Picture 74 islands slung across the Great Barrier Reef, these little islands are a showstopper on any East Coast trip! It’s safe to say once you’re there you’ll never want to leave. Our Aussie main man Adrian, is here to share with you his love for this jaw dropping bunch of islands.
I am in complete agreement with the boys from The Lonely Island when they’re singing about feeling like the “King of the world when you’re on a boat like Leo”, especially when that boat is cruising 5 knots on the Whitsunday passage, next stop Hayman Island!
If Australia had a Monaco, it would have to be the Whits. The water is warm AF, the rich and famous are everywhere and the only thing missing is tax haven millionaires. Good enough for the T Swifty squad, good enough for me I say.
People may think it’s expensive to holiday in the Whitsundays, but there’s actually a huge amount of value for money if you know where to look. Hamilton Island is the main airport and the most convenient, but because it’s on an island, the airport charges huge landing fees, so it’s often cheaper to fly into Proserpine (or Whitsunday Coast Airport if you want to use the fancy name). Then you can jump on a shuttle to Airlie Beach, half an hour down the road.
Hamilton is technically the hub of the islands and has everything you could possibly want or need with tonnes of restaurants, bars, cafes, super markets etc. If you want to give your Insta followers severe FOMO book a couple of nights at Qualia and live the dream. But for those of you on more of a backpacker budget it’s all about Airlie…
Airlie Beach is where you’ll find most of the action, it’s the backpacker mecca of all the islands. It’s the cheapest and most convenient gateway to the Whitsunday Islands as it’s where the majority of tours depart from. So whether you’re travelling by Greyhound, Oz Experience or have your own camper, it’s easy to get to and cheaper than buying a flight to the island. The streets are lined with hostels, buzzing bars and seafood that if it was any fresher, would still have a line in its mouth – what’s not to love about this place?
After a few nights in Airlie, jump on a boat and join a Reef Sleep trip. You’ll sail out to the Great Barrier reef on a large, luxurious boat and get to spend the day snorkelling around the colourful marine life. If you’re not up for getting wet, the boat has an underwater viewing chamber – ooooh! After a long day exploring the reef, spend the night in a swag under the shooting stars. The following day can be spent snorkelling with turtles, enjoying a relaxing massage or taking a scenic helicopter flight over the infamous “Heart Reef” . How cool is that to say you’ve ACTUALLY spent the night at the Great Barrier Reef?
FYI: Catamaran sailing and Tall Ship sailing are also great value for money sailing trips. The Clipper Sailing trip is more of a party boat, it comes with its own inflatable slide into the water (as hilarious as it sounds) and Tall Ship sailing is a good all-rounder!
I’d be having a shocker if I didn’t mention the One & Only Hayman Island. It’s the pinnacle of resorts in Australia and isn’t far off one of the best resorts in the world. It’s as good as it gets! You’ve probably seen the photos of the pool and it’s as awesome as you can imagine, sliding out the front door of your room straight into the pool, cruising around until you spot one of the staff, ordering yourself a cocktail and some munchies in 3 foot of water and 15 minutes later it’s back in your room as you towel off. This place is one for your #hoteldreamgoals but why not splash out for one night or maybe for an anniversary? It’s a once in a lifetime experience and everyone deserves to treat themselves, especially you!
So you’ve experienced some of the best beaches in the world, dived the reef, had the best food of your life and met the most beautiful people – how the hell do you leave a place like this?
Usually in tears.