Before arriving in The Whitsundays, this was the one activity I had planned weeks in advance! I was most looking forward to a seaplane flight above the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef for a number of reasons, mostly because I had never been in a seaplane before, but also because of the adventure-filled package the team at Air Whitsunday deliver.
I had visited the region many times in the past, and while I had discovered it on and below the surface, I had not yet seen in from above.
We started the day departing from the airport, taking off on a runway with the wheels of the plane which soon folded up in preparation for our water landings.
It was a short journey above Hook and Whitsunday Island before flying above the world-famous Hill Inlet, one sight that can only be truly appreciated from above. The blend of sand and water form an exquisite pattern swirling just a short distance below you.
We then approached landing on the shores of Whitehaven Beach, which was such an unreal feeling. As we were visiting in Summer, irukandji jellyfish are well-known for being in the area so we didn't spend a lot of time in the water, instead we enjoyed a pre-packed picnic from Air Whitsunday including cheese and crackers, ferrero rocher's, fruit, crisps and of course champagne! It was such a perfect way to sit back and appreciate the beauty of the beach and soak up the tropical temperatures.
After our time on Whitehaven Beach, we took off for a flight above the reef. The vibrant blues of the reef below were breathtaking, it was hard to remember to take photos as it was so captivating! There were coral formations as far as the eye could see, and despite there being some cloud cover the flight was incredible smooth. The highlight of all of the shapes below was definitely flying over the famous Heart Reef, a sight to behold when viewed from the air.
We approached another landing on the reef for a two hour snorkelling session. Our small group were the only people in sight so it was a great experience to discover this untouched world beneath the surface in such isolation. The lagoon was home to some magical fish and coral species, as well as more of my favourite giant clams. We were given the freedom to enjoy the sheltered area before retreating to the small shuttle boat for more cheese, crackers and wine.
Our day ended with a flight back across the Great Barrier Reef to the airport in Airlie Beach. This was such an incredible day spent on, above and underneath the ocean and a luxury all in one experience, especially if you are short on time. All of my expectations of the day were definitely exceeded!
Location: Departs Airlie Beach Airport