Whitsundays see you in paradise

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                                                                                                                                                                             TOWNSVILLE                        Bay

             QUeenSLAnD                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Hayman Island

                                                                                           see you in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Daydream             Hook Island
                                                                                                                                                                                                             AIRLIE              Island
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            South Molle
                                                                                                                                                                                                             BEACH                            Island
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Shute Harbour

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Cedar Creek
                                                                                                                                                                                                               Falls                            Whitsunday
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Long          Island

                                                                                                                                                                                        Highway 1                                            Hamilton

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Lindeman Island
                                                                                                                                                                                                             NATIONAL PARK
                                                                                                                                                                                 Bloomsbury                                       Cape Conway

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Brampton Island
                                                                                       There are plenty of great value holiday escapes to the
                                                                                       Whitsundays, in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef. From the
                                                                                       Whitsundays coastline stretching from Bowen in the north                  PLACES TO GO …                                      C
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   •		 ruise	the	Great	Barrier	
                                                                                       to Laguna Quays in the south, and 74 tropical islands, most                 V
                                                                                                                                                                 •		 isit	the	Bushman’s	Wildlife	                    Reef
                                                                                       uninhabited, the region has something for everyone from                     Park                                              T
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   •		 our	the	hinterland	
                                                                                       families to independent travellers and couples seeking a                    E
                                                                                                                                                                 •		 xplore	uninhabited	islands                      rainforest
                                                                                       romantic getaway.
                                                                                       It’s one of the most beautiful places on the                                               aquatic playgrounds, the Whitsundays are home
                                                                                       planet and it’s right in our own back yard! With                                           to a huge fleet of boats perfect for exploring the
                                                                                   1   the bustling village of Airlie Beach at its heart,                                         islands and nearby Great Barrier Reef Day tours
                                                                                       the sugar cane town of Proserpine in the west                                              on fast catamarans, famous sailing sloops and
                                                                                       and the World Heritage listed marvel of the Great                                          motor cruisers are available from the islands and
                                                                                       Barrier Reef in the east, the Whitsundays cater                                            Airlie Beach.
                                                                                       for all ages and budgets. Airlie’s laid back village                                         Within hours of arriving, you can be exploring
                                                                                       atmosphere thankfully hasn’t been spoiled.                                                   uninhabited islands, walking deserted beaches,
                                                                                       Redeveloped hotels and new self-contained                                                    snorkelling among coral reefs or simply lazing on
                                                                                       apartments combine luxury with spectacular                                                   the boat deck! Some tours have semi-submersible
                                                                                       views over the Coral Sea and islands. In the                                                 vessels which allow you to look at the coral and
                                                                                       centre of town, a huge man-made swimming                                                     teeming fish life without getting your feet wet.
                                                                                       lagoon set in tropical gardens provides year-round                                           Some fully-crewed sailing charters explore remote

      Out of
                                                                                       swimming, and shady spots to stretch out and                                                 bays and reef, with nothing for you to do but relax.
                                                                                       relax. Nearby Bowen is famous for its mangoes,                                               The Whitsundays is world-renowned for its safe
                                                                                       while the fresh produce of the hinterland and                                                sailing conditions, and not surprisingly is home
                                                                                       abundant seafood finds its way to the tables                                                 to the biggest fleet of bareboat charter boats in
                                                                                       of restaurants, both on the islands and coast.                                               the southern hemisphere. After a comprehensive
                                                                                       The main street of Airlie is alive with bars, cafes                                          briefing, you’ll be ready to take the helm and
                                                                                       and al fresco restaurants, offering seafood, Italian, Mediterranean,    explore the islands at your own pace, dropping anchor in any of

