We are travelling to Australia. Waiting for us, are the Whitsunday Islands, a group of 74 islands located to the north of the Great Barrier Reef on the tropical coast of Queensland. Whitehaven Beach is one of its star destinations: a beach with crystal-clear waters and pure white sand that stretches over seven kilometres like a blanket of snow. It collects awards like people collect seashells on the beach: for the best beach in Australia and the world, for the cleanest beach and even for being the most eco-friendly. That’s why it’s no surprise that the Australian authorities worry so much about the preservation of this small stretch of land that seems to have fallen from heaven: forget about smoking or taking your pet with you; there are strict rules about respecting the natural landscape.
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.
No matter how many days you spend on the islands, you’ll never have enough time to enjoy the infinite variety of aquatic activities on offer. Get ready to get wrinkled fingers snorkelling, scuba diving, windsurfing, kayaking, whale watching, etc. However, nothing compares to scuba diving on one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Great Barrier Reef.
If you’re already trying to organise your free dates in the calendar, don’t worry: the tropical climate of Queensland means that winters are very mild, resulting in temperatures that are perfect for enjoying the islands all year round.