If you want to get close to some of Australia's much-loved wildlife, then visit Wild Life Hamilton Island at one of the popular Whitsundays resorts where you can cuddle koala bears. Of course, a Whitsundays cruise is almost obligatory – how else are you going to see these majestic islands in all their glory, unless you take a scenic helicopter or seaplane flight that is? Another beautiful sight is Hill Inlet at the northern end of Whitehaven Beach, a cove where the shifts in tide create a stunning swirling effect of the white silica sand and turquoise waters. The best spot to view the technicolour display is at Tongue Point on Whitsunday Island.
You couldn’t ask for a better diving destination than the Whitsundays. The collection of 74 islands provides the perfect setting, with crystal clear water, diverse marine life, and interesting reef formations to discover.
Some beaches allow you to walk straight from the sand and into beautiful coral gardens, while other sites require a two-hour boat ride. Dive with a qualified guide and instructor to make the most of your trip and check out famous sights like Blue Pearl Bay and the Stepping Stones.
Conway National Park is a large section of tropical lowland rainforest on the mainland of the Whitsunday region. There is a ton of activities for visitors to enjoy and the views are something special.
A number of walking trails guide you through the lush forest to lookout spots such as Mount Rooper and The Beak. These vantage points offer unobscured vistas across the Whitsunday Passage.
The natural wildlife will enchant you along the way. Keep an eye out for rock wallabies, leaf-tail geckos, and buff-breasted paradise kingfishers.
You can also pack a picnic with the family and head out to Cedar Creek Falls, a secluded natural rock amphitheatre. The perfect playground for swimming, it comes complete with a cascading waterfall and an abundance of natural flora and fauna to explore.
There are several iconic spots along the magnificent Great Barrier Reef, though none are more recognisable than Heart Reef, a beautiful composition of coral that naturally formed in the shape of a love heart. While scuba diving and snorkelling are fine ways to get up close to the reef and its native marine life, this one calls for a bird’s eye view.
In fact, due to its protection regulations, boats are not allowed to stop near Heart Reef. So find yourself a seaplane or helicopter and take to the skies. Those with a keen eye should be on the look out for the many turtles that call this area their home. A place for romantics and those with an interest in marine biology alike, this site is bound to take your breath away.
Picture the most idyllic beach of your dreams. Now buy a ticket and go there, because it actually exists. Whitehaven Beach is seven kilometres of fine, white silica sand.
At the northern end of Whitehaven is Hill Inlet – a small cove where gossamer wisps of sand swirl together with the turquoise water. Pop the shoes off here because you’ll want to dip a toe in.
Many charter boats offer day tours but if you have the technical know-how to navigate your own way there, it’s nice to be able to see things at your own pace. Drop anchor for the night or even camp out on the sand underneath uninterrupted starry skies.
The dramatic landscape of Hamilton Island lends itself perfectly to a scenic golf course. Designed by Peter Thomson, the course features two starkly different sets of nine holes built around the island’s natural topography. The breeze varies greatly, providing a constant challenge for players.
The Hamilton Island Golf Club maintains a consciousness beyond mere recreation. All activities and maintenance are geared towards protecting the Great Barrier Reef environment through minimising waste, soil disturbance, and silt run-off.
For guests, the views from each hole take in hidden coves and beaches, as well as islands further afield. If you’re having a bad round, at least you’ll be doing so in beautiful surrounds.