Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays

I arrived in Airlie Beach in the evening on 16th August after a 3.5 hour journey from Townsville.I checked into a 4bed mixed dorm at Base. The room was large with an area to store luggage, an ensuite bathroom and a countertop area which could easily be turned into a kitchenette which is huge for a hostel!

The next day I took it easy, I walked along the bicentennial walkway along the seafront and enjoyed the views(and rain!). The next day the sailing boat around the Whitsundays set off. I travelled on Broomstick which is an old racing boat and was equipped with enough space for 25 passangers to sleep. Unfortunately the weather turned from being dry to wet to very very wet, very quickly. This meant the most part of the first and second days on the boat were pretty  damp. Whilst the weather wasn’t great we still managed to put up the sails and quickly arrive at our first snorkelling spot at Caves Cove. We put in our beautiful stinger suits (which I heard are high end fashion items) and snorkelling masks before we saw the fish. That evening we moored up on Hooks Passage and warmed ourselves up with some hot tea and a good meal cooked by the crew. Whilst the sky was cloudy we managed (with the help of an app) to stargaze and spot Scorpius and Lyra (and possibly Saturn) in the sky above us.
The next morning we were woken at 6.30 by the captain. Once up, we set off to Whitehaven beach, which claims to be the most beautiful beach in the world (sorry Cleethorpes!). First we enjoyed the view over the lookout point (where you could see sting rays from distance) in our yellow rain jackets before heading onto the white sanded beach.
The beach is made of 98.9% silica which is washed up from the tectonic plates near by. The sand is meant to be good for the skin, hair and teeth and also to polish jewellery. I only had a cheap plastic watch on which has gone from white to grey in 2 weeks… The sand didn’t help this, but it did mean I got a free spa treatment for the rest of my body for as far as I dared to wade into the sea on a cold, rainy day!

After the beach we headed to another bay which was clearer than Caves Cove where again we could see plenty of fish and bright coral. As we headed off the weather stared to brighten up. To make this even better we spotted whales with calves and some eagles. To finish the day off we visited Langford Reef where we chilled on a sandbank with a drink and hot nachos.

On the third and final day of the sail we were woken by the sunshine and went for a snorkel in a place where turtles normally are spotted. It seems like they didn’t get the invite, however there still were plenty of fish and some beautiful bright blue and purple coral. Whilst heading back to Airlie Beach the sails were up and we were on a scary angle… The bars of one side of the boat were being submerged in the water. We also spotted some dolphins enjoying the weather!

Despite the weather the Whitsundays were beautiful and the snorkelling was great. It was a great new experience for me to sleep on a boat (even if I was pretty nauseous one morning!) And enjoy it with the passangers and crew.

On my final day before catching a bus I went on a fishing charter. I caught one small fish which was too small to eat. The boat ride out took us to the Whitsunday Islands again, this time was sunny so the sea looked beautiful. I finished off the day with fish and chips… this time I ate a dory fish, which again was a tasty fish!

 

 

 

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