Roughly two thirds of the way up the Bruce Highway between Brisbane and Cairns is the town of Airlie Beach. The town has a bit of a backpacker / party feel to it, but it is a popular destination because it is the gateway to the Whitsundays…a group of 70 odd islands sitting between the mainland and the Great Barrier Reef.
With only 2 days to see the Whitsundays we decided to prioritise with a day on Whitehaven Beach and a day on Hamilton Island.
Whitehaven Beach is an unspoilt and undeveloped stretch of white sand. The 99% pure silica sand is so white that it remains cool underfoot as it reflects the heat of the sun.
The beach is fringed by forests that are the home to huge lizards that have the unnerving habit of appearing beside you as you are relaxing. There are also lots spiders and seabirds around.
We then visited the more exclusive Hamilton Island.
This island is unusual in that the best way to get around is on one of the hundreds of golf buggies hired out by the day or by the hour.
The Whitsundays are an absolutely beautiful group of islands and, whilst a visit will make a dent in your budget, it is well worth it.