Airlie beach + Whitsunday.

Airlie Beach Travel Blog

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My room at Airlie waterfront backpackers.

I got into Hamilton Island airport, the heat punch me in the face as soon as I got of the plane. OH yes, sun, bright blue sky, beach and ocean, that's why I came.

My plan was to check out and chilled at Hamilton lsland for half a day before I ferry to Airlie beach where I would spend the night.

I had no idea where I was going, and didn't know that Hamilton was privately own, I landed, got out, I just grab my bag and started walking... as I went 1/3 up a hill, a gentle men in small open top 4WD stopped, and ask me if I needed help. It was a open top buggy car (they were all over the lsland for guest to use as i found out later) He offer me a ride, i told him i just arrive, i didn't know where i was going and he said that he work for the resort and he would show me around.
Nice view from the room.
So i hop on the back, (it was a open top buggy after all, and i didn't feel like he was going to a kookoo killer) he gave me a quick tour of the island. He show me the beach, the main building/hotel of the lsland and a short loop of the island, the garden was very beautiful and it was like heaven.

Super nice of him. (I must have looked like an idiot to him.....) It turns out he was very friendly guy, he was a staff of the hotel on the Hamilton Island. He really like his job, can't remember his name..... he worked on lsland for a year now. Most people were their just to chilled on the lsland, they had lots of different buildings/hotel blocks and lots of pools.

We took a short 15 min spin around the lsland, he show me where the main hotel lobby was, and gave me a quick lowdown on the lsland and where to snokel.
View 2.
  The Hamilton lsland garden were so manicure! They had tons of beauitful palm trees, and super green lawns. "Mr nice guy" told me the palm trees were imported and they were very costly. Their garden really look heavenly.

 I said to him with much envy "Wow, this is where you work? It looks like heaven."

He goes "yeah..... *sign* " with a knowing smile. I could tell he really enjoy his job.

He drop me off at the Main hotel, I ask him where i could snokel and he show me where i can leave(use a locker) my bags, and which beach to go to, then he was off, nice man. I thanked and fairwell him. I left my bag at the hotel (they have bag check service, they gave you a key for a locker) I got change and head down to the beach for a stroll. I took my mask and fins down to the beach, it was low tide, not much to see, so i had walk out to shallow water, lots of small fish, very friendly fish.
Airlie Beach front.
I only stay for about 2 hours in the lsland, then i took their lsland free bus, back down to mairna and took the ferry to airlie beach.
 
Late afternoon I ferry to Airlie beach. I was stayed at Airlie beach waterfront backpacker.

Nothing to do in Airlie beach at night, most of people who stay on the main street were backpackers, lots of backpacker hostel and hotel there, most of them went out drinking at the pubs, young and drank. I stay in. The more expensive hotel were up on the hills, away from the noise and with balcony facing the ocean- you pay for waking up to the beautiful view. 
 
I stay at the Airlie water front backpacker in a 4 girl dorm, our room facing the beach, very nice. That back packer was weird, it was 3 buildings really, with a food court court open to public in the middle.
Airlie waterfront backpacker, nice place to stay, away from rows of bar/pub on main street,only 5 mins away.
Not the most friendly backpacker, you had to pay a deposit for a set of knife and forks... which kind of meant people steal stuff from them alot shame. I was so glad to stay there away from the noise from the main street.

I meet two ladies from USA, they ask me what boat tours they should take, I recommended cruise whitsunday- aircon + undercover (if you wish to be just tan, not burn), less chances of rough ride on a bigger boat, good lunches and nice toilets, can't beat that!

I dive with "Cruise Whitsunday" to Knuckle Reef... the rest I'll fill in later, as I cant' remember...... need to look at my dive log to check order of events.... *sign*... getting old....

ENTRY PART 2-

Day 2 was sunday, I was going to buy a lsland ferry pass to travel on Long Island and Daydream Island, but i went to a travel booking service there and the nice lady there told me there is not much snokeling on other lsland besides Daydream.
Other residents of the Airlie water front backpacker.
So i brought a half day tour to Daydream Island with lunch.
 
