New gallery highlights hidden gems of the Whitsundays
VISITING the azure blue waters and chalky sands of Whitehaven is all in a day’s work for Cruise Whitsundays tour guide Cherene Poidevin.
But despite having visited the famous stretch of beach countless times, she says it never gets old.
It was the “raw beauty” of the area that inspired Ms Poidevin to enter one of her photographs in Tourism Whitsundays’ Let’s Get Together competition, and her photo now hanging in the Cruise Whitsundays terminal for all to see.
The competition was launched to encourage residents to share their favourite spot in the region.
More than 250 people entered and the competition had a social media engagement of more than 200,000 followers.
By sharing the famous sights and hidden gems of the region on social media, it was hoped more people would book a Whitsunday escape.
A collection of some of the best snaps now line the walls of the terminal giving a peek into all that is on offer in the region.
Ms Poidevin has been a tour guide for three years and said despite the challenges of the pandemic, people were still flocking to the region.
“A lot of my guests are saying that they were meant to be going overseas,” she said.
“And so many of them say ‘Why have we not been here before?
“It’s someone’s first day every day, and they’re excited, which gets me excited.
“That’s what I love about it - that I can show this off to them.”
Speaking at the launch of the gallery, Division 2 councillor Al Grundy said the photos showcased all the bucket list items from Airlie Beach to Mackay.
“When you look around at these photos, you realise how blessed we are,” he said.
“When you look right across this region, whether you’re looking at the Great Barrier Reef, the Whitsunday islands, Whitehaven Beach, the scenery is amazing.
“We know we’re the heart of the Great Barrier Reef, we know we’re the heart of adventure and the heart of fun, maybe just now we’re the heart of art as well.”
Kat Murtagh took out first prize in the competition with a shot of Whitehaven Beach.
Ms Poidevin hoped the photos on display would encourage visitors and residents to explore.
“We move here for a reason and we live here for a reason,” she said.
“Don’t get stuck inside all the time, there’s so many different tours out there so make the most of it.”
The gallery will be open to the public until December 6.