The largest of the 74 Whitsunday group of islands, Whitsunday Island is an absolutely magnificent place to visit, with Whitehaven Beach having the purest white silicon sand in the world. The views across the water and of the surrounding area are so stunningly beautiful that you’ll think you’re dreaming!
There are transfers to Whitsunday Island from Airlie Beach or Hamilton Island, a lot of liveaboards or day trips stop here on the island hopping tour. The trips can be weather dependent so be sure to check the season and conditions before heading here. Transfers start at $105 return trip so finding a day trip might be more cost effective if you’re on a budget.
There are six campgrounds to choose from, the most popular being Whitehaven Beach . Be sure to obtain your permits and pay the fee of $5.30 per person per night before you go. Some companies will hire you all the camping equipment and include return transport so you can experience this fabulous trip without having to buy everything. Camping kits start at $40 for the first night and $20 for each additional night. No dogs or smoking is allowed.
There is a view point you can climb to and get an amazing sight of the island and inlet. Make sure you take plenty of water, sunscreen and insect repellent and know the tides before attempting this hike.
Be sure to take a mask and snorkel with you ask the waters around the island are famous for the vast number of stingrays that inhabit the area. Do not get too close to them though and definitely do not touch them. Always wear a stinger suit while snorkelling due to the jelly fish, you do not want to get stung as this is very painful, if not fatal and getting off the island for medical help can be a problem. Be sure to watch the currents during big tides as they can be very strong.
If you happen to catch a liveaboard or day trip to Whitsunday Island you can do some great diving here. The Gardens is a lovely site with lots of friendly reef fish, colourful coral and a few bigger fish. There are other sites in the surrounding area but tides can affect the currents and visibility considerably.
Be sure to have insurance before you go camping and be aware there is no mobile phone coverage here so you’ll have no contact with the outside world. In case of an emergency, have a satellite phone or look for one of the many boats that are always passing by.
Escape from the world on this gorgeous tropical island, you’ll enjoy every minute of your visit to Whitsunday Island.
(By Kelly Luckman)