We arrived in Airlie Beach yesterday after the slowest bus journey ever. Greyhound apparently, Dachshund more like.
We checked into a campground/hostel/nightclub, pitched our tent (after repairing it.. again), and went out to see what Airlie had to offer. Mainly fish.
We found ourselves in a nautical themed bar/restaurant called Shipwrecked, and worked our way through the stack of information we had collected from Dumb and Dumber at the tourist information office, whilst drinking like sailors (obligatory).
This morning we decided to see if it would be possible to get a seaplane flight over the reef. 45 minutes later we were climbing on board our six seater plane and taxiing down the runway!
The views were fantastic, starting from the mainland we flew over the Whitsunday Islands, looping around the coves and beaches of the National Park island chain, before setting out off over the Coral Sea heading for the Great Barrier Reef.
Our pilot took us for a tour over the reefs (reeves?). We saw the Heart Reef, as well as Manta Rays and Reef Sharks swimming over the corals.
Our flight was over an hour long, and was well worth the three million pounds we had saved. The airport had a handy bar and cafe (with resident chatty parrot) which we duly patronised (pretty polly).
More updates to follow in your favourite Australian soap, Sons & Daughters + Flying Doctors + Neighbours + Home & Away!
Gareth and Alisha