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Ngaro Cultural Site

Whitsundays, Whitsunday Area

The Ngaro people have walked this land for over 9,000 years. Protected from the elements in a once-hidden cave, Ngaro artwork adorns the fragile rock surface.

The track begins deep inside Nara Inlet on Hook Island — an excellent overnight anchorage. Short and initially steep, the stepped track leads up the side of the inlet to a viewing platform at the cave’s entrance. Allow at least an hour to immerse yourself in the Ngaro cultural stories of the site.

Whitsunday Islands National Park
Whitsundays, Whitsunday Area
Queensland
Australia

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Whitehaven Beach

Whitsundays, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Whitehaven Beach is a pristine, award winning beach on Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays. Whitehaven Beach stretches over seven kilometres and boasts brilliant white silica sand that is among the purest in the world. Sink your feet into the sand and wade into the warm waves that gently lap the shore and you'll soon realise why people come here from all over the world. At the northern end of Whitehaven Beach is Hill Inlet, a stunning inlet where the tide shifts the sand and water to create a beautiful fusion of colours. Many people claim Hill Inlet and Whitehaven Beach are the most beautiful places they've ever seen. The lookout at Tongue Point is the best spot from which to view the swirling sands of Hill Inlet, so if you don't mind a short bushwalk, book your Whitehaven tour with an operator that visits the lookout. Whitehaven Beach can be experienced in several ways. If you're interested in a day trip there are ferries, yachts, power boats and luxury cruising yachts that depart from Airlie Beach. A variety of sailing companies also offer multi-day charters that include a memorable visit to Whitehaven Beach.

Pinnacles, The

Hook Island, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Arguably the best dive site in the Whitsundays, with hard corals comparing favourably to those seen on the outer Great Barrier Reef. The best dive is off the western beach, adjacent to the Woodpile and swim east at a depth of seven to 15 metres. Large coral bommies dominate the terrain, reaching nearly to the surface. Acropora corals are everywhere and huge porite corals in the shape of boulders and massive towers can also be seen. Manta rays are very common in the cooler months, May to September, as are big Maori Wrasse. This dive is not for the faint-hearted as black and white tip reef sharks are frequently seen! In the shallow water, particularly off the western beach, the coral cover is nearly solid, mostly staghorn, with only a few sandy patches. Excellent snorkelling just off the western beach too. Diving depth is three to 18 metres. Diving visibility is typically three to 15 metres.

Blue Pearl Bay

Hayman Island, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Blue Pearl Bay is located on the north-western side of Hayman Island in the Whitsundays Group. Popular with tourists and locals for snorkelling, diving and sightseeing, Blue Pearl Bay is known for its coral and fish life including a resident Maori Wrasse. Day tours and overnight boats visit Blue Pearl Bay for snorkelling and or scuba diving. Visitors typically swim directly off their vessel, or tender into the southern beach and enter the water from the coral beach. Diving depth is from three to 18 metres. Diving visibility is typically from three to 15 metres. Best coral cover to be seen in shallow water off the southern beach. Scattered bommies with silty sand bottom at five to 18 metres, dropping off to coral rubble and silty sand below 18 metres. Best dive off southern beach, near Castle Rock. Shallow coral ledge (two to three metres) dropping off as descent wall to 10 to 15 metres. Wall has narrow canyons and caves making for great exploration. Strong corals near Castle Rock have some striking gorgonian fans at eight to 15 metres as well as whip corals. The shallow waters are predominately staghorn coral. Good protection from all winds except north-westerlies.

Butterfly Bay - Hook Island

Hook Island, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
A popular bareboat anchorage, Butterfly Bay is situated on the northern side of Hook Island. There are limited public moorings and snorkelling can be enjoyed along the bay edge or just off the beach. Offering coral outcrops with shallow walls, the bay is populated by many small, colourful reef fish species. The best of the bommies is found in the centre of the bay, although it may be difficult to locate at high tide. Be wary of tidal currents when moving towards the centre of the bay, away from the edges. Visibility: 2 - 10 metres. Diving depth: 5 - 12 metres. Bottom: coral cover with large patches of coral rubble and silty sand.

Ngaro Cultural Site

Whitsundays, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
The Ngaro people have walked this land for over 9,000 years. Protected from the elements in a once-hidden cave, Ngaro artwork adorns the fragile rock surface. The track begins deep inside Nara Inlet on Hook Island — an excellent overnight anchorage. Short and initially steep, the stepped track leads up the side of the inlet to a viewing platform at the cave’s entrance. Allow at least an hour to immerse yourself in the Ngaro cultural stories of the site.

