Hamilton Island, Queensland, Australia
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This is what people picture when they think of Australia: turquoise waves lapping against powdery white sand; Technicolor coral gardens teeming with tropical fish; koalas munching on eucalyptus leaves or cuddling for a photo. Hamilton Island, at the gateway to the 74-island Whitsunday archipelago, has it all. Owned by prominent sailor and winemaker Robert Oatley, and hosting Race Week every August, Hamilton Island is a beloved sailing destination. Travelers can ply the dreamy waters as passengers on a luxury catamaran or even skipper their own boat. If wind and time aren’t on your side, there are faster ways to get to, say, the Great Barrier Reef. Visitors can also see the reef, the largest living thing on Earth, from the air. It would be completely acceptable to simply relax on Hamilton Island, though; try the wet bar overlooking Catseye Beach or the yacht club’s sunken outdoor patio, which feels like the deck of some important ship.