Well known for luxury and contemporary elegance, the 212-room five star Hayman Resort has been the venue for many a romantic proposal and honeymoon since its inception in the early 1950s.

While it was once the place to visit for luxury in the region, qualia has now stolen its thunder somewhat – but this slice of healthy competition has seen Hayman continue to undergo regular upgrades and renovations (always good news for visitors in search of quality). In 2014 the resort was rebranded under the One&Only moniker bringing the old girl of the Whitsunday Islands up to date and on level pegging with qualia.

Its enormous lagoon pool remains a constant feature in a resort that strives always to reinvent itself, and its 16 Retreat Rooms, all in richly grained timbers with private gardens, are just lovely. There’s a small marina attached, which is most guests’ arrival point on board the Sun Goddess, one of the resort’s 30m luxury vessels.

While the expensive resort steals the limelight, Blue Pearl Bay on the northwest coast is extremely popular with bareboats and tourist boats on island cruise itineraries. Free public moorings are highly sought-after as the bay offers excellent diving and snorkelling directly from the mooring area.

Walkers can stretch their legs on the track from Castle Rock to Dolphin Point and Cooks Lookout, a west-facing bay that offers sensational sunsets over the distant mainland. But beware: it’s a favoured spot of the charter fleet, which can detract from the tranquillity of al fresco sundowners on deck.

Getting There: Private boat or helicopter transfers from Hamilton Island for resort guests. Most charter operators schedule a visit to Blue Pearl Bay on extended island tours, while bareboaters skipper themselves.

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