The Whitsundays

Airlie Beach Travel Blog

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Storm clouds near Bowen on the way to Airlie Beach

Whitsunday Islands here we come!

All of us were up nice and early, after breakfast Daphne suddenly decided to pack herself a bag and come along too, we just threw our luggage in the boot along with the chillybin and were off. Erle driving, Daphne was very quiet in the back, she didn’t like being forced to go on holiday, but about an hour into the trip she had thought of how this short break with family, was a real treat not a punishment, and so she started to cheer up and enjoy the trip. The drive was just over 3 hours long and we keep moving fast all the way so as to be able to acquire good accommodation in Airley Beach at a Camping ground, as we wanted a 2 room cabin we thought we had better get there early before all were let out.

As we drove, there was a huge storm brewing layer after layer of big black clouds raced past or did we race under them? Maybe a bit of both, some rain did fall but nothing too much.

A string of camels on Airlie Beach at the market

There was a nice fruit stall near Bowen selling Mango Melons that we just couldn’t resist, so I bought a large Melon to go with all the other fruit and some passionfruit as well, it will be fruit salads for breakfast each day! If you ever get the chance to try a Yellow Mango Melon do so they are the most superior melons there are I think they might only grow around this area.

 By time we got to Airley Beach the sun had broken through and it was a lovely sunny day.

As we drove into Airely Beach we saw that a Market day was in progress, so we stopped and had a wander around, tasting wine at one stall and sweets at another and buying some Lady Finger Bananas, the best there are.

Feeding the lorokeets
, then we came to the man selling hot spit-roasted beef sandwiches which we all decided would be just perfect for lunch. We took our sandwiches and sat on the edge of the beach to gobble them all up.

I could hardly believe my eyes when a string of Camels all dressed with saddles and passengers, ambled past us. I love to ride Camels, so I just had to jump up and take a photo of them, I wished to have a ride too but we really need to find our accommodation for the night so I let the moment pass.

It took 2 attempts to find a 2 room cabin but we ended up at Island Gateway camp and we couldn’t have found a better place, they make a feature of the local birds and attract them by having feeding stations around the camp, I saw hundred of Lorikeets being fed, very noisy and a bit messy but it looked wonderful as the birds are so colourful.

Hundreds of Lorokeets feeding
Palm trees and many amenities, like a pool and tennis courts, surrounded our cabin. As there was an electric frying pan and a microwave in the cabin it was decided we would cook for ourselves tonight. A small shopping centre was just down the road so we set out on a buying expedition to get dinner supplies, beef rissoles, mushrooms, sweet potatoes (kumaras) and a big bag of salad greens and tomatoes. Plus we decided a bottle of wine to celebrate being away together; all of this came out of $15 so a great dinner cost only $5 a head with wine! Prices are quite reasonable in Australia; it would cost more in New Zealand I felt. Tasted wonderful and Daphne who thought she couldn’t eat anything found that she managed to eat as much as we did and enjoy every mouthful, she is so much better and happier already.

We decided to have a rest day in Airley Beach tomorrow and to book a full day boat  trip out to the Islands for the following day, a good scheme, it gave us a chance to explore the small town and have a good look around while still taking it all easy.

Taxis with advertizing signs on the side

We were surprised to see all the taxis had advertisements on the side of their vehicles, not something that happens back home.

We have booked to go out in the Reef Jet to three different Islands tomorrow, its going to be so great, the weather is expected to be fine and sunny and calm; good one. Not particularly cheap but with dinner and snacks all day its should be good value’ and we get the Seniors discount!

More wine was purchased for tonight plus a big pack of pork chops for dinner with all the rest of our vegetables, was extra good. Once again we got dinner for $5 a head!

 I went out after dinner to have a little flutter at the poker machines in the local hotel, and won a small jackpot, it made my lovely day even better, to come home with more cash than I went out with.


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Storm clouds near Bowen on the way…
Storm clouds near Bowen on the wa…
A string of camels on Airlie Beach…
A string of camels on Airlie Beac…
Feeding the lorokeets
Feeding the lorokeets
Hundreds of Lorokeets feeding
Hundreds of Lorokeets feeding
Taxis with advertizing signs on th…
Taxis with advertizing signs on t…
Part of Airlie Beach park
Part of Airlie Beach park
Airlie Beach
photo by: Anouksreizen