The Whitsunday Islands in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef are world-renowned for their beauty.
There are 74 all up, the better known including Hamilton, Daydream and Hayman Island.
Then there are the lesser-known islands like Long Island – appropriately named too at 9 kilometres long and only 400 metres at its widest.
It’s also the closest of the islands to the mainland, accessible by a smooth half-hour ferry ride.
To get to know to the island, why not explore by foot? The island has around 17 kilometres of walking track to explore ranging from easy strolling to more challenging day hikes.
Local Dougal Gillman highly recommends Pandanus Bay to any island visitors.
“There’s beautiful rocks, there’s a shallow coral reef where you can go snorkelling, always whales and dolphins and things there,” he said. “Heaps of turtles. There’s turtles popping up everywhere all the time so you can imagine the kids just go mental and have such a blast.”
“Every time we send our guests out on this walk, they come back ranting and raving how much fun they had that afternoon so we have a tendency to always recommend Pandanus Bay.”
Dougal is seriously passionate about the region.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to grow up in the region, I’ve been surrounded by this my entire life,” he said. “It’s my passion, my love and I love to show other people that as well. I think it’s great for future generations to see it, to appreciate it, understand it, and it’s just such an ideal place for it.”
“We’re close to the mainland and there’s all this beauty here just waiting to be seen.”
From the eastern side of Long Island, you can look out to several of the other islands in the Whitsunday region. From Hook Island and Whitsunday Island right down to Pine Island and the others down to the south.
When it comes to your stay, Palm Bay Resort is right in the centre of Long Island and its Balinese style evokes instant relaxation mode.
It’s got a beautiful secluded bay which is well protected, ideal for kayaking and snorkelling, and a great spot for families with young kids.
The waters are balmy and inviting all year round and the resort does offer free kayaks for guests. We highly recommend a sunset kayak.
To experience The Wonders of The Whitsundays for yourself, head to thewhitsundays.com.au for all great deals on offer in, the Heart of the Great Barrier Reef.