After a long 13 hours on the Greyhound (it was very uncomfortable and a LONG night) after the 2 hour pitstop at Hervey Bar (that was after our Fraser island tour) we arrived in Airlie Beach at about 10am- giving us 2 hours to dump our bags in storage...sign in ...go to the bottle shop (their off license's) to stock up in the beer Calton Draught - yummy... get water and make it to our boat for 12 as it would be sailing at 1 with us and another 15 to sail for the next 2/3 days and 2 nights around the hamilton islands and outer barrier reef.
The trip was amazing... a highlight of the east coast for sure! We were lucky (unlike Fraser Island) as everyone on board was really lovely and we made friends with some of the English and Swedish folk... on board the ship was a sailing boat and had beds below deck (me and sio being small has a share a double in the couples room...nothing we're not used to by now) but it was quite cool as we got a private room compartment with 3 other couples and a private entrance from above deck... so more like a VIP chamber ;P lol
On board the crew were all really nice and the food BRILLIANT - with so much variety and snacks and drinks throughout the day (we felt spoilt as it was all so good)... now thats the food... the boat itself: on board we were able to laze around on the deck for most the day catching the rays as the weather also stayed beautiful for us... the scenery... it can all be summed up in one word: WOW!!!!
The skippy took us to all north parts of the island where we snorkelled off the ship twice a day adn saw some amazing marine life...we saw turtles... MASSIVE fish... one infact nicknamed the dog fish was a huge ble one you could stroke - as he came up for cuddles a few times... otherwise there were lots of nemos, coral, and other brightly colourful fish... the only downside is that we all had to wear full wet suits due to it being "stinger season" i.e. there were jelly fish everywhere and if you got stung without a suit ... you would die... so the suit soon became a heavy fashion accessory along with the flippers (siobhan kept getting the broken ones so was nicknamed Nemo :P hee hee).
The evenings were spent looking up at the starry sky - like fraser Island is was so sarine so we sat drinking and chatting and by 9pm (it must have felt like 2am) on one of the evenings we were dropped at an island to see the underwater observatory and have a drink at a local hostel - it was ok...but we all pretty much preferred being on the boat - shining torches in the sea (so we could watch bigger fish eat the smaller fish) hee hee... On one of the days we also got dropped at Whithaven bay (see the picture) a sand reef with baby 2feet sharks swimmi9ng along and a tropical paradise with the whitest softest sand... a perfect place for us all to relax for the morning (to go with our relaxing days of sunbathing)...
My only regret is that we didnt go on this trip for more days as I can see why people do (the great food... views and snorkelling....) a MUST SEE FOR EVERYONE WHO COMES TO THE EAST COAST!!!
on our 3rd day we ended our tour and had the next night staying in Airlie Beach we got all our stuff sorted (i.e got our bag from storage, checked into the hostel...had food....etc) and spent the rest of the day by the lagoon (these lagoons are man made massive swimming pools with even a sandy beach round the pool for affect) it is so you can still enjoy tghe beach even whilst its jelly fish season - as you cant swim in the sea!!!
We spent the evening partying with some of the guys from the boat and ended up going to "Beaches" for free nibbles and drinks, then to "Moroccos" for an evening entertainment and then "Mama Africa" club for a dance and more clubbing.... it was a good evening and then me and Siobhan ended up hanging out with more people from our hostel until 4am - they were a bit dodgey though and through our alcohol induced lack of judgement we thought they were quite cool...until we sobered up.
The next day was check out...it wsa hard getting up after only a few hours sleep but the hostel we were in was MINGING so be be truthful I was glad we spent minimal time there!! We pottered around the rest of the day by the lagoon and round the one street that makes Airlie beach... after our week of gogogo we were utterly bored out our mind!
That evening we got another overnight Greyhound 9our last one YAY!!! Although our bus drivers happened to be bloody horrible (usually they are really nice) we had made it to out final stop....CAIRNES!!!