Whitsunday Island & Hamilton Island
I Know we’ve all imagined running off to a dream location to live a lifestyle most desired by every other person on this planet because believe me this is what I’m living for. I could give you my bucket list of locations just to give you a general idea of mine but before I’d even come to Australia this place in particular wouldn’t have even been on my list ( I didn’t even know it existed) Out of all the places I’ve been to in the world so far, nothing has really wow’d me like this one.
Whitsunday Island and Hamilton Island are ‘must-go’ destinations whilst travelling the east coast of Australia or must go to destinations in general. I wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to go again that’s for sure. Of being a backpacker on a fairly tight budget I did everything within reason but knowing now what kind of luxury these islands have to offer I feel inspired to work my backside off until I can do it all again but without the backpacker budget.
I stayed in Airlie Beach, Base Hostel. This is simply a stop over place not a ‘go to place’. I wasn’t a fan if I’m honest, I know I’m backpacking and where I stay isn’t always going to be great but I expect a the basics especially when you’re paying a little over 30$ a night to stay there. The room was fine, I couldn’t fault it apart from the broken air con but the communal areas were just uncomfortably dirty and the kitchen was rubbish, there was hardly anything to cook/eat with or eat on. I personally wouldn’t recommend staying here, I’ve stayed in Magnums Hostel which is literally down the road and that was much better value for money and experience.
In order to experience one of the best beaches in the world I wanted nothing more than to do it properly, with a tour that suited me. There are tonnes of tours you can choose from with all different price packages and inclusions; red cat adventures, the clipper, cruise Whitsundays and many more. They all have their own personality and very different ‘tour concepts’ I opted for the ‘Cruise Whitsunday’ Camira boat as it’s a catamaran sailing boat with a lovely package included.
This was a one day tour which started at 8AM and returned at around 6PM. This suited me and won my interest as the others seemed to be half day tours.
In the morning on the way over to Whitehaven beach we got unlimited tea coffee & biscuits, soon followed by platters of fruit & chocolate cake, meanwhile we got unlimited free soft drink refreshments.
This is the beautiful Whitehaven beach on Whitsunday island. This was the first stop on the tour. It took around an hour to sail from Airlie Beach to the Whitehaven. We didn’t anchor at the beach front but on the opposite side to go on the ‘Hill Inlet’ look out walk (Where the next few photos are taken)
You have a semi guided tour where the guides lead the way and then let you get on with the rest of your afternoon. I had a few hours here to take photos and take in the most stunning surroundings.
Some Fun Facts
Whitehaven Beach is ranked to be the best beach in Australia and within the top 5 best beaches in the world…
This is actually where Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Men Tell No Tales was filmed!
This is an extremely popular spot for weddings and honeymoons (I mean come on, who wouldn’t)
From the Hill lookout we made our way down to the beach to get our toes in the white chalky sand, the sunshine was stunning and I’m thankful it was such a beautiful day for a wonderful experience. I plodded about the beach as the tide was out but in enough for you to swish your way through the water, I see Water Snails, Lemon Sharks and even Sting Rays – it’s pretty amazing seeing the sea life so close.
We made up the rest of the time by playing volleyball on the beach & attempting to throw and catch a Frisbee, I’d like to think I was resembling a Baywatch personelle running around in a bikini but I don’t think I looked quite as good.
After having the afternoon in the sun I was able to jump back on the boat to the most incredible BBQ buffet possibly ever. This backpacker budget of mine doesn’t stretch far when it comes to eating really food, I’ve been eating bang average food unless I’ve cooked something decent for myself in the hostel but even then we’re limited to what we cook with the bare essentials and no oven. Anyway, there was loads of different meats and fish to choose from and then a fantastic spread of salad, pasta, noodles and other refreshing tasty treats, I can confirm I ate an unbelievable amount just to get my moneys worth.
(I pull it off right?)
The second stop for the day was to go snorkelling..in the ocean..to see part of the Great Barrier Reef, amazing right? Eh well I am petrified of the ocean so the idea wasn’t that appealing but because of all obvious reasons how could I pass the opportunity to swim in this incredible water. The tour guides were extremely easing and helped out so much with reassuring me that I wouldn’t die (HAAA) still crapping myself I kitted myself with a life jacket, flippers and a snorkel, all the gear with no idea. It was just a dream, I am so fascinated by the world as it is but seeing the stunning reef just had the wow factor. All the times I watched Sir David A I was just hearing his voice documenting in my head.
After this we got back on the boat to just sail around the islands before heading back to Airlie Beach, this was lovely and relaxing after a fun filled day, or maybe its the free unlimited bar they have open for the journey home that relaxed me? Either way can you believe it. I had about 6/7 glasses of wine (backpacker at it again) food and drink alone made up for the cost, excluding the once in a lifetime trip
You could either take part in on-board games or have a drink and admire the sun setting, I did a bit of both but the drinking part was my favourite thing to do. When I thought it was over we was presented with MORE food; crackers, dips, cheese & little sausage slices, sorry but I cannot deal with the insane catering on the trip.
Overall the entire day was just fantastic, the staff were all wonderful. The tour was an entire day filled with all of the right ‘things to do’we didn’t miss anything important. The food and drink that was served all day was more than I ever expected and all of that alone was worth every penny and I would highly recommend it for the luxury sailing experience with a mixed crowd of people.
When I booked the Cruise Whitsunday tour, the deal was on special offer and included a return ferry over to Hamilton Island. There wasn’t a tour it was just an independent exploring kind of day but that was preferred as I was able to do what I wanted there when I wanted to do it.
Hamilton island is an expensive fancy island, I would LOVE to go back for a long weekend to dine in some beautiful restaurants, drink in fancy bars and sleep in a luxurious hotel.
I took my own packed lunch so I didn’t get to eat out but there were loads of places to go. I went down to the beach and literally played around like an 8 year old that was curious about everything she picked up. The tide was out so I was able to wonder between the coral and pools of water that was left behind. Little fishes, baby sharks, crabs & water snails were in their natural home space and it was so fun to explore.
I would highly recommend booking up with Cruise Whitsundays if you are solo travelling and want your own space/time, as a couple, friends that want something a little more reserved (not party orientated) and certainly if you’re with your family. That’s the best part that it caters to all. If I was to put my own price on it it would’ve been more than what I paid considering I got a great deal at the time of booking it.
Whitehaven beach wow’d me more than any other place so far, I wouldn’t often do something again for the sake of it but I would certainly go back again and again to show it off to all my friends and family members. I would rate the tour a 10/10 so undoubtedly suggest it to anyone reading this that is considering it.
I hope you enjoyed the post just as much as I did writing about it and experiencing it. I would love to hear your feed back. Have you been before?
Where’s your favourite beach location or island to visit?
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