I left Airlie at 10:45am ferry to Daydream.
 
Daydream lsland resort has a "living reef lagoo" is the largest man-made coral reef lagoon and open air aquarium, that was pretty cool to see, they had 3 really huge matra rays and a shark, lots of small fish and seastar and coral, i didn't take pics of it cause the water was reflecting too much light. Their said there is 100,000 worth of fish in there. The resort was quiet, not many people around.
 
The resort is looking a bit old, but still nice, lots of pool again, much like Hamilton, I took my "lunch ticket" to a cafe for $15 worth of food, then i did a bush walk, i had to walk this trail (about 25 min up and down the rainforest, with nice view of looking out), I took the short way, (map from resort) i could have taken a trail that was more "inland", but i didnt' feel like doing 40min walking before i snorkel.
Heading off to day trip.
.... I had get to a beach call "lover's cove" where they told me is the better place to snorkl on Daydream.
 
Their were a few people there already snorkeling (locally tour with guide, with a group of kids and adults) I jumped in, it was low tide again, foggy but still very nice, lots of fishes, but not much colourful coral, it was a small bay, so i went across it twice (left to right and back again). It was very pretty, not much soft corals, but the water wasn't great at that time. We had to swim quite far way from the bay to see the bommies under the water, it was quite deep, I was lucky, because I manage to follow the snorketing tour a bit and mapped out where there were thing to see under the water. There was a lady on the beach, we started chatting, she told me that she didn't realize that this would be deep water and she was too tired to swim that far out.
I felt bad for her..

 As i got out and drying off, i saw a guy walking down the wooden path toward the beach, then he got the fright of his life! A BIG rockwallaby came bouncing down the steps behind him, (I just happen to be looking at that direction cuz i was leaving) he poor guy did see it coming, it bounce next to him, spook the crap out of him ( he screamed) the rockwallaby was going somewhere (he was busy).. it didn't stop, ( it was coming down the step pretty fast) and kept bouncing away-  he headed down the beach. He stop there on the sand for a min, bath in the sun for a while and then hop on to the rocks around the edge of the beach. It hop away to the other side of the beach on the rocks. I have NEVER seen that before, so NOW i know what they are call ROCKwallaby.
Tiny little fish....
He was so good at climbing rock (hopping really), he was amazing.
 
I stay on Daydream till about 5pm.
 
I meet a swiss girl from my room and a german guy and netherland guy and drank wine with them untill i could sleep. They brought goon(cheap box of wine.... if you could call it wine... I call it goon), it was nasty, we had a good chat, i was having white wine.
 
Monday- I went on a boat call Seaflight, the boat was big.

The weather was shit when we left, the reef was 100km away (2 hour boat trip) the bad news was that it was 20 knots of wind, fu#king awuful, I took sea sickness pills, but that did work out..... On most of the way the waters were protected by other lsland, so wind wasn't as hard, the sea wasn't as bad.
Daydream Island's rock wallaby.
.... but there was 40 mins of deep open water we had to cross, oh f#ck, its f#ck bad on a big boat, we were toss around like clothes in a dryer.
 
The staff were having fun, the boys were jumping up the air when we hit big waves, as they jump they would feel a few sec of free fall then the boat would drop from one wave to the next. One of them did that and hit his head on the ceiling cause the boat came down ALOT and hard on the next wave. Ouch. So they stop haha.
 
But when we got to the reef the sun was out. see pics! I dive with 3 others.  We got ready on the pontoon and went down from a chamber on the center of the pontoon. The reef was call Knuckle Reef and the pontoon have been set up there for 5 years, so there was a lot of life that has attached itself on the bottom of the pontoon-like corals and shells.
Daydream Island's rock wallaby.
There were some cleaner shrimp living in the crack of the pontoon, I saw them they were hiding, in the cracks of shell forming attached on the boat. I saw lots of fishes, emperor angel fish, maori wrasse a very colour fish, the coral was rather grey....
 
Not much people who went on this trip dive, most of them snokel. They had to follow flowing yellow bubble around the reef so they dont' swim out to the open ocean and the tide carry them away too quickly.
 
