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Unspoilt Whitsundays?

new york
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Unspoilt Whitsundays?

Hi-

We are a couple traveling at the start of September and are looking for a romantic, honeymoon getaway. We both love isolated beaches, where we can really unwind. (mozambique was a consideration...and we love Anegada in the BVI). Where can we go in the Whitsundays or nearby islands that doesn't have a "big resort" feel. We are considering this our beach portion of the holiday to relax and unwind and snorkle, before heading to the Daintree for a little exploring. Qualia is at the high end of our price range. Anywhere that can be recommended for 600 or so per night per couple?

Brisbane
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1. Re: Unspoilt Whitsundays?

Hi,

I have never stayed at Qualia, but it is one of many resorts on Hamilton Island. Hamilton is definately not unspoilt Whitsundays. I like Hamilton but I know many people who do not. There is a wide variety of hotels and private residences. There is a harbour with a lot of boaties, restaurants etc. There is also one high rise hotel which definately prevents the unspoilt tropical island feel. Having said this I am not quite sure what to recommend. My first thought is Paradise bay. I visited this resort a long time ago when it was a cheaper eco resort and the beach is lovely with a definate get away from it all feel and it has now been upgraded/renovated/rebuilt and is a fully inclusive luxury boutique resort.... way out of the price range...but i think this is more what you are looking for.?? My other thought is maybe Hayman island. It has fabulous snorkelling and although it is not a boutique resort ( a bit bigger than boutique) it is a low rise upmarket resort with lots of private beaches and a low key albeit upmarket feel. It has much better snorkelling than many other islands and would be my preference for a quiet honeymoon over Hamilton. The other option is a bare boat charter...but you would need to either sail or have a boat licence...i have done this a couple of times and it allows you to find your own piece of paradise away from everyone, but adds the stress of managing a boat. Whatever you do make sure you see Whitehaven beach. It is spectacular. You have to take a day trip there as there are no resorts on the Island (Whitsunday Island) but it is up there with the best beaches I have ever seen. You can actually camp there if you are prepared to rough it...otherwise the boat charter allows you to stay there...or you have to be on a day tour boat. (But still worth it)

Darwin, Australia
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for Darwin
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2. Re: Unspoilt Whitsundays?

I have been thinking about this for a while and I can not honestly think of somewhere that is populated. Much of the Whitsunday area is National Park where there is no building/habitation. The issue is also if you want to swim and its stinger season, it wont be so romantic getting around in stinger suits..

Maybe Heron Island further down may suit you?

We have been lucky to sail up there and putting your anchor down where you please will give you the pleasure of little crowds.

Qualia is wonderful, however you are on a resort island.

Hayman also lovely- but its low rise resort- but laid back style.

I know if you go to Lizard Island you get that experience- but you pay for it well- but worth it.

You could skip Whitsundays and concentrate more on Daintree ,Port Douglas etc. Cooktown may also be a little less populated- however - there are no real "resort" type places there and you really dont want to hang around too long on a beach due to the large reptiles that also like the beach

new york
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3. Re: Unspoilt Whitsundays?

Thanks for the feedback!

Paradise Bay is a consideration-- deciding if it is worth the splurge! Really looks ideal in terms of experience.

Hayman also is on our list- good to know it is lowrise, and has good snorkeling.

Whitehaven Beach is certainly on the list--

if we do end up staying on Hamilton, any recommendations for good day sail/ day trip operators (if we don't go thru the resort)

Once up by Port Douglas later in the trip we are considering taking the time to head out to Bloomfield Lodge for the crocodile river boat trip/rainforest exploration part of things. Gets rave reviews-- worth the trip? Seen mixed things about taking a reef tour from there because of the winds. Issue in early Sept?

Thanks!

Canandaigua
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4. Re: Unspoilt Whitsundays?

I would not recommend Heron for honeymooners, unless you are birders or like National Park lodge type accommodation . "Wash and Wear" is the label for that resort.

The best way to enjoy remote, unspoiled Whitsundays is to do a self charter for a few days. Then you really can enjoy beaches all by yourselves.

Melbourne, Australia
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5. Re: Unspoilt Whitsundays?

Given your requirements, I would only recommend Hamilton Island unless you stay at at somewhere exclusive like Qualia. The rest of the island is like a mini Hawaii with a few high rise buildings (and roads for golf buggies and the occasional car - not my idea of a tropical island resort)

We have stayed at Long Island too but only at the poor-man's resort. But the island itself is really beautiful. I think it is Australia's best kept secret! Please feel free to read my review about the island (& ignore the parts about the resort as you're interested in going to Paradise Bay resort which is on the other side of the island)

n.b. there is no resort on Whitehaven beach

Edited: 6:15 am, July 30, 2013
Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Unspoilt Whitsundays?

Actually, best you check the details but Paradise Bay has gone into receivership. The newspaper says it will close after the end of the high season (but I don't know when this is for the Whitsundays region)

See: theaustralian.com.au/travel/news/paradise-ba…

Whitsundays
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7. Re: Unspoilt Whitsundays?

Hi all,

Paradise Bay has reopened in early August with the new owners having completed extensive upgrades, including adding in a waterfront swimming pool and a day spa. That article regarding it going into receivership was an old one.

You could also consider a stop in at Palm Bay Hideaway, on one secluded side of Long Island. It's self-catering, but very quiet.

A bareboat charter is a fabulous way to ensure unspoilt beaches and few other travellers. The Whitsundays is a sailor's paradise, and if you can't sail, you can have lessons, or hire a motorboat. There are dozens of peaceful anchorages and 74 islands to explore, most of which are uninhabited, and there are dozens of good snorkelling spots. Each boat carries a copy of the local sailing "bible" '100 Magic Miles' which details all of these locations specifically for you.

On another note, congratulations and we hope you thoroughly enjoy your honeymoon, wherever you choose to go. :)

TW

8. Re: Unspoilt Whitsundays?

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