13th – 16th March 2017
Going to the Whitsundays is something that I have dreamt about doing for as long as I can remember so finally being there was like a dream come true and actually pretty surreal, so to say that I was excited was an understatement…
After what felt like eternity (a 9 hour drive) we finally arrived in Airlie Beach. There was no hanging around we were literally straight off the coach and onto the sail boat in less than 15 minutes. With all the safety briefings out the way we waved goodbye to the mainland and set sail for the Whitsundays.
The Whitsundays are located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and are made up of 74 islands, 4 of which you can stay on and the rest are uninhabited national park islands. We set off from Airlie Beach and slowly sailed into the late afternoon with all of us on deck soaking up the last of the days sun, taking in the incredible views and snacking on the most amazing freshly cooked nachos. As the sun started to set the atmosphere shifted from chilled out to party – the goon (Australia’s cheap, bagged wine) was opened and the music turned up. When the night finally came to an end many of us camped underneath the stars with our pillows and duvets.
The next morning I woke up feeling proud that I had managed to avoid what should of been a hangover from hell. My happiness was short lived however as once we set sail the motion of the boat sent my stomach turning and head pounding. From Hooks Passage we sailed around to Tongue Bay where we moored up and took the dingys ashore to the famous Whitsunday Island. From here we made the short walk up to Hill Inlet lookout with, in my opinion, the most incredible view out over Whitehaven Beach. The swirls of sand and colours of the water were mesmerising.
After taking it all in we headed down to the beach itself and spent the next few hours in paradise. The sand on Whitehaven is very similar to the sand in Mackenzie Lake – it is made up of 98% silica which is what gives it the really white colour. Having sweated out the remains of any alcohol still left in my body the only thing left to do was cool down. I headed straight down to the water, not forgetting my incredibly flattering stinger suit, and spent the next hour or so laid in the shallow waters edge. We saw so many stingrays swimming right past us and even a few lemon sharks! We did managed to squeeze in a bit of sunbathing before we left but in the heat we experienced the water was definitely my favourite place.
Once we were back on the boat we had lunch before setting sail to our third stop on the Whitsundays and the one that we would be snorkelling at – Ravens Cove. I was really looking forward to the snorkelling but unfortunately due to the current the sand had all been kicked up and disturbed so we really didn’t get to see much :(, but a great consolation was knowing that we still had our day trip to the Great Barrier Reef to come (which was A M A Z I N G).
Sadly our time on the boat had come to an end, but thankfully we still had some time left on the Whitsundays to explore our last stop, Daydream Island, which is one of the 4 resort islands that I mentioned earlier.
RIGHT Daydream Island – arriving was like something out of a movie. All packed into a tiny little dingey we pulled up to this stunning little tropical island and were met on the jetty by members of staff who handed us each a shell necklace (I broke mine after about an hour 😦 ).
After taking our bags to the room there was really only one thing left to do… head to the POOL. We spent the afternoon sipping on cocktails from the swim up bar, topping up our tans and relaxing to the max. Once the sun had set we headed back to the room to get ready for dinner and more cocktails! We had found paradise.
The next day was a free day and we planned to do nothing! We were down at the pool by 9am and that is exactly where we stayed. We did however pry ourselves away from the pool for an hour to take part in a really cool activity – a hands on experience at the living reef. There is a coral reef that winds through the resort home to more than 140 species of marine fish and 82 species of coral and we were shown around by one of the marine biologists. We got to feed barramundi, pet some sharks, hold a starfish and feed some huge stingrays! It was a really cool experience and only cost 10 bucks!
We had the most perfect day and really got to chill out. The tour up to this point had been incredible but also jam packed so some free time was much needed. That evening we walked around to the other side of the island for dinner (a story for another time) where we watched the sun set and then sat down in the outdoor cinema to watch a movie. Afterwards we headed back to the bar for a few drinks as it was our last night on the island.
Having to get up early the next morning and leave was definitely not a highlight of my trip although the views from the ferry absolutley were!!
Daydream, I will be back.
I actually found out some pretty sad news recently – a few weeks back a tropical cyclone hit the north east coast of Australia and caused widespread destruction. The Whitsundays were hit particularly badly and as a result it has been announced that Daydream Island will be closed until 2018. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to visit Daydream as it is such a special little place and I really hope they can repair all the damage caused and open again soon so that everyone can flood back and experience all that the island has to offer!
Damn you Cyclone Debbie!!!