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Published on September 8th, 2019 | by john.weir

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Australia’s Whitsunday Islands Bounce Back

Australia’s Whitsunday Islands Bounce Back

After a cyclone hit Australia’s Whitsundays Islands in 2017, the blow was one that could have wiped out a region for good. Two years on and the Whitsundays’ are back in action and better than ever.

World-first ‘Heart Island’: the newest luxury experience on the Great Barrier Reef

Heart Island: Nestled off the coast of Queensland’s Whitehaven Beach, floating alongside one of the most famous reefs in the Whitsundays, the newly opened (mid-July 2019) ‘Heart Island’ offers guests an unforgettable experience starting with a 30-minute helicopter flight over Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet and Heart Reef. Once you’ve landed on the private ‘Heart Island’ pontoon helipad, you have 90 minutes to explore the lagoon, or simply relax and drink in (with a glass of champagne) the vast, turquoise views. This exclusive tour is available to just six guests per visit and includes a scenic return flight, a glass-bottom boat tour of Heart Reef lagoon, snorkelling equipment, light catering and beverages. The three-hour adventure costs $999 (£554) per person aged 14 years and above.

What else is new?

Reefsuites: Underwater accommodation to launch on the Great Barrier Reef

Cruise Whitsundays has unveiled details of Australia’s first underwater accommodation. Located on the Great Barrier Reef, the underwater Reefsuites will boast floor to ceiling windows affording spectacular views of the marine life including tropical fish, turtles and manta rays.

Priced from AUS$749 (£415) per person twin share, the experience includes a return cruise to the reef, all meals and beverages, a selection of marine activities and overnight accommodation. Visitors can register their interest at Cruise Whitsundays. It will be possible to make bookings at the end of August 2019 with the experience starting from November 2019.

Elysian Retreat: The most secluded island retreat in the Whitsundays and the first solar powered resort on the Great Barrier Reef, Elysian promises guests a blissful escape from the crowds. Restored in December 2018, this new sustainable luxury eco resort offers a luxurious all-inclusive retreat catering to its maximum of 20 guests and a small team of dedicated staff, including a private chef. Boasting a locally sourced island menu, personalised organic spa treatments and aquatic adventures to cater to individual needs, Elysian is the perfect place to slow down and immerse your senses in nature and island life.

InterContinental Hayman Island Resort: Reopened in July 2019 following a $135 million refurbishment, Hayman Island by InterContinental has officially opened at the northern most point in the magnificent Whitsunday Islands. With three distinct wings of rooms, suites and villas which hug the pristine coastline of the island, the 166-room property offers instant immersion into ‘island life’ for guests as they arrive via luxury catamaran, helicopter or seaplane. The refurbishment also includes five new restaurants and bars, an extensive range of island activities and sensory spa experiences.

Hill Inlet and Whitehaven Beach lookout: The viewing platform responsible for one of the region’s most iconic shots has been upgraded with construction of a new platform. A new viewing platform at the southern end of Whitehaven Beach is also being constructed, providing a new vantage point to this world-famous beach. 

Coral Gardening and Underwater Art: In a bid to continue raising awareness and promote eco-tourism, Queensland’s first underwater sculptures are set to be placed in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park at Langford Reef, Mantra Ray Bay and Blue Peral Bay. Part of the reef restoration project aims to grow coral at two different nurseys in the Whitsundays.



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