The Whitsunday’s Must Visit List
This past week was the University of Queensland’s mid-semester break and boy did we have a fantastic time. The Whitsunday Islands is a place I have been dreaming about visiting since arriving in Australia. These are islands based on the outskirts of the Great Barrier Reef and are just a short hour flight from Brisbane, and a quick boat ride out to whichever island your heart desires to go to. We ended up going on a day trip with Reefstar Cruises which took us to three beautiful spots in the Whitsundays: Northern Whitehaven Beach, DayDream Island, and Bali Hai Island.
Northern Whitehaven Beach:
I had to pinch myself while I took in the view from Hill Inlet Lookout shown above. The water was a crystal blue color swirled with white sandbars and dotted with yachts and people enjoying the sunny day. Stretched behind the cove were mountains covered in green trees and beyond that the dark blue waters of the Whitsundays reached far and wide. We made our way down to the beach and took in the pure white sand with wide eyes, the things I would do to be on that beach right now are unspeakable. As we neared the waters edge, we noticed how clear it was which made the next couple minutes the coolest of my life. We waded deeper into the water, and I moved towards a dark shadow assuming it was a piece of seaweed or a leaf. Nope, it was a stingray. A massive stingray, just hanging out in the shallows of the water with its gray body half covered in sand. Needless to say, I was astonished to see such a beautiful and wild animal up close. A few moments after the ray swam away we all realized transparent and orange jellyfish surrounded us, terrified we hopped this way and that attempting not to get stung. We quickly found out that they were harmless as we saw other people calmly wading through them. I then spent the next ten minutes picking them up and sitting in a pool of them like a child in a ball pit, it rocked. Even cooler during my obsession with my new jelly friends a small sand shark slid by me. That got me out of the water pretty fast, although I did attempt to follow it around on the shore for a while trying to get a good video. With the breathtaking scenery and abundance of wildlife Whitehaven beach is a must see if you are traveling around the Whitsundays!
Day Dream Island:
Day Dream Island is just what it sounds like, it is a resort planted in the middle of the Whitsundays with beautiful pools, wildlife, and of course a nice swim up bar. Immediately after we stepped off the boat and onto the dock, a wallaby was spotted hanging out and eating grass. Everyone, and I mean seventy or so people ran over to take pictures with the little guy who was completely unfazed by the stampede of humans running at him. We looked on but decided we would explore first and then come back. We hung out by a man-made pool filled with sharks, stingrays, fish, and sea stars. We took in the views of the ocean and islands of the Whitsundays from the pool, and then we headed down to the beach. That’s when we saw not one but five wild wallabies hanging out by some of the bushes. We went over and realized there was a baby wallaby that was barely as tall as half of my calf and for a five three girl that is tiny. We took a ton of pictures and made sure not to get too close since its mother was watching us. Day Dream Island is a great resort if you want a family stay and the experience of comfortable island life.
Bali Hai Island:
This island is a small strip of land with coral reefs surrounding it. Once we stepped on the sand, we were briefed about small shells that would shoot a deadly and poisonous dart at you if you got too close, great, so fun. I immediately got in the water, one to avoid the deceivingly beautiful shells and also to start exploring the world below. The reefs were easily visible in the clear water and filled with multitudes of colors, fish, and wildlife. I saw small fish dart in and out of the coral and larger ones swim lazily around in the current. If you are looking to snorkel in the Whitsundays, this is the spot to be, and it’s only a short boat ride from Whitehaven beach so you can check them both off your list in one day!
Whitehaven Beach, Daydream Island, and Bali Hai Island are three major spots to hit when visiting the Whitsundays. Whether you take a private charter or a cruise, it is impossible to be unhappy while bopping around the crystal blue waters of this paradise.