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The Whitsunday Islands a a group of 74 islands and islets east of Airlie Beach. They were named by James Cook who, on Whitmonday 1770  sailed through the main passage between the islands. Captain Cook used nautical dates and did not correct for passing the international date line, so according to his log the discovery took place on Whitsunday. Sofar nobody has bothered to correct the good captain's mistake.

The islands were inhabited by the seafaring  Ngaro people who were later whiped out by the European colonists and traders. The last surviving Ngaro were relocated in 1870 and put to work as slaves.

Presently the Whitsundays are a summer time favourite for boaters, divers and bathers.
A must see is Whiteheaven Beach on Whitsunday Island near the Hill Inlet, one of the most beautyful places on earth.
 
Divers will appreciate Hardy Reef, 65 km from Airlie Beach. The reef sports permanently moored pontoons and even a hotel.
 
 
We visited the Whitsundays in July 1999 and returned for more in October 2004.
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South Molle
Hill Inlet
Hardy Reef