The World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest coral reef comprised of 3,000 individual reefs and coral islands along 1400 miles of the Queensland coast. It's the only living organism that can be seen from space and is home to a myriad of sea creatures including dolphins, turtles, dugongs and more than 1,500 species of fish.
These beautiful locations can best be compared to jewels in a crown, the crown that is the Great Barrier Reef. While the entire reef is truly remarkable in itself, the jewels below are simply stunning. Make sure you find time to visit them on your trip, you’ll truly be amazed.
Heart Reef, in the Great Barrier Reef of the Whitsundays, is a stunning composition of coral that has naturally been formed into the shape of a heart. Located in Hardy Reef, Heart Reef can best be experienced from the sky by helicopter or seaplane. Many tour companies will combine this with other breathtaking spots in the Whitsundays, including Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet.
Hill Inlet in the Whitsundays is a stunning inlet located at the northern end of Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays. As the tie shifts, the golden sand and blue hues of the inlet blend seamlessly to create a breathtaking mosaic. Hill Inlet can best be viewed by from the lookout on Whitsunday Island. Most people moor their boats in Tongue Bay, take a dingy ashore and make the short walk to the lookout for the breathtaking views. If possible, try to reach the lookout when the tide is changing to fully experience the beautiful fusion of colors that emerge.
Whitehaven Beach is a pristine beach on Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays. Whitehaven Beach stretches over six kilometers and boasts brilliant silica sand that is among the purest in the world. Sink your feet into the sand and wade into the warm waves that gently crash against the shore and you'll soon realize why people go there from all over.
Islands of the Great Barrier Reef
There are literally hundreds of islands along the Great Barrier Reef, and 74 of those are in the Whitsundays alone! Make sure to take time to visit as many as you can and be sure not to miss some of the coral cays where you can try reef walking.
Outstanding in every respect, the unique pleasures of Voyages Lizard Island have created an idyllic retreat second to none. One of Australia's northernmost resorts, Lizard is located right on the spectacular Great Barrier Reef, fringed with colorful coral reefs and 24 powdery white beaches. It is little wonder that this tranquil escape has won a host of prestigious national and international awards for excellence. Lizard truly is one of a kind.
Perfectly situated in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, nestled among the Whitsunday Islands, Hamilton Island offers an experience like no other: glorious weather, azure waters, brilliant beaches, awe-inspiring coral reefs, fascinating flora and fauna, fine food and wines, and activities almost too numerous to mention.
With a wide range of restaurants, bars, takeaways, boutiques and shops plus a commercial marina, sports complex and chapel (Could there be a more perfect place to say "I do"?) - not to mention 12 miles of bushwalking trails - Hamilton has it all. Whether you’re looking for action, relaxation, romance or a fun family getaway, it’s all there in abundance, with new experiences and adventures waiting around every corner.
Beautifully situated in the magnificent Great Barrier Reef, Hayman is Australia's most celebrated private island destination. The most northerly island of the Whitsundays Group, Hayman invites guests into a world of privacy, luxury, relaxation, fine wines, abundant dining and breathtaking scenery. A member of The Leading Hotels of the World, this idyllic retreat has won a host of prestigious local and international awards.
Daydream Island Resort and Spa is a small but dynamic resort located in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. Nestled among the Whitsunday Islands, it offers affordable luxury for couples and families alike. Its natural attributes - secluded beaches, azure waters and stunning rainforest - are complimented by a diverse range of fun-filled holiday activities, magical dining experiences and contemporary facilities, including a world-class rejuvenation day spa.
Heron Island is a true coral cay, located right on the Great Barrier Reef. A place of stunning natural beauty, it has sugar-white sands, crystal clear waters and acres of brilliant coral with colorful marine life. At this World Heritage-listed marine national park, all flora and fauna is protected, so the island is a nature lover's paradise, where the emphasis is on enjoying natural beauty. Stress is replaced by a sense of adventure, and your days are filled with discovery.
Thala Beach - An Island on the Mainland!
Located an hour’s drive north of Cairns, this family operated eco-luxury resort sits spectacularly atop a headland, with breathtaking views of untouched coastline. An island on the mainland! Bungalows are built on stilts up in the treetops and birds and possums are regular visitors on the balconies. A short hike through the rainforest takes you down to the resort’s secluded beach and a coconut plantation.
Expanding 86 million acres, the World-Heritage Listed coral reef system, the largest of its kind, is a magical backdrop to immerse yourself in all the Islands have to offer. Meander your way through the islands by catamaran, ocean-kayak to a secluded beach for a picnic lunch, or bushwalk to an island peak and witness the breathtaking views of your surrounds.
From the exclusivity and luxury of five-star resorts to a ‘back-to-nature’ style of designer-inspired safari tents, the diverse array of islands will compliment your very own Great Barrier Reef experience. Whether you choose ecological appreciation, world-class luxury, seclusion, adventure or complete relaxation, there are over 25 island resorts to suit your every holiday desire!