It’s just not possible to head to Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays without a bucket list of things you must do. This is our top 5 things on the must do list, why not create your own?
1. Whitehaven Beach
voted Australia’s most beautiful beach and definitely one of the most well-known beaches in the world. The first time I ever step foot onto Whitehaven Beach I was in ore. The water was such a beautiful aqua colour and the sand, I could not believe how fine it was, how white it was and the fact that it was not burning my feet (like you experience at most other beaches). Such an amazing place and it was right on my door step. Now after living here for 16 years, I still have that same feeling.
When you are in the Whitsundays, this should be on the top of everyone’s bucket list of things to do.
2. Scenic flights
Over the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands – A great way to see this amazing part of our country in all its glory. Flying over the Great Barrier Reef including Heart Reef for the first time I felt like I was in a dream, the crystal clear waters, the reef, the islands, Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet. If you are really adventurous, you could also try sky diving in Airlie Beach. The only thing I can say is wow, when I can I do it again!
3. The Living Reef Lagoon on Daydream Island
This is one of the world’s largest man-made living coral reef lagoons and features more than 140 species of marine fish and 83 species of coral. Every day at 10am the Living Reef staff and marine biologists do a public fish feeding display; where they hand-feed the stingrays and manta-rays. This is a must see and it pays off to get in early so you get a good seat up close.
If you want to feel like you are youngster again, you must do the private fish feeding tour when you are on the Island. This includes a guided tour of the reef lagoons where you get to hand feed the stingrays and manta-rays + hold a baby shark (they feel like sand paper to touch).
My first snorkel experience was at Blue Pearl Bay and is something I will never forget. Heading out with my new found friends on the trip with snorkel, fins and mask on I only had to look under my feet to see the marvel of the Inner reef. Fish everywhere, hundreds could be seen at any one time against the backdrop of the coloured coral bed.
Before we knew it we were out a little deeper and were surprised by 3 or 4 sea turtles
passing through. They certainly didn’t seem to be in much of a hurry, as we tagged along behind them for quite some time following them out until they quickly pointed there nose down and slowly drifted out of sight.
I have been snorkelling many times since that first time at Blue Pearl Bay including some of the other great snorkelling areas not far from Airlie Beach by boat but it will always be Blue Pearl Bay where I swam with the Sea Turtles.
5. Cedar Creek Falls
A short 30 minute drive from Airlie Beach on Saltwater Creek Road, off Conway Beach Road. These waterfalls are spectacular in the wet season and offer a year-round natural swimming pool at the base of the falls. They are set in a natural rock amphitheatre. The flora and fauna will amaze you, particularly the strangler figs, red and white cedars and wild orchids. On a good day you may even spot a few turtles swimming around too.
You will need a car to get to this beautiful location or you can join a guided Rainforest tour!