If you’re looking for a place on earth that’s as close to the normative notion of what ‘Heaven’ is, The Whitsundays in tropical north Queensland isn’t a bad start.
A stretch of coast lined by world-famous islands, The Whitsundays is home to the stunning Whitehaven Beach – nearly always listed as one of the world’s top 25 beaches in TripAdvisor’s annual Travellers Choice Awards – as well as the super luxurious (read expensive) and breathtakingly beautiful Hamilton and Hayman Islands (by all accounts the Kardashian clan and their ilk stay there…).
We treated ourselves to a trip to The Whitsundays this Easter. We didn’t stay on the islands (I’m not that kind of blogger) and opted for the buzz of Airlie Beach instead. Backpacker- and party-central it may be, but approached in the right way it offers as much tranquility and draw-dropping beauty as the islands themselves.
Airlie Beach itself is lined by elegant palms adorned with fresh coconuts and the neighbouring Boathaven Beach is stunning. There is even a manmade pool you can swim in to stay away from swarms of Irukandji jellyfish, i.e. the most poisonous box jellyfish in the entire world (!).
The highlight of our trip was a sailing trip we took on the elegant Camira catamaran, which took us snorkelling around coral reefs and to Whitehaven Beach. We had beer and barbecue on the boat and on that afternoon life couldn’t get much better.
The trip also included trips to marinas and lovely restaurants, a walk in the nearby forest of Conway National Park and a drive to see sites like Dingo Beach and Hideaway Bay, which was a deserted utopia of tranquility.
– All words and photos: Rosie Pentreath