WHITSUNDAY VACATIONS

The Luxury Resort Inspired From Unwanted Items

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Kicking back at a luxurious resort usually comes with a hefty price tag but this resort makes a fancy experience more affordable.

Tucked away in North Queensland’s Airlie Beach is a luxurious little haven that’s full of unexpected surprises.

From the moment you roll up along the driveway to Freedom Shores – named after The Doors song Waiting for the Sun – you feel like you could be at any luxe tropical holiday destination, but without the hefty price tag.

Here you can stay in your own little boat bungalow with a private deck overlooking the picturesque Airlie ocean.

The popular tourist town, which provides easy access to the Whitsundays Islands and the Great Barrier Reef, has certainly recovered from Cyclone Debbie which ravaged the region in 2017.

And it was her aftermath that inspired Freedom Shores itself.

Freedom Shores sits on the Whitsunday Coast, Queensland.

Its boat cabins all have ocean views. The palm trees came from The Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

Its boat cabins all have ocean views. The palm trees came from The Pirates of the Caribbean movie.

The nautical focus for the resort originated when the business acquired the old Shute Harbour jetty poles.

The marine facility at Shute Harbour was damaged extensively during the cyclone but Freedom Shores believed the poles “had character and beauty worthy of being saved”.

The timber inspired an entire resort built around reclaimed boats to create a truly special place that now sees the poles make up the entry ways to the boat cabins.

And those aren’t the only unwanted items that have been salvaged and given a new life – some of the palm trees within the grounds came from the set of the The Pirates of the Caribbean.

The trees were used when the movie was shot in the Whitsundays, but Freedom Shores scooped them up and planted them within the “hidden valley.”

But the showpiece of the resort is the salvaged “Shangri-La” boat which has been given pride of place at its entrance.

Shangri-La being used as a tourist vessel in the 1960s.

Shangri-La being used as a tourist vessel in the 1960s.

The boat at the resort today.

The boat at the resort today.

The vessel was part of General MacArthur’s fleet during World War II.

It was part of a small fleet that helped land soldiers, ammunition and stores at Milne Bay, Port Moresby, where the allied forces defeated a Japanese invasion of about 2400 soldiers.

It was the first defeat on land for the Japanese during the war, however they continued to bomb Port Moresby.

The boat was later used as a tourist vessel across the reef in the 1960s and now works as a deck and a place to relax with a drink alongside the resort’s pool.

While the resort is a bit out of town, its Northerlies Beach Bar and Grill provides a shuttle service making it easy to get about.

From town you can get out to the islands and the reef. We were lucky enough to head out for Cruise Whitsundays’ amazing Reef Sleep experience where you sleep in a swag under the stars on board their Heart Pontoon.

And the best part is, you’d never tell from your insta-worthy pics that you didn’t fork out a fortune to take advantage of one of the world’s greatest wonders.. the Whitsundays.

To book your next Whitsunday holiday, go to whitsundayvacations.com.au

The writer was a guest of Freedom Shores. Source: news.com.au.

The Great Barrie Reef located in the Whitsunday, Queensland, Australia
REVIEWS

Why Our Guests Keep Coming Back

14 The Cove - Waterfront Whitsunday Home
The view is sensational! Such a relaxing property. Great size/space. We spent our whole stay watching boats go past, spotting turtles and soaking up the sun with a cold beverage.
May 23, 2022
Renae
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Incredible house for larger groups, incredible views and great location 😍 Will stay again for sure
May 23, 2022
Teri
Amazing Whitsundays Penthouse lifestyle at Reflections
Great communication from the hosts, always so accomodating letting us store baggage after check out. Incredible apartment with amazing views - jacuzzi and pool were amazing. Couldn’t recommend more.
May 23, 2022
Georgie
Marina living with Whitsundays lifestyle @ the Boathouse
Amazing apartment in the best location in Airlie! Loved our stay and will be back.
May 23, 2022
Greg
Amazing Whitsunday Views @ High Tide
It’s an amazing house in a great location. It’s a little out of Airlie central, but that kind of makes it if you have a good group who don’t expect or want to go out for every meal (but even still it’s a short cab ride in to town)
May 22, 2022
Matt
23 The Cove - Whitsunday Waterfront Living
A well appointed and beautiful home in a convenient location. We loved everything about our stay here, especially the pool and view from the backyard. Highly recommended.
May 22, 2022
Ursula
Executive Whitsunday Penthouse @ 40 Reflections
This was our last stop on our honeymoon and it was absolutely stunning! We did not leave the property for two whole days (enjoyed the pool table, swimming and the beautiful views). It was about a 4 minute drive to Airlie beach (a $10 cab fare). The seafood platter at Fish D’vine was exceptional and the pasta/pizza at Lamarina was beautiful (a 5 minute walk from the main esplanade- quiet, romantic and peaceful). Would love to come back here!!!!! A memorable home
May 22, 2022
Zainab
Executive living with amazing marina views
Highly recommended, great location beautiful apartment. Only thing to be aware of is taxis are hard to get at the airport, shuttle bus is recommended. But key to apartment requires a taxi to collect and drop off again as it is not located onsite.
May 22, 2022
Lyndal
23 The Cove - Whitsunday Waterfront Living
Great place Great location
May 20, 2022
Ian
Marina Views @ The Boathouse
Great spot, super convenient and wonderful place
May 19, 2022
David
14 The Cove - Waterfront Whitsunday Home
Great location if you like to see water and boats. The water views make you feel like you are on a cruise ship.
May 17, 2022
Helena
Relax & Daydream @ 2 Elementa
This accommodation is very well presented and extremely clean. Everything you need is there. The taxis are prompt and it is less than $10 to get to the main street. Communication by the owners is fantastic with lots of recommendations for activities and restaurants. We will most definitely be back.
May 17, 2022
Shannon
Endless panoramic views of the Whitsundays @ 333
Location is amazing, Clean and the view is stunning. Could not fault the accommodation and the images don't do it justice.
May 17, 2022
James
Marina Views @ The Boathouse
Lovely apartment with great facilities and perfect location
May 16, 2022
Fay
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Beautiful home, exceptionally presented, stunning views, soo peaceful 😊great experience with communication with the host. Can not fault my experience with this home ❤️
May 16, 2022
Jodie
The Point @ Peninsula - Waterfront living
Great location, great view of the. Super yachts and the Marina . Close to restaurants. An easy walk to town and the lagoon swimming pools . A very nice unit suitable for 4 people or a family ..
May 16, 2022
Carol
Endless panoramic views of the Whitsundays @ 333
This is a great place to stay! Everything you need with a view to die for. The hosts are so lovely and helpful. Would definitely stay again!
May 12, 2022
Sarah
Executive living with amazing marina views
Great apartment. Definitely call ahead to ensure smooth check-in. sit back, relax and enjoy!
May 9, 2022
William
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Amazing location, stunning apartment! 🙃
May 9, 2022
Alex
Executive Whitsunday Penthouse @ 40 Reflections
Absolutely loved our stay here! Perfect size for a family or a small group of friends for a r&r getaway. The views are magnificent. The Penthouse is central to everything. 2min in a car to Woolies or Main St. Plenty of space and the rooftop deck with private pool, lounge and pool table, is the cherry on top! Have already saved this property and it will be our go-to for all our future Whitsunday island getaways!
May 9, 2022
Alli

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