggy so post grabbing a seafood lunch we ventured out in our very own vehicle to explore the island.
#Airlie Beach, Bicentennial Boardwalk
Airlie Beach is known as the gateway to the Whitsundays, but don’t pass through without stopping here. Sailing the warm blue waters of the Whitsundays is a popular pastime for the locals here. So, what could have stopped me in doing so? We stayed at the Whitsunday Terraces, the balcony of my suite opened right in front of the water-front giving me the gorgeous view of the Airlie beach and the neighbouring islands. I had a private pool overlooking the Coral Sea, if you happen to stay here or pass by don’t forget to grab a drink and enjoy this view.
Another delight of the Airlie beach is the Bicentennial Boardwalk, which runs 3.7kms from the Port of Airlie along the coastline to Cannonvale, with fabulous views of boats bobbing on the Coral Sea. Along the main street, Airlie’s holiday atmosphere reigns, the Airlie central which is a stone’s throw from here is the heart of Airlie. They provide a plethora of dining options, pubs, bars and fast food joints.
Do stop by the Rainbow Bakery, while walking past the Boardwalk, their afternoon tea is worth a try and the views this place offers is beyond any description. The afternoon tea comes at 10AUD/person and includes a fair share of fruits, a curry puff, a home baked cake along with an English breakfast tea. I highly recommend this place for family and friends but make sure to drop down before 4 pm any day.
If you’re looking to gorge on a sumptuous Sea food then Fish D’vine is the place to be, we enjoyed our Anniversary dinner with their famous Chilly Mud Crab and Mojitos. The best part of this place is you can choose your own seafood platter and request them a choice of a curry you want. Super-fast service and wonderful ambience to go along.
#Sceneric Helicopter Tour
The Reefs are best enjoyed from above and ideally, this is the perfect way to catch the bay views. Take a 30 mins Helicopter ride, which makes you fly over the 6 gorgeous islands and the Coral reefs.
#Out & About in the Whitsundays
This is out and out family destination and 100% kid’s friendly too, most of the resorts offer free meals for kids under 12 and plethora of kid’s activities are arranged by the cruising company.
So, if you’re thinking where to spend your winter school holidays or rejuvenate your wedding vows well, this is the place to be. If you have already been here before, do drop me a line on how you feel about this place. As you know most of the islands like Daydream and the Hook Long islands are closed for renovation post the cyclone damage, this destination remains on my bucket list yet again in 2018.
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So, what’s stopping you from setting your soul free in these gorgeous islands?