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Hayman Island, in the northern Whitsunday Passage, is the closest of the Whitsunday resort isles to the Outer Barrier Reef. The island, a 900-acre crescent with a series of hills along its spine, has just one resort, one of the oldest and most opulent in the region and popular with jet-setters who take their leisure seriously. The service—understated yet attentive—merits the price you pay for it; staff members even traverse the resort via tunnels so they're less of a "presence." Reflecting pools, sandstone walkways, manicured tropical gardens, statuary, and waterfalls—meticulously recreated in 2011 under the guidance of celebrity landscape designer Jamie Durie (who also designed six additional garden areas for the resort) after substantial damage from Cyclone Larry—provide the feel of an exclusive club, while beautiful walking trails crisscross the island, leading to pristine coves and vantage points. The main beach sits right in front of the resort complex, but more secluded sands and fringing coral can be reached by boat or on foot.
Hayman Island at a Glance
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