Australia is not just a country of koalas, kangaroos and kiwis. Beyond the outback, the diverse wildlife and the famous Sydney opera house is a group of beautiful islands off the northeast coast of Queensland, not far from where the Great Barrier Reef sits.
Whitsundays consists of 74 beautiful islands – a number of which are untouched, uninhabited and naturally pristine. Opportunities for fun and relaxation are endless. Whitsundays has a lot to offer including thick rainforests, hiking trails, clear waters and beautiful white beaches.
Choose Your Adventure
Airlie Beach is Whitsunday’s central tourist hub, where most of the party happens. It is the starting point for any activity you wish to undertake in and around the islands. Adventure sailors, sea cruises and other water activities depart from Airlie’s port, Shute Harbour and Abell Point Marina.
If you’re thinking about travelling to Airlie Beach to take a breather from city life, consider these laid back but enjoyable activities:
1. Relax at the Airlie Beach Lagoon
The Airlie Beach Lagoon is famous for its relaxed tropical atmosphere and sparkling waters. It was launched 17 years ago in 2001 by the Premier of Queensland. Graded an impressive 5 stars at TripAdvisor.com and 4.6 at Google Reviews, this little paradise in northeastern Australia goes beyond the usual resort vibes.
Apparently, the people of Whitsundays have their own lagoon “legend.” They said if you’re looking to meet someone, the Lagoon is the place to be. The steadfast support of locals and tourists alike has kept the lagoon in good condition over the years. It is the perfect blend of nature and man-made artistry, complementing each other in a nice, subtle way.
The Lagoon has small grassy mounds where you can relax, read a good book and get a dose of the sun. Its white beach area is situated on the other side. Children can move about freely and play to their heart’s content in the shallows. There’s also a little pool designated for kids on another corner of the lagoon. The government added landscaped gardens, making the place more visually appealing and safer at the same time.
2. Adventure sailing Whitsundays
As mentioned, Whitsundays has 74 islands, many of which are uninhabited. The best way to get around these islands is through a rented sailboat or yacht. If you have a personal boat, then by all means use it for your sailing adventure. Cruise around the Catamaran islands, take a quick trip tothe outer reef, snorkel in your chosen spot, get a queen-sized cabin, camp out on an uninhabited island – your adventure, your style.
Most tourists and locals planning to visit Whitsundays either sail solo or go with a group. They also prefer to rent since only a handful of visitors actually own a yacht or sailboat. It’s not practical to buy one for short-term foreign tourists and not all locals are full-time adventure sailors. Whatever your plans are, Whitsunday islands are a great getaway destination. How to experience first-hand the excitement of adventure sailing? Touch base with an adventure sailing company that offers a variety of sailing packages. Make sure your chosen company allows you to customise your package so you can live out your dream adventure.
3. Hiking and nature appreciation
The dense green rainforests of Whitsundays provides the ideal venue for hiking and appreciating the wonders of nature. Below is a list of popular hiking trails you may like to visit during your time in the picturesque islands:
- Conway National Park – A large rainforest with different tracks to choose from, depending on your hiking skill level or expertise. Biking is also a favourite pastime in this park. At the 28-kilometre Conway Circuit, adrenaline junkies and nature trekkers can embark on a camping and hiking adventure spanning 3 days and 2 nights.
- North Head Lighthouse in Bowen – Experience beach-side nature and witness an abundance of sea creatures in the shallows near this 150-year-old lighthouse. Located off the coast of Bowen, you can walk straight to the lighthouse when the tides are low.
- Honeyeater Lookout – Not far from where Airlie Beach sits is the entryway to Honeyeater Lookout. This trail is situated in the Kara Crescent. Its main highlights include impressive views of the Whitsundays marina and cool, breezy uphill hikes early in the morning.
- Hamilton Island (Passage Peak) – As you cruise through Whitsundays, drop by Hamilton Island through a chartered yacht or a self-navigated yacht. Go on a self-guided tour to Passage Peak, the island’s most elevated area. Not only will you see diverse wildlife in their natural habitat, but you will also feel energised walking up the trail to the island’s peak.
Whitsundays – A Relaxing Home Away From Home
For tourists and non-residents, Whitsundays offers a natural and gentle respite from the stressful, busy lifestyle in concrete jungles. While it’s fun to bask in the sun, sea and sand, there’s more to this place than your typical island getaway.
Adventure sailing Whitsundays, nature trekking and the chemistry between man-made and natural wonders make Whitsundays a must-see place in your lifetime. These beautiful islands give a whole new definition to rest and recreation. Definitely one for the bucket list.