Whitsundays Island Hop - Travel Article
Travel Article: Whitsundays Island Hop

Travel Article: Whitsundays Island Hop

The handsome Hayman waiter assured the table of a brilliant coffee, adding, for effect, that there was a "barrister" behind the bar. Had the wigged one tired of Brisbane's George Street and decided to swap Supreme Court Criminals for cappuccinos? Could a lad of the law make a good latte?

As we pictured the garrulous grinder, the waiter, a guilty grin across his face, admitted he had meant barista but that shouldn't stop anyone from going to Hayman for coffee.

The Hayman Island experience begins aboard the resort's luxury vessel where the superlatives flow as freely as the champagne. "Glistening waters, lush gardens, reflective pools, fringed palms, gentle waterfalls, gracefulness" the Hayman brochure promises.

A $24 million refurbishment later, Hayman isn't lying. Apart from her picture-postcard pool, 16th century fireplace and 20 carat gold ceiling, it's easy to see why the rich and famous choose Hayman Resort as their hideaway. Rod Stewart, it is reported, once knocked on the doors of a number of unsuspecting guests in a bid to make up enough players for a soccer match.

Voted as one of the world's top five accommodation places by Conde Nast Magazine, Hayman stepped up another notch in November 2003 when she opened her luxury beach villas. Before that guests had to suffice with diving off their balconies straight into the pool.

While a bean-grinding barrister may seem out of place at Hayman, over at Club Med Lindeman Island, it would hardly rate a mention.

Island Air Taxis operate a picturesque plane journey between Whitsunday Airport and Lindeman Island over the aqua patchwork which is the Whitsundays.

Once on Lindeman Island, one is not a guest but a "gentils membres" and you are most likely to be served coffee by the same person who made your bed that morning and taught you the trapeze that afternoon.

Club Med's circus school is one of the island's unique attractions, where guests can learn to fly with the greatest of ease while attached to a safety line, 10m above a trampoline. Opened in 1997, guests can learn positions such as the bird nest, plunge, splits, pull-over, knee hang and layout

Not that your luxury loo doesn't already offer a fantastic view over the Coral Sea. The 21 cabins, many with cathedral shaped ceilings to capture the breeze, face the setting sun.

Island hop to Daydream Island Resort and Spa aboard the super sleek Whitsunday All Over catamaran, to arguably the best day spa in Australia.

Daydream has an outdoor aquarium where $70,000 worth of sand and 1,000 litres of water in a tidal system turn every six hours into an open air reef. The lagoon is like a mini Barrier Reef with between 1,500 and 2,000 individual coral species and 50 different species of fish.

While at Airlie Beach, for absolute waterfront luxury, consider the Coral Sea Resort, where the aqua marine waves lap your balcony equipped with spas and hammocks. In fact, with a waterfront pool and restaurant where Caesar salad is served with scallops, you'd never need leave were it not for the Whitsunday waters beckoning.

One of the best ways to truly experience the Whitsundays is aboard one of the Sydney to Hobart maxi yachts, retired to bluer pastures.

Prosail offers trips aboard these grand ladies, setting off from Shute Harbour and taking tourists to secluded bays. Here tourists can simply sunbake, snorkel or dive into the delicious Barrier Reef before sailing home to the setting sun with the smug feeling of knowing they've done the Whitsunday waltz.