A Great Slice of Australia -The Whitsunday’s & the Great Barrier Reef
Australia is simply too large a country & continent to be seen in one visit, unless you have unlimited time & resources. Think of Australia as a large pie. You eat it a slice at a time.
Airlie Beach, an Australian resort town on Queensland's Whitsunday Coast, is a gateway to the Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef. When I visited this past year, I felt as if Airlie Beach was on the verge of change. Yes, it still has the laid- back hippy feel but the new luxury accommodations are a sure sign.
I spent 3 NTS in Airlie beach boating, snorkeling, diving & flying. Day 1 -Whitehaven Beach, called one of the world’s best beaches, is stunning.
Day 2 -The seas were a bit ruff for the one- hour boat ride out to a reef platform. I barely escaped seasickness but diving on the Great Barrier Reef made up for bumpy ride. OK, I just did a shallow dive with a master but it was very cool. Day 3- I had the opportunity to fly over the Great Barrier Reef in a seaplane. No, you cannot land on Heart Reef but it is breathtaking to see from on high.
Then I flew to Hamilton Island, one of the islands of the Whitsundays close to the reef, for a couple of nights. Most of this car-free island, still covered in bush, offers an excellent opportunity for wild life viewing. We spotted koalas, kangaroos, wallabies. A beautiful place to visit & explore but exclusive. Be prepared to spend.
Explore Eastern Australia via Escorted tour or Self Drive with the attached itinerary. If you have more time add another 3 nights Sydney onto the beginning. You can decompress from the long flight & have time to explore this amazing city.