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Airlie beach and the Whitsundays 7th -12th April

AUSTRALIA | Tuesday, 12 April 2016 | Views [324]

We checked into our hostel at around 7pm and after some fuss with swapping rooms we got packed up ready for the next day. Because of bedbugs (which apparently like to live in zips) we weren't allowed to take any bags with any zips on which made it a bit more difficult and meant that we also had to buy a tote bag for the trip. 

We woke up early (far too early considering we didn't need to meet at the marina until 1.30), had breakfast and was waiting ready to meet the boat at about 11. This meant we had to hang around the harbour for about 2 and a half hours which was a little dull, but I'm not sure what else we would have done with the time. Airlie beach is quite a nice place, very touristy, but except for day trips and sailing trips there isn't much to do there really. 
We met with the group we would be spending the next two days with which included our host Aarum, our captain Greg and his son Jack. There were 27 of us booked on to the tour, mostly girls which was odd, and unlike other tours we have done in Asia so I think more girls must travel Australia. We were shown our cabins which were twins and then served some chips and dips which was fantastic as we were all starving.
We began the journey over to an area near Whitehaven beach where we would dock for the night. The journey took about 4 hours and was really lovely, calm and full of pretty sights and a nice sunset. When we arrived Aarom (not sure how its spelt to be honest) served us a bbq dinner which was fantastic and then we played some get to know each other game called the circle of love (the kind of game I hate: tell us your name and one interesting fact kind of game) and then went to bed ready to get up for breakfast at 6.30. 
The captain had told us that a lot of people like to sleep up on the deck under the stars because firstly the views are fantastic (the stars were so amazingly clear and we could see the milky-way) and secondly because the cabins tend to be uncomfortably hot. We didn't think much of it because our room felt quite cool earlier in the day and we'd thought we would try the room the first night and the deck the second - be a shame to pay for a room and not use it after all. This may have been a mistake. Becki and I woke up every two hours or so because of the heat of the room, each time debating whether to go up top or not. In the end we decided not to because we could hear the occasional shower of rain, but it didn't make the sleep any better. 
Although not the worst nights sleep of the trip, waking up at 6.30 wasn't easy but it was definitely worth it. We were up and ready for the day a while before any of the other boats around us which meant we were the first group onto Whitehaven beach, which is apparently the most beautiful beach on the southern hemisphere. We first went up to the hill inlet viewpoint which was beautiful, with swirls of different colours running through the shifting sands, and then headed down to the beach. The beach was lovely with really soft and bright white sand, but I wouldn't say its the most beautiful beach we've seen - that award stays with Koh Rong Samloem's Saracen Bay. We spent a few hours there and towards the end the weather really cleared up which made it all a lot prettier (it had been quite cloudy earlier in the day) so we decided to head back up to the viewpoint to see if the change in weather affected the view at all. And it did. This time it was even better, and the colour changes were  more noticeable. By this point it was time to head back to the boat ready for lunch and a couple of snorkelling spots. Unfortunately because of the rain the visibility for snorkelling wasn't very good, but there was some of the biggest fish I have ever seen and they swim right up to your face basically. It was pretty disgusting. We pulled into a cove for the night and spent the evening trying to avoid the rain.
The next morning we were up at 6.30 for our last snorkel and then we sailed back to Airlie beach, arriving at about 11 to check back into Magnums hostel. We spent the rest of the day doing some admin and laundry because everything got wet and a bit grim on the boat. We had a subway for lunch which was just perfect and then cooked for ourselves for dinner. I am definitely missing eating out for three meals a day for only £2 but we definitely couldn't afford it here sadly. 
After dinner we met up with some of the people from the trip which was fun and a good way to end our time with them. The last day was spent hanging out with a book by the lagoon and wandering around the town and then we got a night bus to Hervey Bay which is where I will continue the blog. 


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