The Great Barrier Reef
As well as being Nemo’s home, as we all know from the popular Pixar film, the Great Barrier Reef is a true gift from nature that begs to be explored. It’s 2,300 kilometres of coral reef are inhabited by hundreds of different species: it’s a complete marine zoo.
Its heavenly appearance has helped make Whitehaven Beach one of the most photographed beaches in Australia. Its vibrant colours can be appreciated much better from the sky. That’s why panoramic flights by helicopter and seaplane are one of the main attractions of the islands. However, if you prefer to stroll along the length of the beach it’s also the perfect place: although it seems impossible, the sand on Whitehaven Beach doesn’t burn your skin, even in summer. There are many idyllic beaches, but finding one where you don’t burn your feet while you’re walking is harder to find. The explanation lies in its mineral composition, containing 98% silicon, which stops heat from being retained on the surface and which is also responsible for its unique polished white colour.
Of the 74 islands that make up the Whitsunday Islands, Airlie Beach is considered as the gateway. This is a small coastal village from where you can go on excursions to the other islands, including Whitehaven Beach, as this beach is only accessible by boat. Numerous companies offer day trips by ferry or luxury yacht. Most boats set sail from Abel Point, the largest marina in northern Queensland. You can also choose a boat without a crew so that you can navigate the islands yourself or plough through the waves in motor launches or catamarans.