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Most beautiful beach in the world

March 10, 2010

Airlie Beach, Australia:

You don’t need to tell ME that I’m lucky. Spending my Wednesday on a speedboat through the Whitsunday Islands, wind whipping my hair, sea turtles floating in the waves, white sand beaches all around, it was hard to imagine ever settling into a life that doesn’t include excursions like this.

Yes, the Whitsunday Islands is as gorgeous and perfect as everyone described. Even more so because miraculously the weather cooperated, turning from misty rain on-shore to clear blue skies and sunshine on the islands.

It’s official: the Whitsunday Islands is the most beautiful place in Australia. And probably the prettiest beach I’ve been to. EVER.

I was a happy camper.

Sandy and I booked a day tour through Ocean Rafting, which takes high-powered, small boats through the islands, reaching areas that the larger boats can’t. Our boat held around 15 people so it was nice to not feel crowded.

The first stop was Whitsunday Island, the largest island in the chain, to take a hike that ended at a lookout point along Whitehaven Beach.

How amazing is this? No photo retouching needed with these colors. So many shades of blue, so many green tints and all that white sand. Whitehaven Beach is 7 kilometers of the most pristine white sand, made of tiny shards of quartz and as soft as flour.

Walking down to the beach and searching the clear water for marine life — from above, you could see small sharks and rays — the ground suddenly opened up and out scurried… millions of crabs.

They came out of every crack and crevice in the sand. Only about two inches long, there were so many that a loud scuttling sound could be heard tapping along the sand. Funny!

Then it was off to two different sites for snorkeling along the reef. Thanks to the amazing sunlight and clear water, there was amazing underwater clarity to see both the corals and the colorful fish. I’ve been snorkeling several times before but never seen colors this vibrant or such an amazing range of corals.

Sea turtle!

One guy on our boat, who apparently didn’t speak much English, kept standing on the corals or touching them. Several people including me told him not to, that it kills the coral, but he would just laugh, say “okay okay” and then do it again. 😦 The only damper on an otherwise magnificent day.

Today Sandy and I are on a bus up to Cairns, our last stop in Australia before she heads home and I fly down to New Zealand. I just found out that the weather is considerably colder there than here — Christchurch has highs around 58 — so I’ll be living in the same pair of jeans and one sweater, apparently. πŸ˜‰ Still warmer than home!

What was the best beach you ever visited? What made it so great? Before this, I would have absolutely said Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica, but Whitsunday Island blew that out of the water.

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. March 10, 2010 5:26 pm

    Yeah I’d agree that Whits’ is better than FI. The only beach other than my grandmother’s former island I’ve been at would be the one at the Santa cruz boardwalk. It’s the only time I’ve been in an ocean.

  2. Dad permalink
    March 10, 2010 5:47 pm

    Good for some…

  3. March 10, 2010 5:53 pm

    That’s a great photograph of the crabs and the turtle. Absolutely fascinating.

  4. Lisa Miller permalink
    March 10, 2010 5:57 pm

    YAY MY HOME! πŸ™‚ Did you see a goanna lizard on Whitehaven Beach? I’m honored that you think the Whitsundays is the most beautiful place in Aus πŸ™‚

    • March 11, 2010 7:42 pm

      Oh no, didn’t see that lizard! Saw loads of others though and some rays. No sharks. 😦

  5. March 10, 2010 6:06 pm

    omg that beach looks fake, it is so perfect! dang woman, live it up!

  6. Laura permalink
    March 10, 2010 7:23 pm

    And unfortunately we’ve just hit the first of the really autumn weather in NZ. It’s been gorgeous and hot for most of February, but it is *cold* this week. I’m sitting here in a microfleece top! πŸ™‚ You might end up having to buy an extra warm top.

  7. March 10, 2010 7:34 pm

    Whitehaven Beach, Oz…. Hands down.
    2. Muri Beach, Rarotonga
    3. Matira Beach, Bora Bora
    4. Hamoa Beach, Maui
    5. Ke’e Beach, Kauai

    As you can see….. Very important topic for me! Lol!

    • March 11, 2010 7:43 pm

      Wow, you’re a beautiful beach expert obviously! πŸ˜€

  8. Olga permalink
    March 10, 2010 7:58 pm

    ‘Blew it out of the water’. Har har. Get it? A beach out of the water? =P

    Best beaches I have been to have been on Virgin Islands. But then… I don’t care much for beaches. =P

    Guess Kiwi winter is starting! Uh oh! Your trip is going by so fast!

    • March 11, 2010 7:44 pm

      I’m usually not much of a beach person either — love activity — but this was insanely stunning.

  9. March 10, 2010 8:52 pm

    That picture of the crabs is amazing!

  10. March 10, 2010 11:53 pm

    Oh it is beautiful there!!! My fav beach was in the philippines and we got to scuba dive there too!

    • March 11, 2010 7:44 pm

      Where in the Philippines did you go? I thought Mactan Island was the best ever… and then came here! πŸ˜€

  11. March 11, 2010 2:40 am

    Wow! I was just scrolling back and forth between the pictures, looking over them twice, three times, four times… hold on, let me finish this comment and look at them again.

  12. March 11, 2010 8:35 am

    Oh man I am jealous. It looks like you are having an amazing time and those beaches look gorgeous!!!

  13. March 11, 2010 8:42 am

    Wow! Look at that blue!! So beautiful.

    And I love the sea turtle too. It’s, like, leaping out of the water.

  14. March 11, 2010 1:52 pm

    Yay! I’m so happy you though the Whitsundays were as gorgeous as I thought they were! I was going to feel bad if I kept talking them up! haha. I want to be there sooo bad right!

  15. simone permalink
    March 12, 2010 6:29 pm

    save the corals!!

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