We continue our journey on the east coast and make a necessary stop at the famous Whitsunday Region.
It is an archipelago of 74 islands, immersed in the heart of the largest barrier reef in the world.
Most of these islands are part of uninhabited national parks, and only 4 of them - including Whitsunday Island - offer the chance to stay in expensive resorts.
The main access point for visiting this island is Airlie Beach
, a small tourist destination that offers a big choice of accommodation, dining and entertainment for the youngest. We stay at the Seabreeze camping
at the “modest” price of $ 29 per vehicle per night (and it is the cheapest camping in the area!).
It should be pointed out that unfortunately this part of the coast was hit by the cyclone Debbie
at the beginning of April 2017, particularly the area of Airlie Beach. Although after a month, it is still possible to see the damages caused to some businesses as well as to nature, including nearby islands such as Hamilton Island and Whitsunday itself.
Nevertheless, we still decide to buy the tour to visit the Whitsunday Island at a price of $ 161. The price obviously varies according to the company, the type of boat, the number of days and the activities included. We choose to make a daily excursion with the Bullet company that allows us to get a 10% discount on the initial price of $ 179 (the prices are really exaggerated!) The tour includes the pick-up from your accommodation, the entry for the national park, snacks in mid-morning and mid-afternoon, lunch box, snorkelling mask and wetsuit to get into the water (given the presence of poisonous jellyfish).
We leave Abel Point
at 9 am, and after an hour by boat we get off in Tongue Beach
to reach the Hill Inlet
through a short walk. From here you can enjoy a breath-taking view of the Whitehaven Beach
which meets a thousand colours of the ocean caused by tides frequent change.
After about half an hour on board, we reach the famous Whitehaven Beach which is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and even considered by Trip Advisor as Australia's # 1 beach
. In fact, this beach is characterized not only by crystal clear waters but also by its white sand made by 98% of silica that gives it the brilliant colour.
Later on, after relaxing for 2 hours at the beach, we continue to the North side of the island where we stop for snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef.
Despite the slightly turbid water because of the cyclone, it is still possible to see a wide variety of colourful corals and fishes of different breeds and sizes.
This part of the barrier is also known for the ideal water temperature that allows the coral growth and for the particular tide movement that helps the transportation of food and nutrients needed to feed such coral reef. Whitsunday can be considered then a must for your trip along the East Coast
, despite the high cost that characterises Australia for everything!
Although we were initially uncertain because of the cyclone, once again we have been fascinated by Nature in this wonderful country. You are in front of a surreal landscape, almost paradisiacal, where luckily the man has left everything unspoilt, thus exalting its purest beauty.