Wonders of the Whitsundays
Along my best jobs’ journey , I was really excited about getting to explore the magnificent Whitsundays…
I have heard so much about it and have to say that I am not disappointed, this place is just Heaven!
The natural beauty of the region is just breathtaking and dramatic and there are endless ways to take it in.
Whatever you like is there for you!
1. On land
You don’t like getting wet? No problem at all, the beauty of the Whitsundays Coast and Islands is diverse and fun to explore on land. This is the perfect place to go hiking or mountain biking for example.
B. Mountain biking
The scenic South Molle Island
Opened a few months ago, this is the most scenic mountain bike track I have ever experienced in Australia, if not the world! Started for Sandy Bay up to Mount Jefferies lookout, out to Spion Kop and coming back to the resort and the jetty. 3 hours of fun and definitely worth getting sweat!! The views are simply intoxicating and I’ve specially loved the vegetation on the island: very diverse and covered with grass-trees which is one of my favourite plants down under.
The island is not very frequented and it was just so great to be part of it for a while, surrounded by the birds, the trees and the sun!
You can rent your bikes from diverse companies in Airlie Beach:
To get there :
Water taxi with Scamper:
More info about the NP here
A. Walking the Ngaro Sea Trail
Follow the footsteps and history of the Ngaro people (pronounced “Nah-row”), the Traditional Owners of the area. The trail is a unique blend of seaways and tracks which take you from sea to summit of South Molle Island, Hook and Whitsunday islands and offers rewarding views over the Coral Sea and islands.
Explore pure white sand beaches, see ancient rock art, dry rainforest and rugged headlands. If this seems a bit too much for you, many other walks ranging in length and endurance are also available on the Whisunday Coast.
Nb: before walking there, ask for the Ngaro Sea Trail visitor guide at the nearest park office.
2. On a high
One of the best ways to take in the beauty of the Whitsunday islands and Great Barrier Reef is from the air. While in the region, make sure to book one scenic flight tour by helicopter or seaplane for the exhilarating thrill and the incredible views. Take thousands of pictures of the Heart Reef, you know the famous one in all the travel books and the one that Yann Arthus Bertrand captured many times?
I had been dreaming about this special day I would ever see it and once again another dream came true with Best jobs In the World! I will never forget this flight! And the most beautiful beach in Australia, Whitehaven is even more spectacular from above!
NB: different tours ranging in length, activities and rates are available from local companies. You can even snorkel or pic nic on a secluded beach, so romantic!
I tried Hamilton Island Air: www.hamiltonislandair.com
3. On Water
The Whitsundays is Australia’s aquatic playground! A love of the water pumps through the blood of the locals and in mine once I visited the region!
With 74 islands in the beautiful Coral Sea and in the heart of the GBR, there are heaps of activities to get you out there on it.
Difficult to tell my favourite but here you go with a non-exhaustive list of what is on offer here.
A fun and quick (no more than 1 hour when most of the other boats need 2…) ride to the beautiful Whitehaven beach for a complete day of adventure! You can’t miss the yellow inflated boats while in Airlie Beach. With a departure every day, this is the perfect tour for the people with no much time in the region and who want to make the most of it.
You can choose between a southern ride (more beach time) or a northern ride (more snorkelling time), an option for everyone!
Awesome day out there with the crew and especially Will !
Rate: about AUD $130
Wanna ride your own “boat”, go get a jet ski and have a blast with Jetski Tour Airlie Beach. Surf the turquoise water; see the sailing shipwreck (from the latest cyclone, a few years ago) and spot the turtles in turtle bay.
Once again you can choose between two trips: the Airlie Adventure” running every morning for 1 hour and a half or the “Daydream Extreme” leaving everyday around midday for 5 hours, with a visit of Daydream island open aquarium.
Airlie Adventure: about AUD$ 220 per jet ski or about AUD$ 110 per person twin share
Daydream Extreme : about AUD$ 380 per jet ski or about AUD$ 190 per person twin share
The Whitsundays offers some of the world’s best sailing and cruising holidays. 74 islands to navigate, hundreds of spectacular bays and secluded beaches to explore! There is such a range of boats to choose from-the more budget option to the most luxury trips or the bareboat as well!
A. Overnight trip
Again many options there 1, 2, 3 nights aboard…different kind of vessels as well. Nice and comfy or more racing style? All depends on what you are looking for!
