Whitsunday wanderings

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Queensland, Australia.

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Queensland was a day spent at Whitehaven Beach.

Whitehaven, on Whitsunday Island, has some of the purest silica sands in the world and the beach is regularly rated as one of the top 10 around the world.

I’ve visited Whitehaven a few times before, but this is place I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of visiting…

Our party of seven (Adam, myself, his mum and step-dad, my parents and brother) opted to stay in Airlie Beach the night before and after our day cruise out to the beach. It’s an early start and late finish to make the most of the daylight, so we decided the hour and a half drive up and back from our base in Mackay would be too big of a day – we were on holiday after all!

View of Airlie Bay from house in Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia.

I found a big house on Airbnb, which had beautiful views over Airlie Bay and we loved watching the sunset and rise over the water.

We got very lucky with the weather on the day of our cruise – it was sunny and warm, but not too hot, and there was barely a whisper of breeze.  En route to Whitsunday Island, I marvelled at how still the water was.  It was like gliding through molten glass.

Cruising through the Whitsunday Islands, Queensland, Australia.

The tide was high when arrived at Whitehaven and everywhere you looked, the Whitsunday’s trademark turquoise blue waters sparkled beneath the autumn sun. This part of Queensland got lashed last year by Cyclone Debbie, and many trees on Whitsunday Island itself are still naked – their leaves stripped in winds up to 260km/hour.

Dead tree in the waters near the northern end of Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Queensland, Australia.

Sheltered bay at northern end of Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Queensland, Australia.

After a leisurely paddle through the shallows, we made our way up to a lookout to gaze over the beautiful Hill Inlet.  The area’s famous ‘swirls’ were abundantly clear.  It was like mother nature was putting on her best performance for our English visitors.

Hill Inlet, Whitsunday Island, Queensland, Australia.

Looking down over Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Queensland, Australia.

After a swim (wearing some incredibly flattering stinger suits 😉 – they look a little dorky, but trust me, it’s better wearing one than having an encounter with an irukandji jellyfish) and lunch with a group of goannas (they’re everywhere on the island), our party split in two and I opted to go on a bushwalk through the island’s interior.

Looking down over Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Island, Queensland, Australia.

The damage from the cyclone was still very visible and I was incredibly amazed at the sheer number of grass trees growing in the bushland.  Adam and I in the process of trying to grow our own from seeds – it’ll be many, many years before our seedlings look like these trees!

Grass trees growing on Whitsunday Island, Queensland, Australia.

We managed to fit in one last swim before we packed up and jumped back on the boat, where we watched the sun set over the water.

Sunset from the deck of a boat.

It was one of those magical days, where your phone is out of reception, you’re surrounded by beautiful vistas and the company was near and dear. I forgot about the rest of the world and just enjoyed the day without any distractions.

Have a wonderful week. x


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