The Whitsunday Islands.... WOW!!!
A collection of 74 tropical islands off the coast of Queensland, Australia. The heart of the Great Barrier reef, you can relax on the white sands of Whitehaven beach, swim with sea turtles or take an amazing scenic helicopter trip.
I had always seen pictures and watched documentaries about these beautiful islands and you think it could never look like that in person.... It really does! I spent 4 nights at The Pinnacles Resort in Airlie beach as a base which was fantastic and I would highly recommend. Luxury apartments with stunning sea views, gymnasium, sauna and its iconic 20m infinity pool - I really did not want to leave!!!
From Airlie beach you then have so many options of day trips out to the various islands. Cruise Whitsundays offered some of the main excursions and deals. One of my most memorable days of my trip was on the Great Barrier Reef Full Day Adventure. From $279pp, departing from Airlie beach, it was a 2 hr scenic cruise out to Reefworld where we saw dolphins! Arriving out onto the pontoons, you then have the options to take part in any of the below:
* semi-submarine guided tour - a chance to stay dry but witness the beautiful fish and turtles of the great barrier reef.
* access to the underwater observatory.
* snorkelling - all gear provided including stinger suits and wetsuits.
* own expense activities: scuba diving, guided snorkelling safari's & heli-scenic flights.
Morning tea, full buffet lunch and afternoon tea was included.
I have always wanted to go on a helicopter trip and what better place to do this?! I booked onto the Heli-scenic flight which was an iconic 15 minute trip over the reef and Heart reef in particular. A short boat trip off Reefworld across to the helipad, I witnessed a beautiful turtle, coral, so many fish and the crystal clear waters. €150pp, it was worth every dollar... an experience of a lifetime! (MUST-DO!)
Keen to make the most of the day, I then booked onto another scuba-diving experience! Perfect for beginner divers, all equipment is provided with staff on hand to help. You then learn the basics in waist-deep water at the Dive Station in preparation for your fully supervised dive. I was much more relaxed scuba-diving this time round, so it was great to really take in all of the bright tropical fish and different species of coral.
The second trip I booked up was the Thundercat Whitsundays 1 day tour, priced at $189pp. A fast catamaran, this is a good option for people worried about sea sickness and again is a fully-inclusive trip. First stop was Tongue Bay for a once in a lifetime experience on Whitehaven Beach and the walk up to Hill Inlet Lookout. The view really is spectacular!
The second part of the trip was 2 snorkelling opportunities at Peter's Bay (which can only be accessed with a permit) and Mantaray Bay home to 'George' a Maori Wrasse fish in particular! Be sure to take your Go Pro on this trip - I absolutely loved snorkelling these bays and swimming around 'George'!
SEE YOU SOON WHITSUNDAYS! x