I experienced Kiana, which is a really cool and well organised sailing boat. With only 14 guests, the cruise is relax and comfortable, the crew is adorable and this is one of the few to go and stay out on the reef for the night. (2 nights -3 days)
I loved the atmosphere, the helpful and nice crew , the food aboard, the itinerary (Whitehaven beach, Diving, Snorkelling) and the boat itself of course! Everything is well organised and this makes the difference!
Rate: from AUD$ 699 per person – 3 days / 2 nights
I went also on Hammer, which is a 1 night 2 day trip. Very different experience as this one is an ancient racing boat! If you got wind, you can get involved in the sailing and learn a few sailing basics! This boat is for those who comfort doesn’t really matter, as she is quite simple and many people aboard.
Hammer: Explore Whitsundays
Rate: from AUD$ 349 per person – 2 days / 1 night
B. Daytrip boat
No time or not the budget to spend the night out? No worries you can sail the beautiful islands just for the day. Camira is one of the world’s fastest commercial sailing catamarans. Book an all inclusive day and discover the amazing Whitehaven beach!
Rate: From AUD$ 189 per person – 1 full day including lunch buffet
C. Party boat
Young, beautiful and wanna party? You will find plenty of options departing from Airlie Beach!
Board your own skipper boat and choose your adventure as you chart your own course on the protected waters of the Whitsundays, which are recognised as amongst the safest in the world!
An initial briefing includes a trial run with a professional skipper so that everyone can become comfortable in handling so vessel. How cool is that?
If you don’t feel like playing the captain, you can go with a skipper and all your team (group up to 12 people).
E. Twilight Sailing
Every Wednesday, you can become part of the crew and get on board of one of the vessels which participate in the weekly sunset race.
Didn’t get the chance to experience that but I’m sure this is great fun and ambiance!
Want to learn definitely how to stand up paddle properly? Fed up with trying but not knowing what to do exactly? Yes this was my case until I met Mark from Airlie Beach Stand Up Paddle!! Now I rock the paddle board!! J
Airlie Beach Stand Up Paddle Lesson:
Rate: from AUD$ 75 the 2 hour lesson.
The Whitsundays is a diver’s and snorkeler’s delight! On one side, the fringing reefs offer spectacular corals and fish. Every island is a different show! On the other side, the “outer” Great Barrier Reef is well known for impressive diving, with no similar coral diversity and reef life.
Once again, the most difficult will be to choose from the tours on offer! Even if you are not certified, you can give it a go thanks to introductory dives, available on most tours. Come and meet some of the 1500 fish species and 400 coral’s ones out there!
More info about NP in the region click here
Looking for a wild experience?
Camping on a deserted Island...
Did you know that 67 of the 74 islands are still uninhabited and some have allocated camping sites right on the beach front?
I didn’t once I arrived to the Whitsundays but then I was told that this is a cool adventure! A local company organizes everything for you and no need to have camping gear, sleeping bags or tents…they take care of everything!
Feel like Robinson Crusoe for one day or more! Permits are cheap and all the campsites have a maximum number of campers, which means you may have the island to yourself! Plus add some kayaks (www.saltydog.com.au) and snorkel gear and this will be a memorable experience.
Get in touch with the kind Sandy at Scamper – Island Camping / Water taxi. Very helpful she will give you all the tips you need to have a great time camping out there
Rate: Transfer : from AUD$ 65 per person return (the further the island, the more expensive)
Camping gear: about AUD$ 40 for 2 people
Warning !!! : Please keep in mind that you are on an isolated area, be careful and keep an eye on your belonging at all time.
Or more fancy staying on an idyllic island?
On Hamilton Island, you will have everything you need and want at your doorstep! I find very funny that everyone is driving a golf buggy! I had the impression to be in a science fiction movie sometimes! Looking for things to do while on holidays: Jetboat, parasailing, jet skiing, sailing, scenic flights over Heart Reef, wildlife sanctuary, and so much more on offer! Enjoy !
Looking for some restaurants
in Airlie Beach?
Delicious and relax: Fish D’vine: I love it, unforgettable mojitos and mud crab
French- Australian Cuisine: Déjà vu: A French cook and the restaurant is famous for its long Sunday Lunch
Fancy- expensive one: Peppers : amazing view on the sea from the top of the hill.
Chic and cosy: Coral Sea Resort: sit next to the pool and enjoy a nice dinner