     the blue
                                                                                       contemporary Australian, Thai, Greek, Mexican, Indian and some          the secluded island bays. Back on the mainland, there are heaps
 3                                                                                 4   of the best grilled beef steaks in the country. Dining on the islands   of activities for round the clock fun! Airlie has parasailing, tandem
                                                                                       is as diverse as great value buffets, beachfront cafes to five star a   skydiving, jet ski thrill rides, horseriding and even sea kayaking.
                                                                                       la carte and gourmet picnics.                                           Laguna Quays Resort, near Proserpine, boasts one of Australia’s
                                                                                       There are many day tour options available from the coast and islands.   leading resort golf courses. The Whitsundays offers a great value
                                                                                       Popular spots include Langford Reef and Whitehaven Beach, a 6km         escape, for the most active to relaxed holiday breaks. Whether
                                                                                       stretch of white, silica sand. You can tour the hinterland rainforest   you’re travelling independently, as a family or with your partner, the
                                                                                       while the Barefoot Bushman’s Wildlife Park has an amazing crocodile     choices range from motels, self-contained apartments, five-star
                                                                                       show. Keep your eyes open for “salties” on the Proserpine River Eco     island resorts to all-inclusive island getaways.
                                                                                       Tour, which operates an ecological excursion along the wild reaches
                                                                                       of the Proserpine River and the Goorganga Wetlands or explore the
                                                                                       Whitsundays Coast with a local tour operator, taking in the local
                                                                                       beauty spots and history. One of the world’s most spectacular

Photos courtesy of Tourism Queensland   1. Airlie Beach
                                        2. Cedar Falls, near Proserpine
                                        3. Tongue Bay, Whitsunday Island
                                        4. Aussie Adventure Sailing, Whitsundays

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Airlie                                                                                                                                                   Maxi Ragamuffin
Whitsundays Central Reservations                                                                                                                                   If you’re heading to Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays then you
Call for the latest local discounts and most reliable advice on all                                                                                                really should consider a day trip on this spectacular yacht. Maxi
Whitsunday Sailing Trips. Airlie (situated next door                                                                                                     Ragamuffin has won the famous blue water classic – the Sydney
to Hog’s Breath Café, top end of the main street) is famous for                                                                                                    to Hobart Yacht – Race three times.
unbeatable prices and free, unlimited internet – conditions may                                                                                                    This yacht is big, fast comfortable and exhilarating to sail, and since
apply.                                                                                                                                                             1994 Maxi Ragamuffin has been visiting two of the best day trip
You’d have to be crazy to book your Whitsundays sailing trip out                                                                                                   destinations that the Whitsundays has to offer. “Cruise 1” sails to
of town. Only a local can offer the very latest available discounts.                                                                                               Blue Pearl Bay every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday for
Remember, they live there so they know what’s good. And unlike                                                                                                     snorkelling (included) and SCUBA Diving (optional extra). “Cruise 2”
some out-of-town agent or hostel, they are in Airlie Beach to ensure                                                                                               sails to the spectacular sands of Whitehaven Beach every, Thursday
that the trip meets with your expectations.                                                                                                                        and Sunday.
Their trips have to be the best value for money available, so with                                                                                                 Both cruises include courtesy transfers from Airlie Beach to the
over 80 boats to choose from, play safe and call the local discount                                                                                                departure point at Shute Harbour. Also included are morning tea,
specialists.                                                                                                                                                       lunch and afternoon tea as well as all of your snorkelling gear at
                                                                                          Awesome Adventures Oz wraps up all these great activities in an          Blue Pearl Bay.
And don’t forget to tell ’em you saw it in Travel Time for unlimited
                                                                                          easy package that leaves you with enough money to have a good
free internet with your overnight sailing adventure.                                                                                                               The crew on this boat are absolutely terrific. The boat itself and the
                                                                                          time at the bar as well! Designed for backpackers and alternative
Freecall 1800 677 119 or visit                                                                                                                places they sail to are some of the best in the Whitsundays. The
                                                                                          travellers, the packages include trips to the pontoon at Knuckle Reef
                                                                                                                                                                   motto on Maxi Ragamuffin is “Make a great day perfect”.
                                                                                          Lagoon – one of the regions most acclaimed Great Barrier Reef sites,
Awesome Adventures Oz                                                                     sailing adventures onboard ‘Camira’ visiting Whitehaven Beach.           Look for our ad in this feature and call the operator direct to make
The Whitsundays is one of those places where you‘ll have an                                                                                                        a booking, or you can book through just about any travel agency
                                                                                          Party the night away at Airlie Beach or stay at Long Island where
incredible experience with memories to last a lifetime. The picture-                                                                                               or accommodation tour desk. Free call 1800 454 777.
                                                                                          you can chill on a beach hammock or get active and explore the
perfect setting, heaps of other travellers to enjoy the experience                        islands many bush walks. Check out for
with and loads of cool activities to maximise your time in this                                                                                                    Whitsundays Sailing
                                                                                          more info or see your travel agent.
beautiful part of the world. Get excited, you’ll be in for an awesome                                                                                              Quality sailing adventures in the Whitsunday Islands
experience!                                                                               Ocean Rafting                                                            Whitsundays Sailing is dedicated to offering world
                                                                                                                                                                   class, quality live-aboard sailing adventures in the spectacular
Snorkel or dive the Great Barrier Reef, sail the turquoise blue waters                    Each Ocean Rafting day includes a visit to Whitehaven Beach,
                                                                                                                                                                   Whitsunday Islands of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Our
of the Coral Sea that surrounds the Whitsunday Islands, visit famous                      pristine snorkelling reefs and stunning National Park walks. Award
                                                                                                                                                                   vessels are owner-operated resulting in a focus on vessel and crew
Whitehaven Beach and laze the day away on a tropical Island. These                        winning Ocean Rafting has very special permits that allow us to visit
                                                                                                                                                                   standards, fantastic food, personalised service and a truly individual
are all “must do’s” in the Whitsundays.                                                   and snorkel in natural and protected areas within the Great Barrier
                                                                                                                                                                   and unique experience. We operate the largest fleet of live-aboard,
                                                                                          Reef Marine Park.
                                                                                                                                                                   crewed charter vessels in the region with multiple daily departures
                                                                                          Our vessels carry at most twenty five passengers, allowing you to        from Abel Point Marina, Airlie Beach.
                                                                                          experience tropical paradise and the pleasure of a small group.
                                                                                                                                                                   Whitsundays Sailing prides itself on the fact
                                                                                          Ocean Rafting visits the ‘wild side’ of the Whitsunday Islands with
                                                                                                                                                                   that we have no fixed itineraries for our scheduled departure
                                                                                          beautiful natural scenery brimming with marine, bird and animal life.
                                             ises in the
              Experience the two best day cru combo deal!
                                                                                                                                                                   cruises. The desires of guests
                                                                                          The vessels were originally designed and built as rescue crafts and
                                         esome                                                                                                                     are considered in relation to
            Whitsunday Islands on this aw                bo
                                                                                          are rigid inflatable boats driven by 450hp engines.
                                                                                                                                                                   prevailing weather conditions to
                                                                          com L           Your day will include courtesy transfers, optional buffet-style lunch,   ensure that everyone on board

