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Australia Part 2 | Whitsunday Islands

WhitsundaysHappy Friday and welcome to part two of four of my Australian adventures!

My second destination in Australia was Hamilton Island, the largest inhabited island in the grouping of islands called the Whitsunday Islands. The Whitsundays are located off the east coast of Australia, 560 miles north of Brisbane. The views flying into the islands were stunning and Hamilton Island is the commercial center of the islands with the only  airport. My main reason for visiting the Whitsundays was their proximity to the Great Barrier Reef. What I found there was stunning, relaxing, beauty, clear azure water, breathtaking coral reefs and gorgeous white sand beaches. I can see why they promote it as the best place in the world to work. Again, I left my DSLR at home and all the photos here were taken with my iPhone 5 or Fuji X-100S. Here is my visual synopsis…

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ws16Here are a few highlights from the my Whitsundays adventure:

Reef View Hotel –  There are several places you can stay on Hamilton Island  from the resorts to the beach bungalows to the private villas. We stayed at at the Reef View Hotel. We had a lovely room with an amazing view of the Coral Sea and nearby Whitsunday Island.  The hotel has a shuttle that can take you around to all the various locations, but you can walk to most locations in a short time. The island is only 1.9  square miles. The fun part about the resort is that they had catamarans, paddle boards, windsurfers, kayaks and snorkeling equipment that you could check out. I tried out the stand-up paddle boarding and had a lot of fun with it. There are also tennis courts and some nice hikes on the island.

Hamilton Island Yacht Club – The building itself is impressive for it’s design. It’s shaped like a sting ray. Take a cruise or boat ride out of the marina for and you’ll get a magnificent view of it’s unique design. We dined at the fine dining restaurant, Bommie, our first evening on the island and it was pricey but delicious.

The Great Barrier Reef – Visiting the Great Barrier Reef was my main reason for visiting the Whitsundays. We booked a full day trip with Cruise Whitsundays. It was about a 2 hour ride out to the reef from Hamilton Island and once we got out to the reef there were all kinds of activities to partake in. We rode in a semi-submersible submarine guided by a marine biologist, we snorkeled freely around the reef and the best part was the scuba dive. There were other guided snorkeling, helicopter tours and massages you could book as well.

Whitehaven Beach – This is a must see if you are in the Whitsundays. It’s the most photographed beach in all of Australia and rightly so, it’s one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever visited. You can access the beach by boat and we took a day cruise there with Cruise Whitsundays.

Sunset cocktails on One Tree Hill – Every evening right before sunset they open up a bar at the top of One Tree Hill (the highest point on the Hamilton Island). You can sip cocktails while watching the sun sink below the horizon.

Stay tuned for part three where I share my Tasmanian adventures complete with Tasmanian Devils and Cradle Mountain next week! Have a wonderful weekend!

(Thank you to my friend Maria, who took the portrait of me taking photos on Whitehaven Beach.)

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