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Hook Island

No visit to the Whitsundays is complete without seeing a few islands and Hook Island offers spectacular natural surroundings and excellent snorkelling and diving sites. The second largest island in the Cumberland group, it is 58 square kilometres in size and includes sheltered, picturesque bays, deep fjord-like inlets, ideal sailing and kayaking conditions, multiple moorings and safe anchorages, pristine fringing reefs, secluded beach campsites and the opportunity to see abundant wildlife including sea eagles, kites and ospreys, turtles, reef fish, dolphins, manta rays and humpback whales frolicking in Whitsunday Passage (between June- September).

Many of the local tours will bring you to Hook Island to experience the quality snorkelling at Maureen's Cove and Luncheon Bay or stay overnight at picturesque Stonehaven beach. Macona and Nara inlets offer gorgeous, sheltered overnight anchorages. At the very bottom end of Nara inlet you will find a magic fresh-water rock pool and stunning waterfall after season rains. Walk up the short rocky path to the Ngaro cultural site where you will see ancient rock wall paintings and an interactive display on the history of the Ngaro Aboriginal people.

If you are sailing or camping around the Whitsundays you can spend days exploring all the different coves and fringing reefs of Hook Island. Along the north coast visit Butterfly Bay and Manta Ray Bay. Discover large coral bommies diving or snorkelling at the Woodpile and the Pinnacles. Set up camp on Steen's Beach or Maureen's Cove. On the eastern side of the island you will find Crayfish Beach with a campsite and on the western side, near Hayman Island, is the Stonehaven Anchorage where you can often enjoy glorious sunsets. Both Nara and Macona inlets are on the southern side of the island and there is a campsite just inside Macona at Curlew Beach.

Hook Island, Whitsunday Area
Queensland
Australia

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Simpson Desert National Park

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
Spanning 1,012,000 hectares in the arid outback, this is Queensland’s largest protected area. Parallel wind-blown sand dunes dominate the striking landscape. Some extend 200 kilometres and reach 90 metres high.

Diamantina National Park Circuit

Bedourie, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
Diamantina National Park has been named one of Australia’s top 10 national parks by the Worldwide Fund for Nature. The drive passes through a variety of landscapes, from the river channels and waterholes on the flood plains, to sand dunes, gibber plains and grasslands.
Free Entry
The landscape and scenery on the Winton - Boulia via Diamantina National Park journey will leave you awestruck. A challenging journey, this relatively isolated route will require the driver to be well prepared as there are no fuel or food facilities.

Diamantina National Park

Bedourie, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
In Diamantina National Park, the mighty Diamantina River, one of Queensland’s longest, cuts braided channels through gibber flats, sand dunes and red-capped ranges. The park supports a large number of rare and threatened plants and animals, including the greater bilby.

French Line - Simpson Desert

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
The Simpson Desert is undoubtedly Australia's most loved desert with large numbers of visitors each year accepting the challenge of crossing the Simpson. Winter rains carpet the desert in wildflowers and the night skies are a star gazers delight.

Birdsville Track

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
An Australian Outback Adventure, the well maintained, unsealed track links Birdsville in Queensland's south-west to Maree in the mid-north of South Australia. The Birdsville Track covers some of Australia's most beautiful and challenging country, passing through the Simpson Desert and Sturt's Stoney Desert.

Red Sandhills

Windorah, Barcoo Area
Free Entry
The Red Sandhills ten kilometres west of Windorah on the Birdsville Road are the reddest that you will find anywhere. They may not be very high, but they are worth stopping to admire, especially for photographers.

Waddi Trees

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
One of Australia’s rarest plants, the Waddi Trees (Acacia puece) have spiky, needle-like leaves and thick bark. The Waddi tree piqued early explorer William John Wills’ interest, with some samples of the seeds found buried in his diary after his death.

Cuttaburra Crossing

Bedourie, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
Cuttaburra Crossing is a permanent waterhole and a renowned wetland on the Eyre Creek. It is located between Lake Koolivoo and Lake Machattie. Cuttaburra Crossing is home to many species of birdlife.

Big Red

Birdsville, Diamantina Area
Free Entry
Standing at 30 metres in height, this awesome sand dune, Big Red, provides a challenge for any four wheel drive enthusiast. The first of 1113 dunes in the Simpson Desert, the spectacular sunsets from the top of Big Red are an experience not to be missed.
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