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Your Whitsundays Experience Starts Here...

Your Whitsundays experience starts here...

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Whitsundays Tourism Blog

A Staycation in the Whitsundays

queensland-yacht-charters

The good old staycation… a vacation where you stay at home (or only drive a few hours). The best thing about a staycation is it makes you look at your local area from the perspective of a traveller. While it might not be as appealing as travelling overseas, the staycation is one of the best and easiest ways to book in some adventure (or R&R) and capitalize on those holidays feels.

One of the best things about working in the tourism industry is that you have the opportunity to see your home from the eyes of strangers – and when your home is the Whitsundays you can guarantee that seeing it through the eyes of strangers is delightful!

This is exactly what I got to do in May, experience the Whitsundays with two other bloggers. Here are two ways to explore the Whitsundays as a staycation (or vacation); one is for the saltwater loving and boating enthusiasts, the others are for those that prefer four wheels and solid ground. Get staycation inspired!

Go Bareboating and explore the islands

With 74 islands and countless beaches and bays to explore, the Whitsundays is a treasure trove for any saltwater lover. In my opinion, the best way to explore any place is to take your time and do it at your own pace; bareboating provides this luxury. If you are new to the concept of ‘bareboating’, it is basically a skipper yourself holiday where you hire a boat for 4+ nights and travel on your own terms choosing where to go and how long to stay at each place. With little experience needed, a comprehensive brief is given before your charter and if required you can have a skipper come with you to ease your nerves or get you trained up over the first few days to tackle the rest of the trip by yourself.

bareboating-whitsunday-islands

The most epic thing about bareboating is that you get to go where no one else goes! Because of the layout of the islands and the location of Whitehaven, most of the daytrips and one to two night trips visit the same spots (as they have time restrictions). For bareboaters, the luxury of longer trips means you can visit spots like Windy Bay on Haslewood – which is rarely frequented by other charter operators.

We spent the night here on our bareboating experience with Queensland Yacht Charters and took in a stunning sunset overlooking Whitehaven Beach and woke to a spectacular sunrise the next morning. Make your holiday even easier by arranging Whitsunday Provisioning to have all your food and drink requirements delivered to your vessel before your charter – meaning you can literally rock up and get on your boat ready for an amazing island experience!

bareboating-whitehaven-beach

Once your trip has come to an end (and to avoid the post bareboating blues), I suggest heading out to Northerlies Beach Bar and Grill for a dinner. It’s the perfect setting to ‘get out of the town’, and enjoy some beach front dining.

Get in your car and head north!

If bareboating is not your thing then there are some wonderful beaches in the northern part of the Whitsundays; Dingo Beach, Hydeaway Bay, Cape Gloucester and a few more if you’re willing to stop on the side of the road and go for a wander! On our way up to Bowen we stopped in the little beach just north of Hydeaway – look for a little goat track off to the side of the road after the BIG Hill - and Cape Gloucester. The palm tree lined sandy beach of Cape Gloucester is truly stunning. Perfectly situated to take in some amazing sunsets, this sleepy little township truly is one of the hidden gems of the Whitsundays. Relaxed and laid back, it’s the ultimate R&R staycation destination within the Whitsundays.

bowen-sailing-yogi

For me, Bowen was the highlight of my Staycation. It’s less than an hours drive from Proserpine and is perhaps the prettiest place on the mainland – I know, big call. I stayed at Whitsunday Sands Resort which is a PRIME location for epic sunsets and perfectly located on the top of Cape Edgecumbe making it within walking distance of multiple beaches and a few lookout walks.

Sunrises and sunsets are stunning to take in all over the world, but there is something about palm tree lined, sandy beaches and the sun rising and setting from the line where the sky meets the sea that seems to make it a little bit better. Along with Bowen’s beaches and rocky landscape, I was completely taken aback by how good the food is! So much so that I wrote another blog about which you can find here.

horseshoe-bay

On this trip we were spoilt rotten with breakfast, lunch & dinner at some stellar spots. Le Sorelle The Sisters Coffee House & Florist serves up a great coffee and breakfast spread – not to mention all the homemade fudge I took home with me (drool!). Lunch was a mixed seafood platter at Bird’ Fish Bar. I thought eating fresh and local caught seafood in the marina that it was processed in was going to be a hard act to follow, but dinner really blew me away. The Grandview Hotel in Bowen rivals any restaurant in a big city. The food was sensational but this had nothing on the charm of the hotel. It’s an amazing old pub owned by a local family and has recently had a major facelift which makes it an asset to the town. Dripping with history and beautiful décor there is something interesting to feast your eyes on in every corner. This is an absolute must of a dining experience for anyone in Bowen

And there you have it, my staycation recommendations (most likely more to come soon!)

Much Love,
Ashleigh xx

 

Tourism Whitsundays would like to extend a special thanks to The Sailing Yogi and all of our amazing partners involved!

 – Queensland Yacht Charters
 – Whitsunday Provisioning
 – Northerlies Beach Bar and Grill
 – Tourism Bowen and Business
 – Birds Fish Bar
 – Whitsunday Sands Resort
 – Grandview Hotel
 – Le Sorelle The Sisters Coffee House & Florist

Whitsundays Hidden Gems

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