Sailing the Whitsunday Islands

You can not visit Airlie Beach without visiting at least one of the many famous Whitsunday Islands! Whitehaven Beach was obviously on the top of my MUST-SEE list with its never-too-hot 98% pure white silica sand, turquoise blue waters and endless amount of Reef to dive into; to say that it was a breathtaking experience would be an understatement.

We’ve all seen the pictures of Whitehaven Beach; but in this day and age, can we trust a ‘beautiful’ photo anymore? That was my opinion before we arrived… I never actually expected it to look better to the naked eye.

IMG_4305..I give you, Whitehaven (or WhiteHEAVEN) beach..

You can get to Whitehaven Beach by water, helicopter or sea plane – and they offer numerous types of trips ranging from half day trips to 3 night stays!

We booked our 2 night trip through Explore Whitsundays and this came to a total of $555pp – the vessel we booked was a catamaran and went by the name of ‘Powerplay’  which included all of our food, a private double cabin just for us, a heated spa, kayaks, paddle boards & all of our snorkelling gear! There was a total of 20 people onboard (including skipper & host!) so it was a reasonably small group compared to some other boat trips! The vibe was relaxed & sociable – absolutely perfect for couples or small groups of friends who aren’t looking for anything wild!

IMG_3914 ..Our cute & cosy little boudoir!..

The vessel departed Abell Point North Marina at 12PM and sailed for approximately 3 hours until it reached a beautiful Whitsunday Island where we were able to depart the boat using either a kayak or paddle board.

Of course we opted for the paddle board! What else?!

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We slowly paddled our way over to the sand and spent around two hours here relaxing on the shore & dipping in and out of the water! Stingers were hanging around, hence the stinger suits – so I didn’t fancy spending too much time in the water with them! Stingers are present in the waters of QLD year round but there is a much higher risk during October – May; & I will vouch for that, we saw a few of those – but thankfully not in the reef where we spent most of our time snorkelling!

It was back to the boat for us, we sat down for an afternoon snack & off we went to our anchorage to watch the sunset and eat some dinner onboard. It was a very relaxed evening – drinking, chatting and enjoying the surroundings!

Sleeping on the boat was actually two of the best nights sleep that I have had in a long while – reason 1 being that the rocking of the boat along with the sound of the waves knocking against the walls of our bedroom was absolute heaven! Not only was it super relaxing, it also sent me off to sleep almost instantly! We were also shocked at just how comfortable the beds were too… Reason 2, there was absolutely no signal or WiFi onboard – meaning that I had no phone to look at before or midway through the night (I hate that I do this – but I think living in a different time zone to my family & friends means that my phone is most alert during the nighttime for me. I’ve actually started sleeping nowhere near my phone now because I am finding that my sleep is a lot more broken when I sleep with my phone nearby! #SleepingTip101 #LeaveItOutside)

The next morning was an early one, our cooked breakfast was served at 6.30AM and we left the boat at 7.30AM (we had spent the night on the waters of our next destination so we didn’t have to sail any further!). We had the whole day ahead of us to spend in paradise, so we couldn’t complain at the early rise really! We jumped onto the small speed boat & headed to Hill Inlet Lookout.

Hill Inlet is a beautiful inlet located on Whitehaven Beach. As the tide shifts throughout the day, the white silica sand and blue hues of the ocean inlet blend seamlessly to create a breathtaking ocean made mosaic – and this is best viewed from the lookout located at Tongue Point.

We were informed by our host, CJ, that what we see from the lookout at 8AM will be completely different to what we will see at 10.30AM – and she was absolutely right.

Just look at the difference! No two pictures ever look the same from this beautiful viewing point. Make sure you visit the lookout at two different times of the day, particularly when the tide is lower; as that is when the full fusion from the colours of the sand emerge… You will not be disappointed.

We spent until 11.30AM on Whitehaven Beach, soaking up the sun and swimming in the turquoise waters.

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Baby Love
Enjoying the view… or posing in front of our GoPro tripod? Who knows.

 We headed back to the boat at 11.30AM, had some lunch, and then sailed over to our snorkelling spots!
You can of course take part in a scuba dive during the boat trips too – but sadly ours was cancelled for company reasons and we never rebooked elsewhere. However, I highly recommend snorkelling in the reef!

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Swimming along side a large sea turtle in the Great Barrier Reef was like something out of a Disney movie! You don’t see that everyday, that’s for sure.
We visited two different snorkelling spots – in one spot we were absolutely surrounded by tropical reef fish; when I say surrounded, I mean surrounded. There were so many that some were actually brushing you as they swam past – it was an experience that I will never forget!
During our second snorkelling session, we were purely just viewing the beautiful reef.. the living giant clam was out of this world!

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Green Sea Turtle.. Beautiful!

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Orbicular Batfish

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Crazy bunch of Yellow & Black Back Fusilier!

Facts that wow’d me!
– The Great Barrier Reef has over 900 islands stretched over 2,600 kilometres (1,615 miles)
– It is greater in size than the UK, Switzerland & Holland PUT TOGETHER!
– The Great Barrier Reef is larger than the Great Wall of China.
– It is the only living thing on earth that is actually visible from space!

From start to finish; our trip was perfect in every possible way. Minus the slightly sunburned forehead – I would not have changed a single thing!

This is a beautiful part of Australia that absolutely cannot be missed! 

WLEJ

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I am your not-so-typical gym going, sun loving, palm tree hugging Brit with a one way flight to Australia!

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