Return to Airlie Beach

Trip Start Mar 07, 2011
Trip End Aug 28, 2011

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Where I stayed
Island Gateway Holiday Park

Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Saturday, June 25, 2011

At this stage of our trip we can't help but notice the difference between travelling on the South coast, West Coast and Northern Territory roads compared to travelling on the East Coast.
Up until reaching the East coast the traffic and driving conditions were great. No pressure, everybody took their time and there was no feeling of urgency.
Not long after crossing the Queensland border the roads at times were in such bad repair it was quite scary. Although the condition of the roads has improved as we travel further east, there is a noticeable increase in the volume and pace of the traffic. Where we never felt pushed before and could enjoy the countryside we now have traffic sitting right on our backside.
But.....the East Coast is so beautiful and everywhere is so green and fresh, and the traffic, well between the both of us we can manage that!!
We booked into the Coral Coast Caravan Park in Townsville which we both agreed was the noisiest stopover we have had for the entire trip. The park was located in the industrial area and little did we know but it was situated right next to the RAAF airport. The traffic did not stop all night, this included trains,  and just when we thought it could not get any noisier, around 5am there was this terrific noise, the van seemed to vibrate. It was terrifying. I went outside, and yes, Ray stayed in bed waiting for my report!!! The guy across the road was also out checking the noise and told me it was the RAAF hornets taking off. The next morning the guy next to us said to Ray "did we declare war on somebody last night".
By morning we could not wait to get out of Townsville, which was a pity because we had spent the previous day looking around and really liked the place.
Airlie Beach was looking good, so off we went, feeling a little sad that we hadn't seen more of Townsville but looking forward to less traffic and a quieter caravan park.
We were not disappointed, the caravan park was lovely and quiet and again we were waking up to the sound of tropical birds and not the big RAAF birds.
We had previously visited Airlie Beach with our friends Gina and Peter Kelly about 11 years ago, loved it then and still love it. It was great to see that the shops in the main street have hardly changed although the surrounding area has tripled in size with a huge increase in accommodation, the marina has doubled in size with plans for another marina and a huge lagoon has been constructed along the foreshore.
As we had visited the reef and many of the islands on our previous trip we didn't have plans to do the reef  again but decided on a cruise back to Hamilton Island. It was very windy and the water was pretty choppy so we settled for coffee on terra firma. 
We didn't do anything special, a wander around the Saturday market, strolling around the shops, stopping off for coffee, catching up on some reading and generally having a good relaxing time. 
Buggar of a job but someone has to do it!!!!!!!!!!!!
Next stop, who knows ...somewhere down the coast.

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