Located in the middle of the Great Barrier Reef 74 pristine islands make up the Whitsundays with 66 islands being in their natural state and protected for future generations. The majority are uninhabited and are National Park Islands. In order to see this spectacular tropical paradise, I joined a 2-day, 1 night sailing trip on board the Hammer sailing boat with ‘Explore Whitsundays.’ An Australian Yachting legend, the Hammer achieved 5 consecutive placings in the Sydney to Hobart race. However, in its retirement it has had its interior refurbished and is now a fast and sleek sailing boat covering more in two days than most other tours.
In the company of skipper Micko and his Deckies Sean, Richard and Amy we left Abell Point Marina for an amazing sailing trip around the Whitsundays. We headed to Mackerel Bay to snorkel in the secluded, turquoise waters where we were privileged to witness sea turtles. I glided directly over one of these awesome creatures and it ignored me carrying on its graceful swim through the ocean! I also saw an array of rainbow-coloured fish in the tropical waters.
We headed for Esk Island which was a unique secluded location. Swimming from the Hammer to the beach we enjoyed a magical sunset with the silhouette of the Hammer lingering beyond – it is a sight I will never forget.
The next day we sailed towards Tongue Bay eventually arriving at the world-famous Whitehaven Beach. Super fine, baby powder, white sand awaited us. Composed of 98% silica this must be one of the world’s most beautiful beaches and the contrast with the warm, turquoise waters only added to its dream-like quality.
An afternoon on the beach was followed by a hike to hill Inlet where we took a group photo with the beautiful infusion of the white sand and aqua water as a beautiful backdrop.
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