Guide to Wonderful Water Activities in the Whitsundays
A visit to Queensland would not be complete without a journey to the spectacular Whitsunday Islands, located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. The Whitsundays is a collection of 74 tropical islands, a true paradise with endless white sandy beaches surrounded by fresh warm waters.
A handful of islands have accommodation on them, such as the luxurious Hayman Island, a privately owned five star resort that offers high-class dining, breathtaking scenery and the best activities in the Great Barrier Reef.
Here are some must-do water activities while exploring the Whitsundays:
Locals and travellers have praised the Whitsundays as one of the best spots to yacht in the world. The reason for this is the countless secluded bays and inlets to visit and explore, where you won’t see a soul in sight. There is no better feeling than manning your own yacht and sailing the route that you please. At the end of the day as the sunsets pop open the Champaign for a truly romantic experience.
2. Diving and Snorkeling
Dive into the crystal clear waters below to discover the underwater magic that the Whitsundays has to offer. Hayman has their very own Marine Centre with qualified instructors available to take you through the steps for beginners (PADI courses are also available). There’s a diverse range of marine life to see, such as dolphins, turtles, manta rays and 500 species of tropical fish and 400 types of coral. Take your underwater cameras to capture this remarkable holiday memory!
Hayman Island is the perfect place to pick up a paddle and explore the outskirts of the island by water. No experience is required and there are also kayaking guides available. Places to visit on Hayman Island by kayak include Blue Pearl Bay, Goat’s Beach, Bali Hai and Langford Reef. On a lucky day a humpback whale or sea turtle fish will swim by your kayak. Indeed the Whitsundays is a paddling paradise!
4. Water Ski
Get wet and wild by throwing on some skis and glide along the pristine waters of the Whitsundays. Beginners can use the learner’s bar to help them ski on the water for the first time and experienced skiers can show off their skills thanks to the large Hayman Island ski boat with an engine that has 165 kilowatts (225 hp) of power.
Sit back, relax and throw your line in and watch your worries float away. Fishing is a popular past time in the Whitsundays due to the incredible views of the white beaches with dotted palm trees and blue waters where the tropical fish swim by. The catch of the day is usually Barramundi, tuna, Spanish mackerel, giant trevally, black marlin or sailfish. Make sure you check the Green Zones set out by the Department of Fisheries.
The Whitsundays are easily accessible from two towns along the Queensland Coast:
By far the most popular option, Airlie Beach is a hub for Australian tourists, along with backpackers and travelers doing the great pilgrimage along the east coast. Although a small town, the residents themselves only number just under 3000, the beautiful environment, including rainforest as well as the azure views of the Coral Sea, means there are plenty of sport and leisure activities to be found. Well worth a stay, even if your main destination is the Whitsundays.
There are numerous options to explore the Whitsunday from Airlie Beach, from single day tours to week long sailing trips.
Still a famed industrial town, Mackay has worked on developing into a tourist destination over the last couple of decades. Recognizing its prime location close to the Whitsunday, beautiful national parks and Pioneer Valley. There are a number of new leisure developments, including the scenic Bluewater Trail, a path system linking up the regions many beaches and lagoons to make more accessible to visitors.
Again, there are a number of options to get to the Whitsundays from Mackay, including tours, cruises and flights to Hamilton.
Once you have sunk your toes into the soft white sands, dove into the fresh ocean and experienced some of the water delights, you’ll have to agree that a journey to Queensland isn’t the same without a trip to the Whitsundays.
About the Author – Hayman Island’s Digital Marketing Executive, Lauren Esplin, loves nothing more than visiting new lands, meeting new people and learning different languages and customs. She also happens to work for one of the most beautiful Whitsunday islands, and is fortunate enough to explore the Great Barrier Reef and Islands as part of her job.
Photo Credits: #1 Wikimedia, #2 Flickr:Sarah-Ackerman, #3 Wikimedia