In June I was lucky enough to be able to spend it sailing around the Whitsundays Islands with my boyfriend & my family. What made it even better was that it coincided with my birthday (23 in case you were wondering, eeek).
Whitsundays Day 1
We arrived in Airlie Beach at lunchtime and went to the Explore Whitsundays office on the Esplanade. To check in, we presented our vouchers (which we had purchased through OzIntro) and put our details including dietary requirements into their iPad check in system. They also offer luggage storage for $10 pp in a secured room that only staff have access to. We had to meet at Denman Cellars at the Airlie Beach Marina at 2:30pm ready to board the boat at 3pm.
The boat capacity is 12 passengers + 2 crew but there were only 10 passengers on our boat which I think gave everyone more room to move around. As it is winter, the suns sets really early so as we were sailing towards Hook Passage, we had beautiful views of the sunset from 5pm and it was dark by 6pm. It got cold pretty quick so we changed into warmer clothes and had dinner. It was a really great ending to my birthday and we had an early night ready for the next day.
Dinner: As we only boarded at 3pm, we just had dinner on day 1. Dinner was curry, rice & salad with cheesecake for dessert!
Whitsundays Day 2
It was an early start with the engines turning on at 5:30am and we made way to Whitehaven Beach. As we were going to be on Whitehaven Beach for a few hours with no food available, we were told that if we thought we might get hungry then we should take some with us. I took crisps as obviously that is a really nutritious morning snack.
Whitehaven Beach is the most picture-perfect, beautiful place I have ever seen. We arrived in Tongue Bay at 7:30am before all of the crowds arrived and did the coastal walk. The Hill-Inlet lookout point across the water was amazing. We had arrived at high tide but were leaving at low tide so we got to see the water in both instances. I felt really emotional as Whitehaven was the beach I had fallen in love with on Instagram before we had even arrived so to finally see it in real life was something else!
The sand is so white and pure that is 98% silica and doesn’t retain heat. This means the sand is always cool, even on a boiling hot day, it can even clean jewellery. It is so fine that it ruins phones/electronics. You can see more photos on my Instagram @mybexcapades. The water looked clear enough to drink and the depth of colours really were something to behold. My skin even looked tanned in comparison which for those of you who have been following along for a while know that it’s no mean feat!
When the low tide started, we got back on the boat and went to Mantaray Bay to do some snorkelling. There was a giant fish that the crew had lovingly called George that came right up to our boat. It was a really hot day at 27 Celsius despite being the height of winter so it was the perfect conditions. The water was cool but not cold and fairly smooth. After an hour or so we travelled towards Butterfly Bay and had some lunch before doing a spot of more snorkelling but also getting the toys off the roof. We had kayaks and paddle boards that we could use. First, I got in the kayak with Jack and we paddled to a nearby beach where my brother & dad followed us to.
The water had sections of sky blue and darker blue. We discovered that the darker blue water wasn’t actually deeper water but thousands of small fish. They started jumping out of the water in random moments (or so we thought) until we realised that there were a couple of tiny, baby sharks there! We were actually paddling metres away from sharks! Ok, they might have only been about 15 inches in length but still! There was something I never thought I’d do.
After kayaking back to the boat (and being told that I was not helping paddle so stopping trying at all…) I got on the paddle board and even managed to paddle a little whilst stood up. This is the first time out of three that I’ve managed to paddle without falling off. The paddle board was foam so it was a little more difficult but I managed to just about paddle (though awkwardly) so I felt proud.
The sunset on this night even managed to out-do the day before. We pulled up in an area near the Whitsundays National Park and the colours of the sky were unreal. There was a lot of talking, laughing, drinking and everyone taking 101 photos and I think my memories of the whole day will honestly last a lifetime. We were probably there for about an hour or hour and a half before getting back on the boat and sailing somewhere to dock for the night.
It was a warmer evening than the night before and everyone was chatting and having an altogether chilled time. Dinner was delicious and we had chocolate cake for pudding. We were all comfortable and content and I couldn’t fault one aspect of the day. We went to bed knowing that we had a bit more of a lie-in than the day before.
Breakfast: We had breakfast as we travelled of toast (with a range of spreads), various cereals & fresh fruit (grapes, pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe melons and more). There was also tea and coffee available. Nobody went hungry as there was something for everyone.
Lunch: This was in between Mantaray Bay and Butterfly Bay. We had roast chicken barms (bread rolls) and salad (with coldslaw etc, not just veggies).
Snack: In the late afternoon, we had a selection of crackers and dips as well as a snack board. The snack board had sliced celery, carrots, cheese cubes and other finger foods to choose from. It was a nice addition to the day.
Dinner: Potato salad & spaghetti with chocolate cake for dessert!
Whitsundays Day 3
We had a little bit of a later start today with the engines not turning on until 7:00am. We got the chance to do more kayaking and paddle boarding from 7:30am. You’d be surprised at just how many people were ready for this! After a couple of hours it was time to make our way back to Airlie Beach to arrive by 1pm. Everyone was really settled with everything so it would have been nice if the tour was longer but I still would 100% recommend booking it.
Breakfast: Toast and crumpets (with a range of spreads), various cereals & fresh fruit (grapes, pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe melons and more). There was also tea and coffee available, same as yesterday.
Snack: Nachos with chilli and cheese.