The Whitsunday Islands are made up of 74 islands at the core of the Great Barrier Reef. This is the Australia that so many people dream about, the water is every possible shade of blue, beaches seem like they belong in heaven and not on earth, and snorkeling and scuba reveals the absolute best of marine life. Before you panic thinking that there is too much to see, only eight out of the 74 islands are inhabited. There’s still an incredible variety to see, including Airlie Beach on the mainland, the gateway to the magnificent Whitsunday Islands.
Of all the Whitsunday beaches, Whitehaven Beach is the most famous. Put this beach at the top of your must-do list when visiting the Whitsunday Islands. The sugary white sand and aqua waters are sure to put all other beaches you’ve visited to shame. Pictures of the beach partially bring their stunning qualities to life, but seeing it with your own two eyes is an entirely different experience. This is the most photographed of the beaches in Australia and is one of the best places on the planet to sign up for a seaplane tour or a helicopter ride. Adventurous travelers might want to try kayaking or sailing, while others will simply sit in the sand and marvel at the beauty.
Scuba Diving at the Great Barrier Reef
Scuba enthusiasts travel to the Whitsunday Islands from around the globe to dive at the Great Barrier Reef. This reef is often described as the world’s largest living structure, and no matter how much scuba diving you’ve done prior, you are sure to be in awe. Extending to more than 1240 miles in length, the Great Barrier Reef actually serves to protect the Whitsunday Islands from ocean swells. For this reason, sailing is a very popular activity on these gentle waters. If you don’t have your scuba certification and don’t want to earn it during this trip, try snorkeling instead. You will still get to see a great variety of underwater life that makes the Great Barrier Reef so famous.
So Many Islands, So Little Time
Whitsunday beaches are scattered among the 74 islands. If this trip is your first time exploring these Australia beaches, it might be difficult to know where to start. Hamilton Island is located on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef and offers incredible beaches. Daydream Island is ideal for scuba, snorkeling, water sports, or sunbathing. More perfect beaches are also available on Long Island, Adventure Island, and Lindeman Island. If you’re looking for an adults-only experience, Adventure Island has an 18 years and older policy. The rest of the islands are family friendly and will have plenty of activities to keep your kids entertained.
No tour of Australia would be complete without visiting the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday Islands. While there are many resorts where you can stay overnight, daytrips to the Whitsunday Islands are also very popular. Airlie Beach is considered the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands, and is a great relaxing destination in itself. This area is popular with backpackers and known for its nightlife. Whether you are a scuba diving enthusiast or a beach bunny, exploring this area is a must on any itinerary of Australia’s beaches.