Archive for November, 2010

The Whitsunday Islands, Queensland

The Whitsunday Islands are one of the world’s most beautiful archipelagos, and can excite and inspire just about every visitor. And they do – over half a million travelers visit Whitsunday each year.

Located along the Queensland coast and sandwiched between the renowned Great Barrier Reef (a UNESCO World Heritage site), and Airlie Beach on the mainland, the 74 islands offer a diversity of experiences and attractions to suit a range of budgets.  Most of the islands are wholly- or partially-designated national parks, with environments ranging from white-sand beaches to mangrove forests, marshes, rainforests, cliffs, mountains, and bushland.

Dirk Hartog Island, Western Australia

Dirk Hartog Island is Australia’s westernmost point, and the first European landing site during the great explorations. The island is part of the Shark Bay UNESCO World Heritage area, and is located 37 kilometers offshore Denham, in Western Australia.  Dirk Hartog is 80 kilometers by 15 kilometers.

A maximum of 35 visitors – and eight four-wheel drive vehicles – can be on the island at any given time.

The island is closed between November and March, due to the strong prevailing winds during those months.

Recherche Archipelago (Bay of Isles), Western Australia

The Recherche Archipelago is known by locals as the “Bay of Isles.”

The archipelago contains over 100 pristine islands, and 1500 islets, off the coast of Esperance. The archipelago is located in the south-east of Western Australia, and covers 230 kilometers from East to West, and 50 kilometers from north to south, and total almost 100 square kilometers of land combined.

The archipelago is arranged in two groups, the western group (which includes the largest island, Woody Island, offshore from the Cape Le Grand National Park), and the eastern group (which includes Middle Island and is near Cape Arid National Park).