The Whitsunday Islands are my idea of heaven. Making up approximately 40% of my Instagram feed, they have been the number one destination on my travel wishlist for a long time. Rather than choosing a two night trip like many backpackers, I joined Sara on a day trip on ‘Big Fury‘.
Despite waking up on a grey, rainy morning, we refused to let our enthusiasm be quelled. Big Fury turned out to be a powerful speedboat which cuts travel time to allow you to spend the maximum time on the islands. As we sped out to sea, a pod of dolphins leaped gracefully around us in greeting and the clouds thankfully disappeared.
Our first stop was Whitsunday island itself where we would make the short walk to Hill Inlet. The beautiful forest path leads out to the lookout point where all those famous photographs are taken.There aren’t words to describe how absolutely breathtaking the view is. It is everything I hoped it would be and more. Unable to stop smiling, I couldn’t turn away for a second. The sand you can see in the distance above is the famous Whitehaven Beach.I could have spent all day gazing out onto the dappled waters but we had places to be. Hopping back onto the boat, we whizzed around to find a snorkelling spot. The Whitsunday Islands are located in the Great Barrier Reef National Park and the reef here is less damaged than further north.
Our relatively shallow dive spot afforded us stunning views of the vibrant coral and fish. Also – does anybody else with a GoPro feel that absolute fear when plunging it underwater?With our stomachs rumbling, we headed around the bay and pulled up onto Whitehaven beach. The moment my feet touched that pure white sand through the clear water, I couldn’t stop smiling. After imagining being there so many times, it was finally happening! Unfortunately, the clouds were back…Part of the Big Fury tour is lunch on Whitehaven beach and it’s delicious! Pastas, sandwiches, fresh fruit – you really are spoilt for choice. Eating lunch surrounded by massive lizards also provides a good deal of lunchtime entertainment!
Finally, it was time to relax away the afternoon on the world’s whitest sand. Many tours only stop here for 20 minutes but we had around two hours – bliss. Listen to the sand squeak between your toes or pose shamefully…it’s up to you. It was tough to leave with the knowledge that I might never encounter a paradise like this again. But as we headed back to Airlie Beach for the night, it was amazing to realise how lucky we were to experience such a beautiful place. Sorry England – your beaches will struggle to cut it for me now.