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The Whitsunday Islands consists out of 74 pristine white islands with excellent shallow coral reefs, cruises of all kinds and superb snorkeling and diving.
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The Whitsunday's, named by James Cook in 1770, is definitely one of the most beautiful places in Australia. Multiple day sailing trips, superb scuba diving and Whitehaven beach are just a few highlights that bring memories to travelers around the world. Most of the 74 tropical islands, grouped by the Whitsunday Group, Lindeman Group, Molle Group and Northern Group, are uninhabited and can only be visited on tours or overnight camping trips. Hamilton Island and Dent Island are privately owned and the most developed islands in the Whitsundays. There are travel agencies, tour operators, banks and plenty of resorts, bungalows and other tourist facilities. Long Island is covered in rainforest offering pristine bays such as Peppers Palm Bay, Happy Bay and Paradise Bay. Hook Island is the second largest island in the Whitsundays with a small resort and reef observatory in the south. The privately owned Hayman Island is expensive but one of the best spots for exploring the outer barrier reef. Other popular islands include the small Daydream Island with its wedding chapel, Carlisle Island with its 1000 year old Melaleuca Forest, Brampton Island, South Molle Island and Lindeman Island.
The groups of islands are located between Mackay and Townsville, easily reached from Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour, and often visited by tourists on organized boat charters or tours. There are crocodile safaris, scenic helicopter flights, cruises of all sorts and sizes and private boat and yacht rental. Whitehaven Beach is a 4 kilometer long pure-white sandy beach, probably one of the whitest you have ever seen. The water is clean, warm and makes for a great picnick, swim or sunbathing spot. Excellent views on Whitehaven Beach can be found at Tongue Point and Hill Inlet. Inland hiking is very popular with hikes towards its highest point Passage Peak or towards Reef View. Visit Whitsundays accommodation for more information about places to stay in the neighbourhood.
The Whitsunday Islands are surrounded by picturesque bays, white secluded beaches and pristine reefs all offering excellent dive sites ranging from shallow coral reefs to steep wall diving. Situated in the center of the Great Barrier Reef, it is also possible to visit the outer reefs such as Oublier Reef and Knuckle Reef, diving in waters with even more visibility and marine life. Snorkeling, diving, swimming and beaching are the reasons one should visit this astonishing place.
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