Queensland Backpackers discovers the Whitsundays
The Whitsunday Islands are a collection of continental islands in the South Pacific, just off the central coast of Queensland. Interestingly, the 74 islands are actually the tips of an underwater mountain range that jut out of ocean. The islands are sheltered by the Great Barrier Reef, so there are no harsh waves, dangerous currents, or deadly undertows. Many of the beaches are conveniently secluded, so you won’t have to fight hoards of tourists for a prime spot at the beach. There are accommodations available to suit every budget, from world-class, five-star resorts to basic hostels for youth backpackers. While in The Whitsundays, don’t miss out on the best experiences the island has to offer.
Go sailing: The waters around the Whitsunday Islands are every sailor’s paradise. As previously mentioned, the islands are sheltered by the Great Barrier Reef, so the waters are calm and serene. If you don’t know how to sail, this is a great place to learn. Take a few lessons and hop onto a boat.
Dive in the Great Barrier Reef: The world’s largest living structure and reportedly the only living organism visible from outer space, the Great Barrier Reef is truly an astonishing site. It’s the world’s largest coral reef system, composed of an impressive 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands stretching over a staggering 2,600 kilometers. Named a World Heritage Site in 1981, it is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The diversity of wildlife in the reef is astounding. The reefs support thirty species of whales, dolphins, and porpoise, over 1,500 species of fish, seventeen species of sea snake, six species of sea turtle, and saltwater crocodiles, as well as many endangered species. The Whitsunday Islands are the perfect jumping off point for those wishing to explore the Great Barrier Reef. Take a boat tour or, if you’re feeling adventurous, go scuba diving.
Lounge in the sand at Whitehaven: Whitehaven is frequently listed among the best beaches in the world. What’s so special about this heavenly slice of beach? Well, it’s all about the sand. It is 98 percent silica, making in a fine talcum powder that’s incredibly soft to the touch. It is also ultra reflective, oftentimes blindingly so. However, because the sand reflects the sunlight, and doesn’t absorb it, it is always cool to the touch, even on the hottest of days.