Yesterday we went on a Whitsunday Islands cruise, the nice people at FantaSea (our new friends in Airlie Beach) picked us up first thing in the morning to take us to the local harbour. From there we boarded our fabulous huge catamaran, for tea and toast and the first leg of our journey - to Hamilton Island.
Hamilton Island is populated by Golf Buggies, with a small number of human vistors who are allowed to take them for a ride around the island for a huge fee (some lucky people get free tinsel). The golf buggies like to visit the beach, the marina, the yacht club and the huge five star hotels.
We stayed on Hamilton Island for around two hours before our connecting boat to Whitehaven Beach, on the far side of Whitsunday Island. This was the reason we had come on the cruise - 5 miles of dazzingly white sand (from a volcanic vent in the sea bed) which you are warned (on pain of death) not to take home with you - National Park sand is strictly protected. We were also warned not to go wandering off into the bushland - "There are deadly snakes" the tour guide told us.
Equipped with stunningly fashionable 'Stinger Suits' (read Space Suits) we went swimming/walking/wading off up the beach in search of deadly wildlife.
Soon enough we had spotted a Green Sea Turtle, several Eagle Rays and far more fish than I can identify (3?).
Seaplanes took off and landed in the bay while we were there, and soon enough it was time for us to return to the boat.
After our trips out from Airlie beach our finances have taken a battering. So much so that we can't we even afford to get the 19 hour bus down to Brisbane or stay in the cheap campground. Instead, we are flying out this afternoon and staying in a 3 star hotel :) The flight was cheaper and we don't have to pay for the hotel until we leave on pay day (IF we pay that is).
Next update from Brisbane!
Gareth and Alisha