Today we went on a boat tour of the Whitsunday Islands. We went with a company called Ocean Rafting, which had really cheesy marketing photos, but a good reputation. Even though they use regular boats, they decorate them to look like rafts. I don’t really get it, but the tour was very good.
First we went snorkeling off of Border Island. The viz wasn’t really great (maybe about ten feet), but there was some nice coral and neon-colored fish. There were also tons of jellyfish! Luckily they were a harmless variety because we didn’t want to pay extra to wear stinger suits. We didn’t rent an underwater camera, either, because we’re diving in the Great Barrier Reef later this week and I think we’ll see more out there.
After about an hour, we went over to Whitsunday Island and walked up to the Hill Inlet Lookout. The view was incredible! They say that Whitehaven Beach is the most photographed beach in the world. I’m not sure if that’s true, but after seeing it myself, it wouldn’t surprise me too much. The water was bright blue and the sand is so white, it almost hurts your eyes to look at it in the sunlight. It’s that bright because it’s 98% silica. From the lookout we could also see tons of stingrays swimming around.
Once we were done taking pictures, we went down to Whitehaven Beach to fight off the seagulls and have a picnic in the shade. After lunch we relaxed, swam, and went for a walk. The best part was the sand itself. As soon as we jumped off the boat, Brad and I both said something about how soft the sand is. It almost feels like powder. It really is a gorgeous beach. The only drawback is that Whitehaven is definitely not a deserted beach. I’d say there were over 150 other people there. They allow a small number of people to camp there each night, which is probably the only way to see it empty.
On the ride back, Brad sat on one of the edge seats up on the “raft” itself, where he had to hold on to a rope to stay in. The swells were huge and the boat was practically bouncing up off the water. I was afraid he was going to fall out, but he had a great time getting splashed and tossed around.
Anyway, definitely check out the pictures Brad took today, because they are awesome!