Snorkelling the Whitsunday Islands

Snorkelling in the Whitsunday Islands

The Whitsunday Islands: turquoise water, white satiny sand, and hilly intertwining islands. The beauty of the islands is absolutely breathtaking. In order to get there you have to take some sort of boat from Arlie Beach. I chose a catamaran with about 30 other people. It was a two day sailing trip where we stayed on a secluded island for both nights, and it definitely lived up to the expectations. The tour company is called Koala Adventures. I opted for a tour that stayed on a solid ground because I get a bit seasick and sleeping in close quarters on a rocking boat all night sounded like a recipe for sickness!

Catamaran Koala Adventures
Cruising on the catamaran!

On the first day we sailed to South Molle Island where we enjoyed the ocean-side pool, ate some dinner and had some drinks. It’s a quiet, secluded location. The resort is the only accommodation on the island, so we literally had the island to ourselves.

South Molle Island Dock
South Molle Island Dock
View from South Molle dock
View from the dock

 

South Molle Island
South Molle Island – View from a great vantage point

Pink WetsuitOn the second day we got our stinger suits and sailed to the Outer Great Barrier Reef for some snorkelling. Of course I got the bright pink, head to toe Pink Panther stinger suit, but I actually liked it, it had mittens! The waters were pretty choppy heading out there, but the skipper assured us that area would be the worst of it, and he was right. The rest was literally smooth sailing.

Once we approached the snorkelling spot, they anchored the catamaran down and groups of six were taxied closer to inland in a small motor boat. For those of us that hadn’t snorkelled before, the gruff Ozzie skipper held us off the side of the motor boat by the back of our stinger suits and patiently tried teaching us how to breath through the mouthpiece. Eventually he dropped us in the warm water and we floated off on some pool noodles. Luckily one of crew members was a friendly traveler from my neck of the woods, and she stayed with me until I felt confident to swim off on my own. I had never bobbed around in open ocean water like that before, so it was a bit overwhelming at first!

Motorboat and Catamaran
Motorboat and Catamaran

 

In the water snorkelling
Just bobbing around on some noodles

Eventually I floundered off and tried to record some video with my rented Go Pro, but it actually seemed to keep me pretty distracted, so I’m not sure if I’d recommend it for the first time snorkeller. I kept hitting the record button, splashing around a lot, and then the camera seemed to dangle (according to my super shaky footage anyway!). Once I put the camera on the back burner, I got the hang of breathing through the mouthpiece. It felt so serene floating through the water, head submerged, gazing at all the beautiful marine life below.

Outer Great Barrier Reef
Outer Great Barrier Reef
Outer Great Barrier Reef
Outer Great Barrier Reef

All in all, the experience was absolutely incredible. The Koala Adventures tour was a good pace, professional, and exciting. I would highly recommend snorkelling to anyone who hasn’t tried it yet, and especially in beautiful Australia!

Check out a short video of my experience:

Have you tried snorkelling? If so, where? If you’ve been to the Whitsundays, I would love to hear what your experience was like. Please share in the comments.