Every year my family and I travel to somewhere tropical; anywhere with a temperate climate and breathtaking ocean views. Despite the obvious similarities of 'beachy' destinations - palm trees, straw umbrellas and blue waters - there are subtle yet distinctive differences. That being said here are my
5 things I learnt about the Whitsunday Islands.
1. Hamilton Island's transportation of choice? Cute little golf buggies.
Hire one for the length of your stay and it'll take you from Catseye beach at midday to the top of the mountain for the sunset. Such is the island life.
2. Sand that feels like powder does exist.
Living in Sydney, I thought I've seen the best beaches but Whitehaven Beach beats them all: 7km of fine silica sand that apparently doesn't get hot since it's 97% silica content reflects the heat right off.
3. Ice cream is replaceable when you're viewing Whitehaven beach from above.
The aerial view takes me back to childhood days of Rainbow Paddlepops as the beach swirls into a mixture of minty green, aquamarine and white. It's not everyday that an island serves you a scoop of Mr Whippy.
4. Free diving beats scuba diving any day - even Cruise Whitsunday's crew agrees.
Take a deep breath, dive all the way down and you can get up close with the marine life without all that heavy gear. That, and you kind of feel like a mermaid. A mermaid with snorkel goggles and plastic fins … very magical.
5. Out at sea, you don't know where the horizon is anymore.
The sea and the sky seems to blend together into this hazy ombre. You could walk straight into the mist and disappear right off the Earth. That's what I call escape.