Whitsunday Islands

Whitehaven Beach. The most beautiful beach I have ever seen! And I have seen a lot of beaches. It’s hard to find words to describe seeing Hill Inlet  from the air. Quite possibly the highlight of our trip. The Sounds of Silence Dinner under the Southern Cross and in the shadow of Uluru is a close second.

The Whitsunday Islands is a group of 74 islands bordered by the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the sheltered waters of the Coral Sea.

Formed millions of years ago, the name was given to Australia’s largest group of offshore islands by Captain Cook, who sailed through the passage on Whitsunday in 1770.

The traditional owners of the Whitsunday Islands were called the Ngaro, and are among the earliest recorded Aboriginal groups in Australia.

Clifton was fortunate to visit the Whitsundays three times during his Junior Year Abroad in Australia. He first visited on a Spring Break trip in March. The next trip was to Daydream Island when Jen visited and finally with Allan and me.

We flew to Hamilton Island from Cairns. Hamilton Island is the only island in the Great Barrier with its own airport. We stayed at the Reef View Hotel overlooking Catseye Beach. One day a cockatoo broke into our room and stole Dad’s fiber bars and left me to clean up the mess!

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Clifton and I went diving. We took a golf cart around the island one evening and saw kangaroos playing all over.

 

The largest island, Whitsunday Island, is also the site of Whitehaven Beach, a seven kilometre stretch of deserted snow white sand. Whitehaven is the most beautiful beach with pure white sand made up of silica. Bright white sand that never gets hot underfoot and crystal clear waters. It’s one of the most photographed beaches in Australia. We took a helicopter to Whitehaven Beach. Flying over Hill Inlet is unforgettable. We sipped champagne and enjoyed lunch (which the sea birds made a valiant effort to steal) as we sat on the snow white silicon sand and gazed over the tranquil ocean and marveled at the many shades of blue. The ocean is dotted with emerald green islands. This beach is absolutely breathtaking!  Perfection!

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Allan and I did not visit Daydream Island. Clifton and Jen and his roommate and girlfriend spent a few days here. Daydream Island is one of the closest of the Whitsunday Island resorts to the coast. Unique to the island is a man-made outdoor aquarium, the Living Reef, where you can hand feed the resident stingrays, sharks and barramundi fish.

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