Wow … Wow … Wow!
We picked a day with a clear sky forecast and then a time with the sun overhead and also low tide. We booked a one-hour Reef and Islands flight out of Airlie Beach. The day was perfect with little wind and no clouds. My last experience on a small plane was, I think, way back in my early teenage years and I remember not enjoying it too much. I did take particular notice during our safety briefing as to where the ‘sick bag’ was going to be located. Fortunately, it was not needed. We had a very smooth flight.
The view of the islands from the sky was stunning. The water and the island’s fringing reefs, were so different to what we see from our boat. We recognized these many bays, beaches and reefs. There are 74 islands in the Whitsundays, many we haven’t seen, but seeing the islands we have visited, from the air, was very special.
We flew over the Whitsunday islands, including the iconic Whitehaven Beach and Hill Inlet, and then the Great Barrier Reef’s Bait Reef, Hook Reef and Hardy Lagoon. We have visited both these reefs on The Bossa, so we were very keen to see these from above. We even saw some whales on the way there. The reef looks exactly like the brochures. Taking a great photo was easy. The bright colours and patterns of Hardy Reef were stunning, along with Heart Reef. Heart Reef is a small reef (17 metres in diameter) located amongst the many coral bommies of Hardy Reef. It’s the shape of a heart but this can only be seen from the air. It’s also a reef we cannot get to by boat. Heart Reef is now a promotional icon for Whitsundays tourism.
These photos are a combination of pics taken from my DSLR and my iPhone. Would you believe it … my DSLR lens spat it 15 minutes in to the flight? OH NO!!!! … and it’s only two years old too. Hence, my iPhone had to be used. Would you also believe I was able to find and purchase a replacement lens two hours later? It cost me, but it was a no-brainer. I had to have my camera working.
Here’s a map of the Whitsunday islands. Hardy Lagoon is approx 25 nautical miles from the Whitsunday islands.
Here’s a few favourites … the islands … (remember you can click-on/touch each photo for a larger view)
… and the outer reef …