These tiny islands dotted around perfect turquoise colored waters are a popular getaway for most Australians. We jumped aboard the 26 passenger Illusions yacht for a day trip from Airlie Beach and sailed the (slightly rough) blue seas.
Sailing is by far the most popular and only activity in this region, with the best snorkeling in Blue Pearl Bay and perfect picnic spots on the gorgeous Whitehaven Beach. Be sure you ask the travel agent about the food on the boat, number of people and cabin space before you book – some companies have been known to pack on 75 people onto one boat which could not be fun on the rough seas. Diving is not recommended since the deepest depths are 10 meters and you can definitely snorkel and see the same beautiful corals and tons of exotic fish! It was definitely beautiful, but overpriced and slightly over-hyped as well. We’ve seen a lot of beaches in the last few months since we’ve been traveling, and although these were pristine, we can honestly say that we’ve seen comparable or better elsewhere.
If you are keen, there are limited camping sites on a few of the Whitsunday Islands, but be sure to book in advance and shell out about $120 per person. Overall, sailing the Whitsundays is always rated as a “must do” for most who visit the east coast of Australia, but if you have traveled extensively, you won’t miss much if you skip this expensive and slightly over-rated excursion.