Love Whitsundays Beautiful One Day Perfect The Next

Love Whitsundays: Beautiful One Day, Perfect the Next

I can remember sitting down and starting to daydream of my next travelling adventure. I’m a bit of a Pinterest fan, so this is usually where my travel bucket-lists begin. I searched the usual, “tropical getaways”, “best beaches” … Scroll, scroll, scroll.
I must admit, I wasn’t thinking Australia at first, but low and behold what pops up on my screen? The white sands and blue waters of the breathtaking Whitehaven Beach. And the scrolling stopped!

Now, if you’ve ever visited Queensland before, you’ll understand why it is no wonder that their slogan is “Beautiful one day, perfect the next”. The Whitsundays is truly the jewel in the state’s crown when it comes to natural beauty – Let me paint a little word picture to tempt you with: crystal clear sparkling waters, white sandy beaches, bright coral reefs, an endless summer… I could go on.

Decision made. Bags packed. Plane ticket booked. And I’m on my way to a slice of paradise.
Now, I didn’t have long, you could stay for a week or a month, but I had 4x nights, so I was keen to see as much as possible in that time. Top of the list was both Whitehaven Beach and snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef – That’s when I stumbled across Red Cat Adventures and their day trip onboard Thundercat, which would allow me to do both!
After doing a bit of research, it was an easy decision to pick these guys. It turns out, they’re multi-award-winning as the best Whitsunday Day Tour, plus they are all about the environment and a Aussie family-run business. They are Eco-Certified and act as Climate Action Leaders – those are two BIG wins in my books! No further persuasion needed.
So, let me give you a sneak peek into my day out on the water with Red Cat Adventures, show you what to expect and why this is the perfect day tour showcasing the very best of the Whitsundays.

After getting picked up from our Airlie Beach accommodation by the Red Cat Adventures courtesy bus (which is an awesome bonus, by the way!). We arrived into beautiful and bustling Coral Sea Marina and was greeted by our friendly boat crew, given our stinger suits and a briefing before heading down to the docks to board our vessel. Thundercat, the boat we hopped on, is easily one of the most noticeable and fun looking boats in the marina: Bright red, you can't miss it!

Although incredibly fast, which meant we were able to get to our destinations quickly (a must if you only have a day and you want to see the very best of the Whitsunday Islands), the boat was very comfortable and a smooth ride. I'm always conscious of becoming seasick, so this type of boat was perfect for me. It takes a maximum of 38 guests which was nice as it felt a lot more personal with such a small group.

First stop – Hill Inlet Lookout and Whitehaven Beach! 

After cruising through the Whitsunday Islands, we pull up in a sheltered bay. We’re one of the first to arrive! Thundercat has steps at the front of the boat which meant we could hop off straight onto a small beach, nice and easy. We eagerly followed our guide on a short but enjoyable bushwalk through the native Australian bushland.

This trail winds upwards through the trees (we were even lucky enough to spot a young Goanna climbing up one on our way!) and before you know it, you’re rewarded with the most incredible, “instagrammable” views! Don’t forget your camera people!

The Hill Inlet Lookout has two platforms that both lookout over the infamous swirling sands of Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet… It honestly did not disappoint and even the photos don’t do it justice!

After we’d taken a few (billion) photographs, we made our way back down the track and onto Whitehaven Beach itself.

We got to spend some time exploring, relaxing, swimming, hunting out the stingrays that are often in the shallow waters, and soaking up this magical place! Did you know, the beach is made up of the purest silica sand in the world? Which means it’s super soft, cool, oh-so-white and pretty much, well, picture-perfect!  

Next up, Lunch onboard! 
Thundercat picked us up from Whitehaven Beach and we hopped back onboard to a freshly prepared buffet lunch (seriously yum!) before settling back into our seats and taken on to our next destination.

Snorkel time! 
By the time we arrived, we were buzzing and keen to get in the water! Our crew took the time to give us a snorkel briefing, then we jumped off the front of the boat and explored the incredible fringing reefs of the Great Barrier Reef. If you’re not the strongest of swimmers or it’s your first-time snorkelling, don’t worry, the crew were amazing and will be sure to give you all the confidence you need.

Beneath the surface we got to meet many of the Whitsunday locals – Most notably, the friendly Maori Wrasse named ‘George’, along with so many brightly coloured fish. I wasn’t fortunate enough to find Nemo on this trip, although he can be spotted here and there if you know where to look (fingers crossed for next time!). The coral reef itself was breath-taking! We even got to enjoy a second snorkel trip in a different bay afterwards, and even then, it was a struggle getting me out of the water.

Home time… 
Once back on board we were able to sit back, get dry, have some afternoon tea (there’s certainly no getting hungry during this tip!) and enjoy a leisurely cruise back into mainland Whitsundays and the town of Airlie Beach. The day flew by considering how much we got to see and enjoy. I left the marina with a big grin on my face as we waved goodbye to the fantastic crew.
There is so much to see and do in the Whitsundays, both on the water and exploring the tropical coast of Queensland. You certainly can’t visit the Whitsundays without a day exploring the islands and for me, a day with Thundercat and Red Cat Adventures ticked off my “must-do’s” in the one day. The comfortable boat and the smiling crew will also be remembered, as well as the WOW-worthy views!

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