If you take advantage of a helicopter ride while enjoying the Whitsunday Islands, you are in for a treat. A colour palette of aqua, indigo, yellow, green and fiery coral enlivens your senses. The Great Barrier Reef shelters the islands making this area a sailor’s dream destination.
Queensland’s coastal jewels
74 tropical islands make up the archipelago, just off Australia’s Queensland coast. Obviously, these wonderful holiday islands are ideal for swimming and sailing. Also, have a go at snorkelling while you anchor in a secluded bay or just relax on one of the many sandy beaches. Notable islands in the Whitsunday Islands group are Hamilton, Hayman, Hook, and Dent. Additionally, the Whitsunday Islands boasts the fabulous Whitehaven Beach.
Captain Cook believed that he discovered a sea passage on the Feast of Whitsun (Pentecost). The day falls seven Sundays after Easter. There were no International Date Line calculations at the time. In reality, it was Whit Monday because of the time difference. Consequently, he named the area “Whitsunday Islands Passage” in his HMS Endeavour journal.
Hamilton Island is the sailing and holiday hub of the Whitsundays. It has an airport, shops, and excellent restaurants. Additionally there are lively bars and even a small zoo. Therefore, it’s no surprise that it is the go-to sailing and holiday destination for Australians and visitors from all over the world. Accommodation is on offer from the height of luxury to the more affordable – including on a yacht. Also, every type of watersport is here; sailing, kayaking, snorkelling, and jet skiing. Plus, of course, the perfect opportunity to dive the Great Barrier Reef.
A long and vibrant marine history plus superb facilities make Hamilton one of the finest sailing destinations in the world. Consequently, it is no surprise that it is host to Australia’s biggest offshore yachting regatta. Notably, Hamilton Island Annual Race Week is what Australian’s would refer to as “A biggie”.
Hamilton Island Yacht Club
Hamilton Island Yacht Club has stunning panoramic views. The “yachties’s” clubhouse roof is a masterpiece, designed to look like a boat in full sail. There is a famous pub called “The Barefoot Bar” right next door. A perfect spot for those who are looking for a casual “after sailing beer”, straight off the boat.
Hamilton Island Marina
The marina sits next to the Yacht Club. It is the perfect spot to base yourself or start from when exploring the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef. There are 205 berths, catering for every type of vessel from a small yacht to a superyacht. The marina offers protection in bad weather, and the facilities are first-class. Sailing is one of the things that Australians do best.
British Open winner Peter Thomson designed Hamilton Island Golf Club. The course and clubhouse are on a dedicated small island, a short boat ride from Hamilton. It is an18-hole, par 71, championship course with unbeatable sea views.
The best resort on Earth
Condé Nast Traveler labelled the Qualia Hotel on Hamilton Island “the best resort on Earth”. Apart from an incredible spa, you can even have sailing lessons with a former world champion at this hotel. Qualia is the host of the island’s sailing race week.
Exploring Whitehaven Beach is top of the holiday to do list. In TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice Award results, Whitehaven was Australia’s Number 1 beach. It’s a 30-minute boat trip from Hamilton Island but well worth the effort. Seven kilometres of pure white sand await you. Geologists aren’t quite sure how it became so pure and clean. Also, it doesn’t retain heat, so you can walk barefoot along the beach no matter how hot the sun.
Romantic Heart Reef
In a small part of the Great Barrier Reef, the coral forms the shape of a large love heart. Surprisingly, this is a natural phenomenon. If you choose to take a seaplane trip to view it, you can also land in the nearby waters and snorkel the reef straight from your aeroplane seat. We don’t know anywhere else in the world which offers you that kind of half day trip!