So, to continue from my previous Whitsundays post, I will now divulge the details of our 3-day heavenly tour. A little refresher for those of you who didn’t read the complete guide, The Whitsundays are a group of islands on the East Coast of Australia which you can sail around for a few days in total bliss. Need I say more?
After a short and not entirely pleasant stay in Airlie Beach, we ambled over to the marina and were pleased that things already looked promising. The marina is about a 15-minute walk from the hostel in town, which is lucky as we left our campervan in the hostel car park for the duration of our trip (only $6 for the whole time – bargain!).
When approaching, your view may be momentarily blocked by passers-by/palm trees, but you’ll soon find yourself confronted by oceanfront cafe’s, glistening water, and beautiful luxury boats gently bobbing up and down to greet your eager eyes.
We found our meeting spot and were introduced to the lovely crew, before jumping on board and never wanting to leave.
I can’t remember the exact boarding time, but I think it was midday. When we first booked the Whitsundays tour, I was a little miffed that the first and last days were only half-days, and felt as if we were being cheated a little. But hindsight is a beautiful thing. You will wake with the rising sun and then be in that sun all day. Trust me when I say that the days are long enough!
We sat down in the communal area (it’s basically all communal, you are on a boat…) and had a little welcome talk, before all breaking off to lounge about on deck, engaging in frivolous conversations with one another. Then came the snorkelling.
A fair few from our group had paid extra to go scuba diving, which most tours offer as an add-on. If diving isn’t for you – the snorkelling will not disappoint.
All of the gear is provided on board, and you’re free to do whatever you like. We jumped straight in and spotted some of the most amazing creatures down there! Sadly no turtle sighting for us, but there’s always next time.
Completely exhausted after hours of snorkelling, snacking and sniggering at how attractive we all looked in our masks – the sun began to set.
It’s safe to say that watching a sunset in the Whitsundays is incomparable to any other I’ve seen. The water is so still, and the air so quiet. Every which way you turned is another picture-perfect moment. See for yourselves…
One of my favourite days of all time. No exaggeration.
We woke at around 6 am as the glorious sunshine streamed in through every angle. Plus, our captain was playing Hakuna Matata to ensure everyone was up and at it.
Breakfast is served (fruit, cereal, yoghurt etc.) which Mike and I chose to eat on the deck. Like the evening before, everything was so still and quiet. Not hot enough to burn just yet, but hot enough to have brekkie in your bikini. Neither of us spoke; we sat in companionable silence just taking in all of the natural beauty. It really was like waking up to a dream.
After breakfast, it was time to hit sh*t beach. At least, that’s what our captain called it. This beach is quite literally sh*t, it’s grey and unappealing at best. But fear not – the real treat is just moments away!
Walk through a canopy of trees and the beauty of Whitehaven Beach will emerge before your eyes. A.K.A. Heaven on earth. There is a great viewpoint here for you to marvel at the patterns made by the sand and water as the tide changes. Beaut.
Once you actually walk down to the beach, I guarantee you’ll be happy as a clam. The sand is (apparently) bought by NASA each year as it is 98% pure silica; It can even be used to polish up jewellery! It is so soft and so white that it feels like your feet are being gloriously massaged with each step.
Warning: be very careful with electrical items as those fine little granules will ruin them, hence my ziplock bag advice from before.
I’ve raved enough about the sand, it’s time for the water. As you can see from my snaps, the water is oh-so-clear! Naturally, the tide constantly changes allowing for the water to part. This, in turn, creates lovely little paths for you to frolic along and surround yourself with blue hues!
It is such a dream to float around in, as there are plenty of shallow spots. Just be aware of the stingers and lemon sharks!
N.B. We took our own GoPro which I would highly recommend if you’re a bit photo-mad like we are. Our boat also had a shared GoPro which you could purchase the pics from at the end of the trip, though I’m not sure if this is always the case.
Alternatively, why not hire one out for a few days? There are plenty of places in Airlie Beach where you can do this.
After a few of the most blissful hours we ever did have, it was time to head back. We said goodbye to paradise and waited to board our boat once more.
The rest of the afternoon passed by with more snorkelling, a tragic attempt at paddle-boarding (guilty), and another spectacular sunset.
Another beautiful morning arose, accompanied by another peaceful breakfast and morning snorkel session.
The whole trip was over before we knew it.
So often in life, you don’t realise what the best moments are until after they’ve happened. But that wasn’t the case with our Whitsundays trip. We knew it was special and we loved every second of it.