Maureens Cove, Hook Island

Hook Island, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Situated on the northern side of Hook Island, Maureen's Cove is a popular anchorage with sailors and divers alike. There are two dive sites at Maureen's Cove. At the back of the cove, on the western side of the beach is a series of bommies starting at 12 - 15 metres and rising to within three metres of the surface, parallel to the shoreline. Gullies and shallow caves make for an interesting dive, as does the abundance of medium-sized fish life. Along the Eastern edge is another good dive site known locally as 'Boulders'. Plate corals and other acropora dominate the shallow ledge which drops off as a small wall to 10 - 12 metres. This is also the best spot for snorkelling. The best corals, including large gorgonian fans, are near the point but beware of strong currents. Visibility: 3 - 15 metres. Diving depth: 3 - 15 metres. Bottom: large coral bommies and sandy bottom at back of cove. Good shallow coral cover with coral rubble and silty sand on the eastern side of the cove. Camping is permitted on the beach at Maureen's Cove, National Park camping permits are required.

Langford Island

Whitsundays, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Langford Island, near Hayman Island in the northern Whitsundays is a popular spot with sailors, divers and snorkellers. Many of the bareboats and crewed sailing boats will anchor near Langford Island. Langford Island is relatively small, but features a long sand spit that all but disappears at high tide. This is an excellent spot for a picnic, sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling. The best diving is found on the north-western end of the beach where scattered bommies offer an interesting maze to explore and there are a few shallow walls at the eastern end of the island. The majority of fish life is small, but abundant. Expect reasonable protection from all but the strongest wind conditions and moderate tidal currents at all but slack tides. Snorkellers will enjoy the ability to snorkel straight off the length of the beach, with the best areas to explore being closest to the island.

Luncheon Bay Dive Site

Hook Island, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Located at the northern end of Hook Island, in the Whitsundays, Luncheon Bay is a lovely dive site where you can explore bommies, caves and crevasses in depths to 20 metres. While the visibility in the Whitsundays is not always the best, the corals and variety of marine life found in this large bay will impress. Every rocky outcrop is covered in corals, including beautiful soft corals, black coral trees, gorgonians and sea whips. Reef fish abound, but divers will also encounter trevally, Maori wrasse, gropers, sweetlips, moray eels, coral trout and quite a few nudibranchs. But also keep an eye out for whitetip reef sharks, turtles and the occasional manta ray.

Luncheon Bay

Hook Island, Whitsunday Area
Free Entry
Luncheon Bay is situated on the northern side of Hook Island and features pristine coral and superb marine life. Luncheon Bay is popular with beginner divers thanks to its easy beach entry option. Intro divers can enter the water gradually from the beach, allowing plenty of time to become accustomed to the dive gear and the water. Luncheon Bay has some great swim-throughs for scuba divers and the beautiful 'tunnel of love’, which is an underwater canyon. If you would like to 'find Nemo', Luncheon Bay is a likely spot, just ask the friendly dive instructors if they can help you in your hunt. Also a good place to spot rays hiding in the sand or turtles feeding on the reef. Diving depth is three to 15 metres. Diving visibility is typically three to 15 metres. Good shallow coral cover to eight to ten metres, coral rubble and silty sand at depth. Large bommie on eastern point is of interest. Interesting terrain along the foreshore down to 10 metres, best along eastern side of bay with coral gullies and ledges. Divers and snorkellers can expect to see large fish including wrasse, sweetlip and red emperor. Open to northerly winds.

Lindeman Islands National Park

Lindeman Island, Mackay Area
Free Entry
Lindeman Islands National Park is part of the world famous Whitsunday islands and Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. Aboriginal people referred to the main island, Lindeman, as Yara-kimba, the place of snapper-bream fish. The fourteen islands of the park feature a variety of vegetation types including rainforest in sheltered pockets, open forest in drier areas, grasslands and wetlands. Well-maintained tracks traverse Lindeman and Seaforth islands. While water is usually clearer on the northern end of outer islands, snorkelling over reef flats at high tide can still be rewarding. From May to September look for humpback whales. View sunsets over Neck Bay and admire spectacular vistas from Lindeman's Mount Oldfield. Birdwatchers will delight in more than 90 bird species that inhabit or visit the islands. Camping is permitted on three islands. Camping fees apply and bookings are essential. Book in advance for school holidays. Take water and a fuel stove. Check restrictions on activities such as spearfishing, collecting and fishing.
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