                                                                                      *   snorkelling equipment and reef and island naturalist talks. Make         enjoys their adventure. Choose
                                                                      $                   the fun choice and enjoy the ride of your life with Ocean Rafting        your style of cruise: adventure
                                                                          SAvE $1         telephone 07 4946 6848 or visit                    sailing; sail and dive adventures;
                                                                                                                                                                   or cruising for couples.
                                                                                                                                                                   for more information and
                                        GREAT BARRIER REEF ADVENTURES                                                                                              bookings.
                                        Cruise aboard ‘Seaflight’ to Queensland’s
                                        most innovative reef pontoon. Awesome
                                        coral and stunning fish. Fun packed
                                        pontoon - giant water slide, underwater
                                        observatory, snorkelling, diving, semi-sub
                                        and an all you can eat buffet lunch.

                                        CAMIRA SAILING ADVENTURE
                                        Experience a day of excitement on board
                                        ‘Camira’, one of the world’s fastest sailing
                                        catamarans. Explore beautiful Whitehaven
                                        Beach, swim, snorkel and enjoy an all
                                        inclusive BBQ lunch and drinks from 11am.
                                        Just an awesome day on the water!

           *Available only on presentation
          of a valid Student, Peterpans, YHA,
               ISIC, VIP or NOMADS card

                TRAVEL DESK

82                           Winter – Spring 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                       Winter – Spring 2009 83

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