The Roadtrip Series: live your dreamy island getaway fantasy at The Whitsundays
Have you ever caught yourself scrolling through Instagram and been totally mesmerised by (and extremely jealous of) someone else’s holiday? Of course you have – it’s only natural to see pictures of dreamy sunsets, pristine water and hidden beaches and feel the all-too-familiar pang of FOMO. While an island escape may seem a bit out of reach in both distance and budget, we’re here to let you in on a secret – it’s closer than you think. The Whitsundays should be next on your wanderlust bucket list – we’ve done a bit of research to pick out the must-dos and hidden gems in the area that will have you itching to get on a flight.
When it comes to The Whitsundays, Hamilton Island is an absolute cracker of a destination – base yourself here to enjoy everything from sights to sports and maximum chill vibes. Be sure to pack your best plaid pants for a round at the Hamilton Island Golf Club, where the views and the course are both on par (get it?) for being some of the best in the world (even if you’re no Tiger Woods). Anyone who is keen to go all-out on relaxation mode best book a session at Spa wumurdaylin, a sweet escape that offers a range of treatments using all natural Australian products. Bommie Deck is the best place to go for brews with a vista that will necessitate many photos of you and your mates clinking glasses, and you can visit the Hamilton Island Art Gallery to take in some local works. To top things off, if you stay at any of the Hamilton Island-owned accommodation you can take advantage of catamarans, kayaks, windsurfers or paddleboards from the beach hut on Catseye Beach – for free!
Oh, beautiful Whitehaven Beach. This is the sort of place that almost doesn’t look real – imaging sinking your feet into the most soft and pristine white sand (98 per cent pure white silica, to be exact) while azure waters lap at the shoreline. Heaven, no? The beach is just 30 minutes from Hamilton Island on a speedy catamaran and once you get there you might have a hard time wanting to do anything other than laze around. For the more proactive amongst us, it’s well worth scaling the lookout at Tongue Point, go paddling in the shallows for some turtle spotting, or even mosey on up to the lookout across Hill Inlet to catch a sunset.
If you are indecisive and fear commitment, Long Island is the place for you! This pint-sized slice of paradise has just one accommodation option in the form of the Palm Bay Resort, so that cancels out any heartache over making the wrong choice. The island is also the perfect place for lovers of the natural life, boasting a whopping 13 km of walking trails that wind through the national park. There are plenty of secluded pockets and bays, plus expansive coral fringing reefs that will put on a show for those keen on a swim or snorkel.
Can’t bear to part with civilisation but still crave those island vibes? Airlie Beach is the way to go, acting as halfway point between total seclusion and a bustling beachside escape. Turns out there’s actually a thriving foodie scene at Airlie – from mouth-watering fresh seafood to authentic Italian and even vegan feasts, you certainly won’t go hungry. Weekends are a great place to be by the seaside because you can catch the Airlie Beach Markets on the esplanade every Sunday –nab yourself some bargains and chat to the super-friendly locals. It goes without saying that the beaches and bays are second to none but if sand isn’t your jam, take the trip to Cedar Creek Falls for a refreshing dip in the lush rockpools – it’s a bit of a walk but extremely worth it.
This post was created with our good friends at BOQ. All images are courtesy of Tourism and Events Queensland.