Travelling on the coach from Agnes Water, Town of 1770 to Airlie, I had a pleasant surprise. When I sat down, the girl in front turned round to ask me if it was okay to have her seat back but as she did, we realised we knew each other. It was my old housemate in Sydney.
After an overnight Greyhound of falling in and out of sleep, I finally made it to Airlie Beach. Arriving at 7.30 in the morning was early but at least we could make the most of our day even if the weather was cloudy and murky.
We walked about 10 minutes to our hostel then I tried to check in but I had to wait a couple of hours. Once I had put away my luggage, my old housemate and I strolled along the esplanade, admiring the harbour view and boats.
After about 3km, we decided to stop in a cafe for a coffee, where both of us ended up getting a huge fruit scone with cream and jam and a latte. It was delicious and so filling. We walked off the food back to the hostel, where I could check in. Once I had freshened up, we laid at Airlie lagoon for a couple of hours, which was beautiful but would have been better if the sun was out.
Later in the afternoon, I had a couple of hours nap before showering and going out. We sat by the kitchen from about 5.30pm drinking goon and chatting. We spoke to loads of people as they passed by, then we had the rest of the night in the bar, talking to a guy we met on the bus and a couple of others, mainly Americans. There was also an interesting character from Australia who joined us too.
The following day, I had to get up early as I had to be by another hostel at 6.45 to be picked up as I was spending the day sailing around the Whitsundays, which I was so excited about because so many travellers had told me, it was their highlight of the East Coast.
We had to wait a while as one girl was delayed because of her train but we were soon boarding the sailing boat. On the tour, there were two older couples, a younger couple from America, two Norwegian girls, an American and myself plus the boat captain and the female tour guide.
On the boat, we stashed our bags away and received a basic safety briefing before setting of into the Whitsundays. Then we brewed a cuppa tea and ate some biscuits to give us energy for the day. We laid on deck soaking up the gorgeous sun.
After about 15 minute, the engine was turned off. The next task was to open the sails. Wow! It was a complicated procedure with strings and knobs everywhere. Two of the guys pulled a rope to pull up the sail and I helped using a wench to tighten the sail. Other parts were opened and closed, pushed and pulled. However, soon we were sailing in the wind. We all had to sit one side as the boat was slightly lop-sided. The wind was frantically blowing through, making goosebumps appear on my arms, which was slightly weird as the sun was blazing.
A few of us sat on the side of the boat with our legs dangling over the side to make it more comfortable for us. I started to speak to the Norwegian girls, who were lovely.
About an hour and a half after leaving the harbour, we had arrived at out first destination. We parked the boats up and jumped into a smaller on to take us to the beach side.
Carefully with bare feet, we walked through a forest to the Whitehaven beach lookout. What a view! This has got to be the most incredible view I have ever seen! It was incredible. Spanning from left to right, there was white sand close to the forest edge, merging into the glorious, glistening water. The colours of the ocean was a mixture of white, turquoise and different blue swirled into an incredible pattern. Down in the water, there were a few sting rays swimming around.
After taking multiple pictures, we headed down from the lookout to the beach, where we had some free time to sunbathe. Unfortunately, we were not allowed to go into the ocean because we were still in jellyfish season but a few people still did and took the risk. In the water, there were a few little fish and a tiny shark just swimming around.
The time went so quick on the beach, which meant in no time we had to meet up with the rest of the group to trek back to the boat.
Once we had all boarded the boat, we gathered under deck to fill our plates with food, which consisted of pasta and rice salad, potato and side salads, cheese, mussels and breads. I was also given a pesto salad wrap for being vegetarian.
While eating lunch, the boat sailed to the snorkeling spot. We had to get into our stinger suits as there was a small chance of dangerous, tiny, transparent jellyfish being in the ocean.
Again we climbed on to the smaller boat, then flung ourselves into the sea to start swimming around and admiring the marine life. There was load of different colourful coral and small fish wiggling among the waters. It was incredible. More and more as I travel Australia, I am appreciating all the life under the sea.
Not much happened once we got back on the boat: we just bathed in the sun eating fruit as the boat was driven back to Airlie beach harbour.
Back at the hostel, I got ready for a night then met my old housemate plus the two Norwegian girls for a night of card games, goon, dancing then to a rough, dingy club.
Early the next day, I checked out and strolled to the greyhound for the next leg of my journey up the East Coast.
Airlie Beach, it has been a pleasure seeing the beautiful views and experiencing the crazy party life. Until next time. Farewell.