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Regent Seven Seas Voyager Asian Cruise Blog #3

Ben Hall

It's been described as one of the world's most beautiful island groups and the Whitsundays and we were fortunate enough to cruise past on the Voyager close enough to appreciate this slice of heaven. The 74 islands that make up the Whitsundays are a real water lovers' paradise and you can still get a feel for what all the fuss is about from the deck of a cruise ship.

We didn't actually stop here as our first port of call was Townsville, the unofficial capital of North Queensland. It was a short day - from 10am to 6pm and we passed on the ship's tours and headed for Magnetic Island on one of the local jet cats. This is a tropical island with a difference in that people actually live here and there is a strong sense of community on the island which has nice beaches and lots of good walking trails through bushland and this is where you get to see koalas in the wild as they're quite well protected. We didn't see any this time, but we know they're there.

Cairns followed on the next day from Townsville - and this is a laid-back tropical city with tons of things to do. One of the highlights of stopping here is a ship's tour to the outer reef with its fantastic snorkelling. It costs about $200 but as we'd done this before, we opted to hire a car and head into Kuranda and the Atherton Tablelands.

Next is a sea day followed by Thursday Island right at the top of Cape York.

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