After Fraser Island, I was really excited to finally get to see the Whitsundays Islands, because they are to most a really important part of their East Coast journey and I had heard so many things about them.
They are actually 74 islands all in all, but only three of them are normally visited by tourists. These three islands offer amazing beaches and perfect places to snorkel, since they make part of the Great Barrier Reef. But the most important reason why people go there is “Whitehaven Beach” on the biggest island, “Whitsunday Island”, after which the group of islands is called. This beach has, believe it or not, the purest sand in the world: It comes freshly out of a volcano under water and is therefore as white as snow. My skin became softer and my hair silky when I washed it with the sand. I told Lotte, the Dutch girl from my group on Fraser Island and who I met on the Whitsunday tour again, that I had been told that the sand even whitens your teeth. She then brushed them with it, and it was disgusting – at least I had something to laugh!
What I also liked about the tour was the place where we spent most of our time: Not in hostels (because there are no on the islands), but on a sailing boat! There are actually many different choices of companies and the boats all have their own kind of atmosphere. There is a party boat, a calm boat and many more. I was on an ecological boat and only stayed for two days and one night, whereas the others usually take two nights. I initially wanted to stay longer, but to get the best boat I should have booked many more weeks in advance. Unfortunately, Australia doesn’t work like other holiday destinations: You cannot always book spontaneously, because everything will be sold out. Many backpackers I met didn’t get any sailing boat anymore.
The crew (three young Australian and Kiwi guys) was really friendly and helpful, food was included and sooo tasty and it never got boring on the boat because there were lots of opportunities: Sunbathing, going for a swim, snorkelling (A-MA-ZING! Never in my life I swam within so many fishes!), chatting with the other boat guests or just chilling downstairs in the cabins. We could feel really honoured, because the staff members told us that we were the best group of people they’ve ever had! I just hope they don’t always say that. 😉
Before and after the trip I spent a night in the small town of Airlie Beach, which is the departure point for the islands. I hadn’t actually heard too much about the city and was surprised about how nice it was! It reminded me somehow of South France, with lots of small cute shops and restaurants. The coastline – again – looked just amazing, although you cannot go swimming in the water because of small dangerous jelly fishes.