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Whitsunday Islands

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A paradise of tropical islands.

The Whitsunday Islands are one of the most popular destinations along the Queensland coast for tourists and as a yachting destination.  Normal 700,000 or so people visit the islands each year.  

The Whitsunday Islands actually consist of 74 islands, with the main ones in terms of tourism being Whitsunday Island itself and Hamilton Island.  

The islands are located off the Queensland coast centered around Airlie Beach. 

Whitsunday Islands National Park (23720070439)
Hill Inlet and Whithaven Beach. "dronepicr, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet

The constantly changing tidal Hill Inlet is one of the most popular photographs of the Whitsundays and Whitsunday Island.

It is also the location of the Whitehaven Beach, seven kilometers of brilliant white sand and crystal blue water.

The Whitsunday Islands

The largest of the islands is the Whitsunday Island itself.  The largest in terms of population and commercial activity is Hamilton Island to the south.  The most northern island is Hayman Island, a private island and well known for its spectacular tourism resort.

All of the islands are the result of long ago volcanic activity and were once a mountain range along the Australian coast.  With the ending of the last ice and raising of sea levels the Whitsundays once again became islands.

The heart reef, part of the Great Barrier Reef near Airlie Beach, Whitsunday Islands, Queensland
Ayanadak123, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Heart reef 

The now famous heart shaped reef on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef can be seen via flights or by experienced boat journey.   

The Whitsundays are on the western edge of the Great Barrier Reef and day tours leave for anchored reef observation pontoons or longer boat tours to the outer reef are also available.