I’ve found paradise.

I found another reason to move to Australia.

It was when my friends and I reached Airlie Beach during our post-semester-giant-road-trip-down-Queensland. It’s not quite accurate to say I “found” it, either. Airlie Beach is a backpacker’s town built solely off the tourism of what was next door:

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The Whitsunday Islands!

The Whitsunday Islands were named by Captain James Cook, who believed he found the region on the 7th Sunday after Easter, also known as “Whit Sunday.” He was wrong, but the name stuck around. Today, the 74 islands that comprise the Whitsundays are a huge tourist attraction for their beautiful beaches and amazing diving. Luxury resorts pepper the islands, and tour boats leave daily from Airlie Beach.

My friends and I decided to see the islands in a less conventional way, though.

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One girl in our group was studying aerospace engineering, and this tour was just as expensive as any of the other tours, so: why not? We booked a tour that included a 30-minute flight over the islands.

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It was the most picturesque flight I have ever taken.

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…if not the most nausea-inducing one as well.

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The tour then took us on a high-speed boat to Whitehaven Beach, one of the most popular destinations in the Whitsunday Islands.

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An hour and a half later, we made it to Whitehaven Beach.

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Whitehaven Beach, true to its name, has the whitest sand I’ve ever seen. The sand is 98% silica, a purity so high that the sand never becomes too hot to walk on. The sand is incredibly fine, too, so fine that the sand is known to easily damage electronics. It even squeaks when you walk on it!

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I’m used to the Jersey Shore, where the beaches are crowded, the sand is burning, and the water is cold. Access to Whitehaven Beach, on the other hand, is limited. Smoking and dogs are not allowed. Whitehaven Beach has won multiple awards for being clean and environmentally protected, including the world’s most eco-friendly beach by CNN.

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Indeed, the area is also known for its wildlife. During lunch, we were visited by tons of friendly goannas.

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It wasn’t really just another day in Australia, though.

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Not by a long shot.

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And I have yet to find a place that beats it.

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8 thoughts on “I’ve found paradise.

  1. FIRST TO COMMENT, SUCKAS!!……. Sorry, I don’t know what came over me. But, yes, good to see that you enjoyed your time in Australia. You’re pictures are as great as ever. But, those pictures of you over the water are some of your best EVER!! I can see why you said that the Whitsunday Islands are the most beautiful place you have ever been to! Now, that you are back in the states, how is your new internship? Is the culture shock to your original culture large? Are you having fun? (’cause that is important).

    From,

    Straw Hat Luffy

    • Heya! My internship isn’t bad. Work is work! As far as the culture shock goes, it hasn’t been terrible either. This is mostly due to the fact that Australia isn’t that different from the US. The culture is similar and everyone speaks English– there wasn’t much to adjust to in the first place! Though I still can’t get over how cold and snowy it is back here in Boston.

      Am I having fun? Surely! Maybe not as much fun as, say, when I was adventuring Australia, but life is good nonetheless. 😀

    • How cool!! I’ve never been to New Mexico before. Considering all the places I’ve been so far, I really need to see more of the US! 😛

      That’s right, the bees! If I recall correctly, the feral bee population was genetically distinct from the domestic bee population; however, the two bee populations are currently interbreeding and producing hybrid bees. It was something like that. I think one of my professor’s students wrote a paper on it if you want to know more!

      • You can even “sand-boarding” down the dunes. Not that speedy, but fun anyway.
        Well, if i ever going back to the states again, i have to go to Yosemite-Park, looking at “El Capitan” (pref. at the top downward) and all the other beauty…the pictures i have seen have been breathtaking.
        The bees: If you could reference the paper, i’ll look into it (hopefully i can “understand” the biology-terms 😯 ).

        Bye !

        RoBo

  2. That is so astonishingly beautiful. I’ve heard lots of people talk about visiting the Whitsunday Islands but never until now, seeing your photos, have I realised what an amazingly beautiful place it is. Great aerial photography, especially considering you were feeling a bit sick in the plane!

    I love the cartoon goanna too! He looks so innocent and just wants to be loved and accepted for who he is!

    • The goannas were so cute! They just hung around the picnic area, hoping to get some food, though we weren’t allowed to feed them. The Whitsundays were really amazing. If you ever go, I definitely recommend taking one of the flight tours– it gave us incredible views that we would have never been able to see otherwise.

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