Due to not being able to spend christmas, birthdays or even normal dates together, we made up for lost time and occasions all within a few days. Unfortunately the helicopter flight company failed to return any of my emails or calls about flight options, so we had to book last minute that cost a pretty penny; but did come with incredible views of the most surreal cyan reefs that make up our very own natural wonder’s of the world.
When we first took off through the Whitsunday’s it was windy, bumpy and raining but the nerves passed when we headed further out to the reef, and Hardy Lagoon in particular. Flying over the famous Heart Reef, I was blown away at how something natural and living can make that spectrum of spectacular colours.
We then flew to Whitehaven beach with where you guessed it, has the lightest weight and lightest white sand my toes have ever been lucky enough to wriggle between. Having a picnic in such a secluded and tropical place really made the 40 minutes feel like a few memorable hours for us being together.
I found Hamilton Island incredibly expensive. A few people warned me, but already knowing accommodation and getting there (including my detour…) was pricey I assumed we would save money in other ways while there. I travel a lot but that does not mean it is all 5 star, to be able to travel often or at all is about being adaptable. I am often found sleeping on friends couches, head to toe with them or in hostels, and preferring to start the day exploring with a 1 euro croissant for breakfast than wasting money on a 5 star buffet breakfast every morning.
I think my main concern was the lack of grocery stores on the island, because with such beautiful sunsets they should really be spent with a picnic dinner and wine on the beach. For $85 per day you can also hire a great little golf buggies to explore the island, but our legs were fine for walking and saving that little extra. Obviously I can understand that the island might want to remain more exclusive, but simple options of more small grocery stores or affordable take away would seem only beneficial.
I have spoken to some more people since being back in Sydney and it seems everyone I’ve come across feels the same. Another factor constantly being brought up is the fact that for just a few short hours flight Australian’s can go to exotic locations like Bali, Thailand, Vietnam etc, and not only have vastly different experiences and value for their money, but able to be immersed in another culture whilst doing so.
For anyone coming to Australia and considering the Great Barrier Reef, I think it should be at the absolute top of your list. Just make sure to do your research first so that you can truly make the most of your money and time. Watching the sun set after this helicopter flight made the worries finally float away, looking back at a great but too short a time spent on Hamilton.