Paradise exists! Arriving in Airlie Beach, we were happy to see the sun and ran into many of the friends we made on different parts of our trip. The coincidence of seeing someone you know in unexpected places is really one of the joys of travelling!
Airlie is a small but vibrant town with lots of bars, shops and people. We felt like we were entering civilisation again… Airlie is also the place where tours to the Whitsunday Islands depart. They are little pieces of paradise each one… I had hoped to be camping in the Whitehaven National Park for a few days, but we were strongly discouraged by locals due to bad weather conditions. If you happen to be there in a good season, here’s a tip for someone who does just the transfer to the island: Island Transfers or Whitsunday Camping.
So we booked a day tour instead with Mantaray, on a nice fast steady boat… The tour goes to Hill Inlet to see Whitehaven Beach from above, Whitehaven Beach itself (you can walk across to Whitehaven when the tide is low) and then an afternoon of snorkelling or diving on the Great Barrier Reef.
I wanted to go diving, but just the day before a terrible dive accident happened on another boat that shook us up bigtime (it wasn’t a shark), so I decided to go snorkelling instead. Unfortunately no turtles, but I did spot a stingray. Yay!