When you’re travelling the east coast of Australia the Whitsunday islands are not to be missed. Accessed by boat from airlie beach there are tonnes of boats going out daily you only have to choose the one that’s right for you. I chose ride to paradise by Redcat adventures. This trip is a luxury get away popular with backpackers sealing some pampering. Unlike other tours where you sleep on the boat (and party all night long) ride to paradise takes you to a exclusive and luxurious private resort where you will stay for 2 nights.
Paradise resort is heaven. That’s all I need to say (…but I will tell you a bit more). At the resorts you have choices of accommodation from standard dorm rooms to double and twin private rooms. I stayed in the dorm rooms and let me tell you there nothing like any other dorm room you’ve stayed in, with the biggest comfiest beds you’ll experience in Australia and fresh towels shaped into flowers you’ll feel right at home. The resort itself has plenty to do from stand up paddle boards, kayaks, a beautiful but chilly pool and tennis courts you won’t get board. Even shower time is a luxury event at paradise resort with several outdoor rain showers to chose from and even outdoor bathtubs where you can kick back and relax with a good book alongside your new friends, not forgetting to make good use of the free toiletries. When it comes to mealtimes the food is all prepared for you and tastes amazing wether it’s thai curry or veggie burgers it’s delicious and the best part there’s always dessert (oh and not having to do the washing up!)
So after an afternoon relaxing in paradise the next day was time to get back out on the boat and explore. First up was the famous Whitehaven beach, about an hours boat ride away you’ll find possibly the most beautiful beach in Australia with beautifully blue waters and the whitest sand you can get. Here at Whitehaven you can explore the lookouts, go for a swim, chase stingrays or just chill on the beach it’s up to you. The sand at Whitehaven has a very high silica count so it squeaks as you walk across it and it’s so fine you can exfoliate with it or even clean your jewellery or if you’re brave your teeth!
After lunch back on the boat we drove another half an hour to the perfect snorkelling spot. Here yet here were tonnes of tropical fish big and small for you to swim about with. The evening was spent eating good food and getting to know everybody. There was also a wildlife tour by our guide but FYI don’t wrestle with tree snakes or it will bite you (like it did to our guide).
The final day of the trip was bitter sweet as nobody wanted to leave paradise. I could’ve stayed forever but after a sad goodbye to the resort we got back on the boat and headed out to a sandbar. Here is the perfect spot for spotting turtles relaxing some more or swimming in the beautifully blue water. As you probably know the Whitsundays were hit pretty badly by the cyclone earlier this year and many resorts were serverly damaged and vegetation stripped. Luckily paradise resort was left relatively undamaged but we did see some evidence of the cyclone on our trip particularly on the sandbar. The bar used to be about 1 m higher and is now covered in dead coral and debris but is still beautiful, the water visibility is also still a little cloudy when you’re snorkelling.
I had the best few days living like a millionaire with ride to paradise and I’m wishing I could go back and stay forever.