The World of Whitsundays: Above & Underwater

Whitehaven beachDuring my mid-semester break, I joined my friends Fanny and Henrik on their tropical Queensland adventures. We met up in Airlie Beach, a typical Aussie backpacker haven lined with bumpin’ bars, to embark on a 3-day-2-night Whitsundays sailing adventure.

The Whitsundays are a group of 90 continental islands situated off the coast of central Queensland. As their small mountain tips peak up from the Coral Sea and happy fish live among the coral underneath, they provide an excellent opportunity for adventures both on land and underwater.

Sixty or so tour companies run day-trips and longer tours around the Whitsunday Islands, so finding something to cater your interests won’t be hard. If you have a flexible schedule, here is a tip: don’t book ahead of time. Show up at Airlie Beach and ask around if there are any discounted spots available on trips leaving in a day or so. Chances are you’ll find something easily. We found three spots on the SV Whitehaven ecotour, and we reckon we saved a good chunk of money by not booking ahead of time.

Now that the logistics are out of the way, here’s the fun part: our tour provided us three opportunities to snorkel at different reefs, a visit to the Whitehaven Beach, kayaking in the open waters, bushwalking the islands, and plenty of time to tan aboard (if the weather cooperated). That sounds like a great trip, doesn’t it?

It looks good too…

SV Whitehavan
Say hello to our home for three days: SV Whitehaven. Even though it’s a “sailboat” it’s run on an engine, which can be annoying if you are trying to sleep in the cabins below.

She even looks pretty in black-and-white under cloudy skies.

If the sun is shining, you have no reason not to sprawl out on the deck and work on a tan that’ll make the sailboat crew look bad.

Welcome to Whitehaven Beach. It’s named after the fine, white sand. This was definitely one of my highlights on the trip.

Whitsunday Islands
One can argue that the Whitsunday islands are prettier underwater than above it. Luckily, we got plenty of chances to explore the marine life beneath the big blue sea.

If you are thinking of doing a Whitsundays sailing trip, here are some tips:

– As mentioned before, if you are flexible, don’t book ahead of time.
– Unless you were a pirate in your previous life, there are chances you will get at least a little bit sick sea. Don’t be a hero like me, and buy some sea sickness pills so that you enjoy your trip to the fullest.
– If you go during stinger season, you’ll have to wear a stinger suit in the water. ALL THE TIME.
– As painful as it’s gonna be getting out of bed, try and get up for the sunrises. It’ll be so worth the struggle! You can always go back to bed later.


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