I can highly recommend going there - here's some highlights for anyone else who is thinking of going:
- We took a day trip on the Banjo Patterson (a sixty foot yacht) to Whitehaven and Corkie's - a terrific experience. Whitehaven beach is breathtaking - make sure you get there (though I'd suggest avoiding the Fantasea catamaran, it's just too mass-market for me).
- The buggy's are terrific to drive around. :)
- Go with the Safari Tours boys to Coral Cove - a magnificent, tiny, quiet beach. The hosts are great fun!
- Spend time around the pool sipping cocktails - and make sure you order one from the in-pool bar. :) Our favourite was "Mud Baby". Mmmm. :) Remember to bring some good books to read.
- Take out a catamaran for an hour or two. But remember to apply sunscreen!
- I ran out of time but in hindsight I would have loved to have gone scuba diving with the H20 team. They can give scuba training if need be or alternative just go snorkelling on the reef. Only heard good reports about the reef trips from people I spoke to.
- Enjoy eating out - Romano's was a highlight (the Gnocchi Gorgonzola was fantastic) as was the Rib Eye Fillet at Spinnakers. The Outrigger is lovely too, especially for quieter more intimate dining.
- For a cheap eat grab a hot dog for lunch from the Bougainvillea bar (near the pool in front of the Reef View hotel).
- Wake up early (4:30!) one morning and watch the sunrise from the "sunset" lookout. You'll have to walk though as you aren't allowed to drive the buggy at that time. Be amazed at the wildlife that you'll see (kangaroos, peacocks, cockatoos etc).
- Go to the same place at sunset - remember to buy a cocktail. :)
- Be wary of the Irukandji jellyfish that start populating the Whitsundays from mid-November!
- Check out the Wire Flyer for some flying fox/hanggliding action.
- Take advantage of the photographers that roam around. The deal is that they take a handful of photos of you (and partner, family, whatever) and put them up on a big board in the photo shop. The next day you can see the photos and just buy the one(s) you want.
It's a great place with a very relaxing vibe...I wouldn't hesitate going back! :)
When I get my photos developed (yep, I'm an old school 35mm photographer - only because I can't afford the $2K for the digital SLR that I want!) I'll scan them in and post them.
Now I've got to come to terms with going back to work... :( What's a partial template specialization again?? ;)