The Whitsunday Islands, a group of 74 islands, were named in June 1770 by Captain James Cook, the first European to navigate the east coast of Australia. The name derives from the Christian feast celebrated seven weeks after Easter Sunday. However, scholars now believe that Captain Cook miscalculated the date and didn’t arrive on Whit Sunday but on the following Monday. Where there can be no doubt is that Captain Cook was astonished by the beauty of the region. However it took several centuries before tourism really took off. Logging was once the principle activity but now the Islands are firmly on a holiday footing with luxury resorts happy to ensure your visit is perfect.
The Whitsunday Islands enjoy idyllic weather year round. In summer, temperatures reach around 30 degrees, while in winter the mercury rises to 23 degrees during the day. Summers are considerably wetter with the majority of rain falling between January and March.
The Islands host several annual events. In June or July, the Outrigger Cup is a canoeing competition centred around Catseye Beach. In August, the Hamilton Island Race Week is a yachting competition that first raced in 1984 with 93 boats. Today around 250 boats compete.
The following airlines fly from major Australian capitals to Hamilton Island.
Flying from Sydney to Hamilton Island takes about two and a half hours.
Virgin Australia flies from Brisbane to Whitsunday Airport on the mainland between Shute Harbour and Airlie Beach. The flight takes about one and a half hours.
All Inclusive Resorts
Both Hamilton Island and Hayman Island feature all inclusive, luxury accommodation options. On Hamilton Island, qualia is the premium luxury option with a beautiful pool overlooking the Coral Sea. The whole of Hayman Island is privately owned and boasts one of the most exclusive resorts in the archipelago. This is a very special destination resort. View Resort options
A honeymoon on Australia’s tropical heaven is definitely a romantic way to start life together with incredible shared experiences beckoning with open arms. Many resorts cater to honeymooners and will make you feel right at home. View Honeymoon options
To find out more about the range of holiday accommodation available with Travel Associates call 1800 017 849 or enquire online.
Sights to See
The Whitsundays are Australia’s tropical archipelago paradise; how you enjoy this utopia is your choosing. Perhaps you’d appreciate relaxing within the confines of your luxury Hamilton Island or Hayman Island resort. Alternatively, for the more adventurous there’s a plethora of water-based activities including sailing or kayaking that allows you to discover beautiful inlets and pristine beaches. Consider venturing further afield to the Great Barrier Reef for a spot of snorkelling or diving.
The big ticket tourist attraction is Whitehaven Beach, which features almost five kilometres of ultra-fine angelic-white sand. The colour is derived from the high concentration of silica. For a complete view of the beach, take the walk up to the lookout at Tongue Point on Whitsunday Island.
For an aerial view of the smaller reefs, islands and the Great Barrier Reef take a scenic flight. Most charter companies fly at low tide when the views across Whitehaven Beach are best. Some planes land on water, which offers great flexibility when designing your own personalised tour. Perhaps take a scenic flight out to the reef to snorkel amongst the coral that see from the sky.
Don’t Leave Without…
Insect repellent, a hat and sunscreen are essential and you should carry these in your day bag. Aloe Vera gel is good to soothe damaged skin. Sunglasses are essential on Whitehaven Beach.
Things to be careful of…
Apply plenty of sunscreen especially on the back of the legs and neck, if snorkelling.
If hiking in the tropical rainforests, salt is a good method to remove leeches swiftly and easily.
Never swim at unpatrolled beaches.