The second dive was after lunch, we spotted a big ray hiding in the sand, saw more colourful corals, saw nemo (not the real anemone fish, more like nemo's cousins)

I patted the giant n wrasse they nick name him Wally ( Wrasses-they are nickname Wally, cause they all look alike, almost every reef has one with its own territory, there are lot of Wally's at the Great Barrier Reef) He WAS awesome, he was coming my way as we were swimming up to get out, he came right at me ( he is a friendly fish and has met lots of divers) and he let me stroke him, i gave him a long stroke, he was like soooo smooth and sooo cool.
Whitsunday.
He was like a puppy, he hang around for a while and swam away to look at other things. He felt like velvet, I was surpise. It was one of the most amazing thing I have every experience!!! IT just make u go WOW. You know how some people like to hold big snake or pat a lion, well for me its patting FISH!!!
 

Highlights -

1. whitsunday beach the views!!!! OMG!

2. On one of my dive, there was a huge Napoleon wrasse hanging around our boat, he was really friendly, I slowy went up to him, he was turning the side of his body, I reached out and stroke him gently, he didn't mind, he looked at me with ONE eye,  kind of like "you are not interesting at all" then swam off. He felt like velvet, like bird feathers! THAT was truly awesome for me.
Whitehaven the magnificent Whitehaven beach stunning lookout point-Hill Inlet, a gentle 15 minute walk up natural bush track will find you at the lookout. Our guide was awesome!




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My room at Airlie waterfront backp…
My room at Airlie waterfront back…
Nice view from the room.
Nice view from the room.
View 2.
View 2.
Airlie Beach front.
Airlie Beach front.
Airlie waterfront backpacker, nice…
Airlie waterfront backpacker, nic…
Other residents of the Airlie wate…
Other residents of the Airlie wat…
Heading off to day trip.
Heading off to day trip.
Tiny little fish....
Tiny little fish....
Daydream Islands rock wallaby.
Daydream Island's rock wallaby.
Daydream Islands rock wallaby.
Daydream Island's rock wallaby.
Whitsunday.
Whitsunday.
Whitehaven the magnificent Whiteha…
Whitehaven the magnificent Whiteh…
Crystal clear water.
Crystal clear water.
Acres of pure white sand to create…
Acres of pure white sand to creat…
Its super white, bring you sunnies…
Its super white, bring you sunnie…
To the right there is a very shall…
To the right there is a very shal…
Whitsunday beach, lots of group of…
Whitsunday beach, lots of group o…
Lots of sting ray in the shallows.…
Lots of sting ray in the shallows…
Whitsunday beach.
Whitsunday beach.
Sting ray in the shallows.
Sting ray in the shallows.
ON the way home.
ON the way home.
Airlie waterfront backpackers sid…
Airlie waterfront backpacker's si…
Food court which is part of Airlie…
Food court which is part of Airli…
Nite view, waterfront backpackers.
Nite view, waterfront backpackers.
Airlie beach front, in front of th…
Airlie beach front, in front of t…
View of beach to the right, airlie…
View of beach to the right, airli…
Views of beach to the left, airlie…
Views of beach to the left, airli…
A one man band outside the beach f…
A one man band outside the beach …
Airlie waterfront Backpacker livin…
Airlie waterfront Backpacker livi…
Airlie waterfront Backpacker.
Airlie waterfront Backpacker.
Airlie waterfront Backpacker.
Airlie waterfront Backpacker.
Airlie waterfront Backpacker view …
Airlie waterfront Backpacker view…
Whitsunday reef pontoon located at…
Whitsunday reef pontoon located a…
Reef pontoon located at Knuckle Re…
Reef pontoon located at Knuckle R…
On the boat, on the way to Knuckle…
On the boat, on the way to Knuckl…
Under the pontoon, viewing windows.
Under the pontoon, viewing windows.
Under the pontoon, viewing windows.
Under the pontoon, viewing windows.
Rainbows!
Rainbows!
Small speed boat on to
Small speed boat on to
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Airlie Beach
photo by: Anouksreizen