Whitsunday Islands, Queensland, Australia – Heart of The Reef

Published on: July 30, 2015

Whitsundays – Australia, Millionaire Lifestyle Living! The Whitsundays area in North Queensland is an exotic , tropical holiday  destination with all the trappings of a millionaire hideaway, complete with sheltered coves with backdrop of forested mountains and lavish resorts with stunning views. Airlie Beach is the heart of Whitsunday’s area.Having arrived here from Mackay by the […]

Whitsundays – Australia, Millionaire Lifestyle Living!

The Whitsundays area in North Queensland is an exotic , tropical holiday  destination with all the trappings of a millionaire hideaway, complete with sheltered coves with backdrop of forested mountains and lavish resorts with stunning views.

The Great Whitsunday Coast extends from Bowen in the North to Mackay and Sarina in the South and Proserpine in the West. The group of 74 islands (only about 7  of them have tourist resorts) that comprise the Whitsundays group are actually tips of mountains jutting out from the Coral Sea.

Airlie Beach is the heart of Whitsunday’s area.Having arrived here from Mackay by the Greyhound we stayed at an AirBNB home overlooking the pristine Airlie Bay.

Whitsundays, Whitehaven Beach
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Whitsundays, Whitehaven Beach

The town is small and compact enough with all activities, travel agents and restaurants peppered along Shute Harbour Road. Heart of Reef Terminal is probably your starting point when you are coming into town by bus.

Numerous islands, Coral reefs, waterways, mainland forests and dozens of islands provide a range of activities for all. Swim, snorkel, scuba dive, fish, jet ski, wind surf or paddle. Cruise away for a day, overnight or as many days as you like. Get airborne for a breathtaking view. Need more water, jump into the non-tidal, filtered Airlie Lagoon.

Whitsundays, Airlie Beach
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Whitsundays, Airlie Beach

We went for a 3 hour private seaplane tour by Airwhitsunday for a ‘Whitehaven Experience’.  Ranked as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world this beach has a breathtaking stretch of pure silica sands which must been seen to be believed!

It was our first time in a seaplane and we were as excited as a bunch of four year olds!!

Whitsundays, Airlie Beach
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Taking off from Airlie and getting an aerial view of the Reef for the first time was priceless in itself. We were further rewarded by the sights of the azure green waters and the powdered sandy coast of Whitehaven beach where we landed in style onto the water. To top it up we were served champagne and a picnic lunch which was the perfect icing on an already rich cake!!

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We spent the next day just walking along the Shute Harbour Road, swimming in the Airlie Lagoon and having a lazy lunch in one of the restaurants.

Highlights :  Chartered Seaplane to Whitehaven beach, Airlie Beach Lagoon and exploring the Shute Harbour Road, Trekking the Airlie Creek Track.

Whitsundays , Airlie Track
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Practicalities:

Getting there

By road – The Bruce highway takes you North from Brisbane to Rockhampton followed by Sarina, Mackay, Proserpine and Bowen. Airlie beach is off the highway East of Proserpine. Greyhound buses offer great connections both  North bound and South bound. Brisbane to Airlie takes about 19 hours and Mackay is about 2 hours away.

By Air – The Major airports are at Proserpine and on Hamilton Island. There is a smaller airport about 6 kilometers east of town.

By Rail – Queensland Rail offers the Tilt Train or the slower Sunlander from Brisbane and Cairns. Specify Proserpine as the destination if getting to Airlie Beach and  Mackay or Bowen if proceeding elsewhere in the Whitsunday area.

Whitsundays , Airlie Beach
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Whitsundays
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Tips

  • Shute Harbour Road has all the tour operators offices offering last minute deals so shop around for best options.
  • Best way to get here without break in journey is by the Greyhound Bus as it gets you directly into town at the charmingly named ‘Heart of Reef’ Terminal
  • The ‘Whitsundays Transit’ public Bus Service offers connections from Proserpine and Cannonvaley to Airlie Beach and all the way to Shute Harbour. Visit : qconnect.qld.gov.au and www.whitsundaytransit.com.au for more information. Best option if arriving by train or air to Proserpine.
  • cruisewhitsundays.com offers connections from Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour to the off-lying islands – Hamilton Island, Day Dream Island and Long Island. The cruise company offers coach transfers from the airport to connect with the onward ferry trip.

 

NOTE – THIS POST IS IN A SERIES OF POSTS COVERING OUR AUSTRALIAN BACKPACKING JOURNEY. LAST STOP WAS AT SUNSHINE COAST. NEXT IS CAIRNS.

Whitsundays
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Sailor, Adventurer, Thrill seeker. I am an avid traveler who seeks every opportunity to travel and evolve .

 

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