WITH clear waters and white sandy beaches, it’s easy to see why the Whitsunday Islands were named the best in the South Pacific.
Conde Nast asked voters to rank the 30 best islands in the world outside the US in its 2018 Readers' Choice Awards.
Whitsunday Islands beat out Bora Bora (2), Moorea (3) and Tahiti (4) in French Polynesia to be ranked the best island in Australia and the South Pacific, while Fiji took fifth spot.
In announcing the winners, Conde Nast Traveler said the Whitsunday Islands were practically “synonymous” with honeymoons and bucket lists, with Whitehaven Beach given a special mention.
“Australia's Whitsundays, a series of 74 islands off the coast of Queensland, in the heart of Great Barrier Reef scuba and snorkel territory, is home to Whitehaven Beach, where the sand is 98 per cent pure silica, giving it its bright, white colour and keeping it cool, even in the hot sun,” the travel publication said.
Tourism and Events Queensland chief executive Leanne Coddington said such recognition was great news for the region.
“The Whitsunday Islands offer travellers the perfect holiday destination with crystal clear waters and access to Queensland's greatest natural wonder, the Great Barrier Reef,” she said.
“To receive this international recognition is a wonderful achievement for the region and demonstrates the enormous international appeal of the Whitsundays, which attracted more than 240,000 international visitors over the past year.”
More than 429,000 people took part in the readers' survey, which ranks the best islands in the world by region, including the best in Asia, Australia and the South Pacific, Europe and the Caribbean and the Atlantic.
The title comes off the back of the Whitsundays being one of six destinations nominated for Australia's Leading Destination 2018 which was taken out by Sydney.