Airlie Beach & Mission Beach

Trip Start Aug 15, 2008
Trip End Aug 14, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Monday, May 18, 2009

May 18th - Airlie Beach

The only reason for Airlie Beach's popularity is because it is the jumping off point for the Whitsunday Islands. The Whitsundays are a spectacular chain of 74 islands off the Queensland coast. Each of the islands is covered in sub-tropical rainforest & surrounded by glorious, sandy beaches.
Shute Harbour Road is Airlie's main drag which is full of backpacker hostels, bars, clubs & cafes although there are some upmarket apartments, hotels & restaurants tucked discretely behind the main road.

We stayed in an YHA hostel again which was very convenient being on the main street, right in the thick of the activity. Right opposite was a drive-through Bottle Shop (off licence) - how convenient is that ?
Our room was one of the two en-suite double rooms, but it had no view from its frosted window & had the atmosphere of an underground bunker, I know how Adolf Hitler must have felt in his last days - it was cheap, though.
At night the main street was seething with backpackers spilling out of the pubs & bars or queuing up for take-away fish & chips (which were delicious). Several bars had live music, some of it was very good & all of it was VERY LOUD, especially the bar next to our bedroom!

There are dozens of tour operators offering boat trip around the islands, we chose one that took us to Hill Inlet Lookout, Whitehaven Beach then to Mantaray Bay at the north of Hook Island.
(See Whitsunday's blog)
Because of the threat of Stingers (poisonous jelly fish), Airlie, has built a Lagoon at the sea front where you can sunbath or swim safely. It's quite large with grass & palm trees around it.
Further along the coast is the pretty Shute Harbour, a natural harbour, where the Whitsunday boats used to sail from before they built the Airlie Marina. It is now local yachting mooring.

Mission Beach
Our next stay was due to be Cairns, but as it was a long drive we were advised to break our journey at Mission Beach which is an attractive beach resort south of Cairns. The tropical rain forest comes right down to the beach here so there are palm trees overhanging the beach.

The beach, like many in the north, has Stinger nets protecting parts of the beach from lethal Box Jellyfish making it safe to swim. Australia is such a beautiful place but has so many nasty poisonous creatures to watch out for.

We saw a funny sight, someone had collected odd flippers, flip-flops & shoes washed up on the shore & had strung them up on their front gate - there were hundreds.
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holly08121 on

P Smith
Good Day mates. Can't sleep so thought I would catch up on the blog! Looks lovely and quite.

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