First Day on my Tour, Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday Islands
Airlie Beach Travel Blog› entry 9 of 59 › view all entries
This morning I woke up bright and early to get to the airport for my 7:55am flight. The Cairns airport is small so checkin and security took all of about 5 minutes. My bag got bomb checked again so I'm starting to think it's pretty standard for Australia.
I landed on Hamilton Island just over an hour later, which is one of the islands in the WhitSundays. Since I had an hour and a half to wait for the next ferry, I walked into town which took about 15 minutes. I did the stroll through the town, which consists of a string of shops along the marina. I then took the hour long ferry over to Shute Harbour. The water is super greenish blue and looked so nice to swim in but I figured the boat company wouldn't want me swan diving off the back of the boat for a quick swim.
After a wait in Shute Harbour for the public bus, I was on my way to Airlie beach and arrived about 10 minutes later. All the shops were open so I did a little shopping. I had left my beach towel on the Tusa Boat so I had to buy a new one. I saw one that had ausie road signs, like Kangaroos, next 1000km, so I went with that one. After I had bought it and ripped the tags off, I realized in the middle of the towel is a "road sign" with a woman's figure and a tiny bikini with the sign reading "curves ahead". So pretty tacky but it's now my towel for the rest of the trip haha
I spent the afternoon waiting for my tour bus to arrive by laying on a pool chair next to the hotel's "lagoon" swimming pool. Not a bad way to start the tour. The bus arrived around 4pm with 34 people already on the tour. There were just 4 of us starting in Airlie Beach and some people had started all the way back in Darwin.
They divided us up onto two boats and we sailed off from the marina. The first night consisted of a very beautiful sunset view and a quick swim in the water. We have to wear stinger suits (basically a thin wet suit) because it's jellyfish season. It's a little annoying to have to put one on but it's worth it to swim in 29 degree weather off the side of a boat :)
One of the crew was responsible for our meals and we ate lots of good food. The first night was bbq chicken, two kinds of pasta salad and salad, salad. The annoying thing about the tour was that the new people didn't know that there was no alcohol on board. If I had known it was BYOB, I would have bought some in the 5 hours I had in Airlie Beach.
The rest of the night was pretty low key with a few people drinking and not a whole lot of craziness. Some people slept on the deck because it was so hot down below. We had all bunk beds that were open so anytime someone got up to go to the bathroom, I'd wake up. Not the most restful sleep but ah well. I'm in the WhitSundays!
Pictures to come when I'm in an internet cafe that allows uploads!