Get Here: Whitsunday, Australia

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You can spend a day lazing on this 4-mile-long shore just off the northeastern coast of Australia. But the best way to enjoy the brush-stroke splendor of Whitehaven Beach on uninhabited Whitsunday Island is to see it from the sky. Before you soar over this lagoon in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, fly over the Pacific Ocean to Brisbane, Melbourne or Sydney, Australia, where you can catch one of Jetstar Airway's daily transfer flights to Great Barrier Reef Airport on Hamilton Island. Settle into one of the luxury accommodations there; the largest inhabited island in the Whitsunday archipelago, Hamilton offers the widest variety of resorts. Go to the helipad on Industrial Drive, just past the main airport terminal, and board one of Hamilton Island Aviation's helicopter tours. To enjoy the swirling effect of silica sand, natural channels and shifting currents in Hill Inlet at the north end of Whitehaven Beach, time your trip for low tide. Arrange for a picnic lunch on the white-sand shores; even as you sink your toes in the sand, you'll be flying high.

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