Paradise exists - and it's in the Whitsundays

Trip Start Nov 09, 2012
Trip End Mar 04, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Four hours Greyhound bus ride from Townsville, we arrived in Airlie Beach.
To describe the town centre, think Newquay with road works on a
really hot day. There is one small supermarket and a really
expensive 24/7 shop, with small clothing shops and travel agents.
The rest of the town is made up of eateries, either sea food, fast
food or bars.

Our apartment isn't quite the luxury that we had in Townsville, but is
still, by backpacking standards, excellent accommodation. The top
floor apartment has a lovely balcony view over the harbour, a large
living room/kitchen, bedroom and bathroom. We have a baby Gecko
living in the bathroom and lots outside the apartment – the little
guys come out at night to eat all the nasty bugs.

We arrived on Wednesday and spent following day catching up on sleep,
emails and planning the next stage of our journey – to Hervey Bay,
the gateway to Fraser Coast. We decided to do a 'lucky dip'
accommodation offer and managed to get 2 nights in a 4* hotel :0)
And better yet, after Hervey Bay, we travel down to Brisbane for
Deb's birthday, and I've booked a couple of nights in a 5* Hilton
hotel. Aaaahhh, the joys of backpacking. I'm very grateful for the
standard of our accommodation, as I've seen in some of the backpacker
hostels in Airlie Beach – with the bunk beds and cramped room, no
privacy, sleeping with strangers, and it's thanks but no thanks –
we'll live the good life for as long as we can manage it...

On Friday we went on a day trip to the Whitsunday Islands, Whitehaven
Beach and Daydream Island – sailing past some of the 74 islands on
the way. Paradise DOES exist, it's 2 hours from Airlie Beach and is
Whitehaven Island – specifically, Whitehaven Beach. Imagine 7km of
silicone white sand on a rainforested, uninhabited island, with aqua
blue sea lapping at the shore with different types of fish swimming
around. When we arrived, we had the beach to ourselves, with some
boats and sea planes parked up at surrounding bays. The views were
spectacular and the weather was lovely and warm. Being stinger
season, we donned our stinger suits before we went for a dip in the
sea – I'm even getting quite good and getting into the bloody
things now :-)

After a couple of hours at Whitehaven Beach having fun in the sea,
including sea rugby :-) it was time for us to go to Daydream Island
so boarded the boat, had some yummy warm scones with jam and cream
and travelled the hour or so to the next island. Daydream Island is
a 1km long island which has a resort on it – when we arrived we had
lunch and went for a Rainforest walk that ran the length of the
island – and being only 1km long – did it twice! We then jumped
into one of the resorts pools – which was lovely and warm and spent
a couple of hours chilling out – and it was heaven. The pool
looked over a couple of other islands and the sea, it was remarkable.
The whole day was fantastic, and we got to visit some breathtaking
islands and see some fantastic scenery – and is without a doubt,
paradise on earth.   This day trip was, alongside Kangaroo Island, the best day of travelling so far, even better than sea kayacking at Fitzroy Island.

Saturday was another admin/chill out day by the pool, researching things to do
in Brisbane and booking our next Greyhound tickets and on Sunday we
went on a day trip to Long Island, which has long rainforest walks
and a resort. We went on a 9km walk up and down dale, through the
rainforest to a place called Sandy Cove, with an unspoilt beach and
surrounded by neighbouring islands. The walk was quite hard, and in
some places, a bit scary, as a big black bird decided to attack us,
things were rummaging around in the foliage, and there were lots of
strange sounds! After our lunch we spent the afternoon by the pool,
relaxing. Another perfect day...

Tomorrow we leave for Hervey Bay and the Fraser Coast – with an overnight,
12 hour bus journey, leaving at 7pm and arriving at 7.30am – so we
have another day by the pool planned tomorrow to relax before we
catch our bus. :-)  Time has changed from the routine of weekdays and weekends, to where everyday is a Saturday - it doesn't matter what day it is, or what time it is (unless we have to get up for tours), all that matters is what we're doing that day - it's fantastic but confusing when I try to remember what day of the week it is...

Whilst Airlie Beach isn't much at all, and is definitely a party town, it's
the gateway to the Whitsundays and there are some magnificent
islands, walks and beaches and we have definitely experienced
paradise here...

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