Depending upon where you live, it may seem like a long way to go for a vacation but the Great Barrier Reef is worth every bit of the travel. Situated centrally in the Whitsunday Islands, this holiday spot has historical significance because it had been populated by the Ngaro Aboriginal tribe for at least 8,000 years prior to the voyages of Captain Cook who, in 1770s, sailed through the chain of islands. The island has been privately owned since 2003 and has seen extensive improvements. Now, it is one of the most desirable vacation destinations for the very rich. The majority of the island maintains an untouched, undisturbed quality while at the same time, the exclusive private resort, the yacht club and its fashionably elite villas remind the vacationer that this good life comes with a hefty price tag.
Hamilton Island is one of the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, Australia, close to the Great Barrier Reef. Most of the car-free island is covered in bushland and the coast is fringed by coral reefs. Tours offer up-close sightings of koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and kookaburras. Trails lead up to Passage Peak in the east, with views of the surrounding islands.