Tropical islands with coral reefs. White sandy beaches that go over into a clear blue ocean. Colorful fish and ultimate snorkeling and diving opportunities … is what the Australian Whitsundays offer; a beautiful island group on the east coast of Queensland. This dream destination must be on your ‘to do list’ while visiting Australia! During our tour in Australia we take a catamaran trip along the Whitsundays and visit the breathtaking Whitehaven Beach; one of the most perfect beaches in the world.
We arrive in Airlie Beach, the village which serves as a base for a trip to the Whitsundays. Our affordable and cozy guesthouse / hostel Magnums is located in the center of the city center and has an lively bar where we have a drink for good weather and an unforgettable trip to the Whitsundays. The next morning we will walk to the cruise port from which our catamaran departs. After check-in, we are welcomed at the Camira; one of the fastest commercial sailing catamarans in the world! The merry purple colored sailing yacht is from Cruise Whitsundays and offers beautiful trips along the islands and coral reefs.
Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef
We take place on the upper deck as we leave the port of Airlie Beach. The Camira takes us along Daydream Island, Hamilton Island and a handful of beautiful islands in between. The young Australian guides on board tell us all about the 74 big and small islands that belong to the Whitsundays, about the Great Barrier Reef 80 kilometers away and about the famous movie stars who have ever had a home on one of the Whitsundays.
Snorkeling at the Whitsundays
Then it’s time to get ourselves in a wetsuit and armed with a snorkel, diving goggles and diving fins we explore the underwater world. The wetsuit serves as protection against the jellyfish that could float around. They are so small and transparent that you’ll almost not see them, but a jellyfish sting of these ‘marine stingers’ can be very painful. We explore the coral and the colorful fish around one of the small islets. Some snorkelers even spot a sea turtle!
Lunch and drinks aboard the Camira
After we finish snorkeling we climb back on our sailing yacht. The lunch is ready and the bar is open. We are treated to an excellent buffet lunch with tasty wine, beer and soda while we are enjoying the view and sun. The sails go up and we sail fast over the turquoise water. Our purple race monster gets up to 30 knots.
Whitehaven beach; Paradise
Then we arrive at the highlight of our trip; Whitehaven Beach. Where we find one of the whitest beaches we have ever seen. A real fairytale, you never want to leave! We swim and make pictures on the beach of which people back home will be jealous. Are you planning to visit Whitehaven Beach? Do not forget to climb to the viewpoint of Hill Inlet, so you’ll see the crisp clear streams of water around Whitsunday Island overflowing in white sandbanks. A spot to make beautiful pictures.
BBQ and relax at the Airlie Beach lagoon
After spending a couple of hours on one of our most favorite beaches, we are brought back to the Camira and head back to Airlie Beach. It was a beautiful day and a great excursion. Recommended for anyone who wants to discover the most beautiful spots of the Whitsundays without having to make it a multi-day trip.
The next day is Australia Day, a national holiday which we celebrate with a BBQ. Together with our new friends we have met on board the sailing yacht. It is wonderful to relax at Airlie Beach’s lagoon, a kind of public mega pool with sunbathing area and free BBQs and all of that in the middle of the village center. We really like this Ozzie lifestyle!
Tips for excursions to the Whitsundays
Boat trips to the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef are organized from Airlie Beach, located on the mainland offshore. You can choose from multi-day boat trips with overnight stays on the boat, day trips, catamaran trips or trips to sleep in one of the Whitsunday Island Resorts.
This time we chose a one-day cruise along the Whitsundays because this is a good affordable option to show you the highlights. A few years ago we already made a 3-day cruise on an overnight boat. Which is also a fun excursion; Where you go further on the reef and explore several snorkel and diving locations. Back then an introduction dive was included in our excursion.
Diving at the Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef is about 80 km (2 hours or 30 minutes flying) northeast of the Whitsundays. At this largest living reef in the world you can take diving lessons .
Flying over Heart Reef
Are you looking for the ultimate romantic way to explore the Great Barrier Reef? Then take a airplane trip around the photogenic Heart Reef and the surrounding coral reefs. You can’t swim or snorkel in this area, but seen from the sky this is one of the most photogenic places on earth.