Recently, I spent a weekend living an absolute dream in the Whitsunday Islands. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this little slice of heaven, it’s a cluster of islands off the northern coast of Queensland, Australia. I’ve been lucky enough to visit twice during my time down under, and I can’t even begin to explain the beauty that waits there.
My first visit to the Whitsundays area was a week on Hamilton Island. I stayed in the Frangipani apartments with my parents. The lodging was beautiful, with a breathtaking view of the ocean and some local friends to eat breakfast with (on the left: a cockatoo on our deck, on the right: a wallaby in our backyard).
The island itself is astoundingly beautiful. The water is crystal clear and warm. There’s endless options for daytime activities, including a dive at the Great Barrier Reef and jet skiing. We opted for a cruise out to Whitehaven Beach (which was recently ranked the #5 beach in the world by TripAdvisor) and a sunset cruise around the island. Both were well worth the money.
This past weekend I flew out to Prosperpine airport and stayed a night in Airlie Beach (also beautiful) before taking off on the Wings 3 catamaran weekend expedition along with 26 other people. We left Airlie Beach and sailed off to a port near Hayman Island, and then around to Manta Ray Bay off of Hook Island. There, I scuba dived for the first time. It was incredible! The crew were all so much fun and so helpful, I felt like I’d been doing it for years. Being in the water on the outer Great Barrier Reef was like swimming in an aquarium. If you’re not up for scuba diving, the snorkeling is amazing, too. We took off to Whitehaven Beach, docking at Tongue Bay and hiked over to the lookout. Pictures cannot possibly do it justice, but here it is!
I would HIGHLY recommend either trip. The Wings 3 weekend was definitely the cheaper option, but if you’re willing to splurge a bit, they were both surreal vacations and some of the best days of my life.