After 12 hours of Greyhound ride to Airlie Beach, it was time to get ready four our sailing trip. We packed our bags and made our way to the travel agency where we dropped off the bulk of our things. Only needed a small bag with the bare essentials on the boat.
The boat didn’t leave until the afternoon so we had some time on our hands. We walked along the bicentennial path, a beautiful 3km ocean front walk. We stopped in at a restaurant at the marina afterwards and had a bite to eat while we watched the boats come and go.
Doing some exercise…
During the walk, Amy heard a sound like someone was being murdered. Turned out it was a white parrot.
There was another one on a different brunch that Amy took pictures of as well. The parrot seemed to know he was being photographed as he went and bit off all the leaves in front of him and then sat there watching her.
We headed back into town in order to grab some final things. (ie. alcohol and vegetable/fruit juice for Amy). We boarded the boat, “On Ice” at 4pm and made our way towards the Whitsundays.
Bred from a French racing heritage, On Ice is a 46 ft catamaran.
There were 12 of us on board (Including the 2 crew). There was a couple from the UK (London), a couple from the US (Virginia), and a family of 4 from Germany. The skipper was also German whilst the deck hand was a local.
We sailed (well “motored”, there was little wind and it was in the wrong direction) out to the east side of the Whitsundays. We had some “sunset” spring rolls as an appetizer at, you might have guessed it, sunset. Queue beautiful photos.
We had a wonderful Morrocan chicken, Mediterranea pasta salad, and salad for dinner. That night we got to know each other a little better while we sailed to our night time mooring spot just on the other side of Whitehaven Beach.
The next morning breakfast was bright and early. (Which was okay, the rooms got very hot and the hatches let some air in but nowhere near enough). After we finished our really strong coffee and tea we made our way to Whitehaven. A short hike got us up to the lookout and a fabulous view.
The whole island is a national park.
We made our way back to the boat with the place just getting busier and busier. (Some boats had over 50 people they were dropping off). It was then off to the beach itself. As we had more time than other ships we headed further south to a less busy part of the beach.
The stand up paddleboards came out and we paddled just off the beaches edge. Daryl did stand up this time. A little wobbly at first but he got the hang of it. (He did fall in a few times but a couple might just have been to cool down).
A short rest on the beach after and you truly appreciate the sand. With 99% silica the sand is white and cool to the feet, despite the hot weather.
We then made our way back to the busier and more well known (ie. most photographed) part of the beach.
Next up was our first snorkelling spot. The visibility was average but we were still able to see some very cool coral and fish. Amy also tried out the sea scooter they had!
Some more sailing… err motoring and time to dry off. Amy made great use of our bedroom hatch.
Dinner was again delicious. We had gnocchi with bacon and tomatoes, salad, and garlic bread.
Another beautiful sunset. The night sky was amazing. You can see sooooo many stars. We saw Milky Way so clearly. Amy had never seen the Milky Way in China before. She laid on the boat and stared at the sky for quite some time soaking it all in.
Amy had fun with the sunset photos.
The final morning we jumped straight into some more snorkelling. (After Amy got convinced to try Vegemite, yuck) Visibility wasn’t as good but still some new things to discover.
Amy also got to do some more stand up paddle boarding. This time in some calmer waters and beautiful scenery. (So many butterflies) Amy also finally saw a jelly fish. All those times wearing the stinger suit paid off. Not that she was got to fall into the water or anything, unlike Daryl. She may have killed it anyways with her paddle.
We moved to a final snorkelling spot, had some lunch, and then made our way back to Airlie. We did sail (for a little bit) but sadly still not much wind.
We got back in and made our way to our next accommodation, the Seaview Apartments. We got upgraded to a two bedroom apartment, awesome! It did have a living room, an ocean view, and free laundry so that was a plus. (and way better than the YHA). The AC was turned on by the stuff before we arrived, so we walked into a cool room. How thoughtful.
A relaxing dinner (with beer tasting paddleboard) and we went to bed way earlier than i care to admit. We did have a couple very busy days so we were both tired and sore.
The next morning we got our wake up coffees and pastries before heading to the Airlie Airport. It was now finally time to see the Whitsundays from the air. We did an hour long scenic flight over the islands and out to the Great Barrier Reef.
Hardy Reef and Hook Reef
Whitsunday Islands, 74 in total.
Until Next time…..