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Great Barrier Reef

Located just off the coast of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the world's most fascinating destinations. Stretching more than 2600 kilometers along the Queensland coast, one of the best spots to explore the reef is from the Whitsunday Islands, a collection of islands just north of Mackay, 900 kilometers north of the Queensland capital, Brisbane.

Three of the most popular Whitsunday Islands are Hayman Island, Hamilton Island and Daydream Island. Hayman Island is reserved exclusively for Hayman Island Resort, a luxury establishment that offers a full range of modern accommodation, from standard sea-view rooms to themed penthouses with butler service. This private island has everything onsite – several restaurants, a spa, water sports, wedding facilities, even private homes for those seeking a sea change.

Hamilton Island is the second-largest of the Whitsundays and offers pure white sands and the idyllic turquoise waters of the Coral Sea. The island has several resorts, shops and some private residences plus an airstrip large enough to accommodation commercial airlines. Diving, swimming, jet-skiing, golf and whale watching are all popular pursuits on Hamilton.

Only one kilometer long, Daydream Island is one of the smallest tourist destinations in the Whitsundays. Part of the Molle archipelago, Daydream's main resort offers sailing, diving and various other watersports, plus conference facilities and a full-service spa. Visitors to Daydream will find themselves surrounded by a wide array of native Australian flora and fauna – reef tours explore the waters every day, crocodile tours skim over Australian wetlands and wallabies can be spotted daily as they comb the island for food.

For more information on hotels and landmarks in the different areas of Great Barrier Reef, click on the interactive Great Barrier Reef map on the left-hand side of the page.