Monday, 21 October 2013

Whitsunday Islands

As part of the program that I came to study abroad through, I was offered a choice of a 3 day trip to either Fiji, Bali, Airlie Beach or New Zealand.
Since the flights to the non-Australian locations were way more expensive, Airlie beach seemed like a cheap easy weekend getaway. Lucky for me, most of my friends here are studying through the same program and we all booked our trips together.
I left last thursday and drove to Brisbane then flew to Airlie beach. Flying domestically in Australia is awesome! Super fast and easy and they don't even make you take off your shoes going through security. Definitely a breath of fresh air after travelling to Asia.
After arriving at the hostel (this one was one of the nicer ones we've been to) a couple of my friends and I headed to the beach to eat dinner and watch the sunset.
It was gorgeous. All the ocean there was like turquoise glass. Nothing like Craigville beach ocean.
After a few beers and a slightly disappointing karaoke experience (the karaoke contest never happened)  I went to bed early so I could be ready for the 9am boat ride the next day.
Friday morning my friends and I set out on an ocean rafting tour through some of the Whitsunday islands. I popped two dramamine (the drowsy kind oops) and then was ready for the adventure! It turned out to be a really enjoyable ride, mainly because the weather was perfect, the water was smooth as glass and there was barely any wind. It was one of the more beautiful things I've ever experienced, and the pictures that I have don't even do it justice.
First we snorkled, where I saw lots of cool fish and had a much more enjoyable experience snorkling than the last time (in cairns) Apparently if the tide had been lower the snorkling would've been even better but I was pretty pleased as it was, even though my sunglasses broke while on the boat immediately afterwards and my friend Emily lost her hat right before we were about to snorkel.

Next we went to Whitehaven beach, home of the number one image when you search whitsunday islands on google images. We went on a quick nature walk to get to the lookout spot, which had an unbelieveable view. Definitely my favorite part of the day.
A cool thing about the white sand on Whitehaven beach is the sand never gets too hot, so even though it was a summer day it was almost cool to walk on. The whiteness of the sand was overwhelmingly awesome.

Next, we went to another part of Whitehaven beach to relax for the rest of the day.
The sand there, the same white stuff as the first spot, has a high content of silica, so it can clean jewelry! I polished my rings while sitting in the sand.
It felt like the definition of paradise to sit at the edge of the water on a perfect beach day.
Our tour guide was a weird dude who was probably of aboriginal descent. He charmed us with a Kings of Leon song on our trip back. 
We walked past a wedding reception on the way back to our hostel. Wedding pics must've been beautiful.
That night we went out in Airlie beach again, where people had started drinking at noon. The streets were full of drunk people by 4pm which isn't really my style but also pretty entertaining.
On Saturday and Sunday we walked through some markets then headed to the lagoon, which is the only water suitable for swimming at Airlie beach since the jellyfish and stingrays are so dangerous there.
The Whitsunday airport is so tiny that it has one gate for arrivals and one for departures.
The plane on the way home only had two seats on each side! Smallest one I've ever been on.
It was good to be back after travelling for so long only a few weeks ago, and now it's the last week of classes.
I have one assignment due before my next trip to Melbourne on Nov 1!!

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