I'm afraid this could be quite a long entry, but will try and keep it as short as I can without missing anything out!
After arriving in Airlie Beach I was straight into a number of day trips I had booked. The first of these was onboard Seaflight to Knuckle Reef where we went on board a pontoon on the Outer Great Barrier Reef. I had a discounted intro dive with the package I booked so decided after doing ok with the snorkelling in Cairns to give it a go.
It was the most amazing thing I have ever done - I absolutely loved it. I saw soo much diving around the reef and I go to go quite deep so I was looking up to a massive wall of coral. I saw so many fish including Wally the Hump Headed Maori Wrasse who was massive but very friendly.
I loved my first dive so much I signed up to the discounted second dive which was even better as it was just me and an instructor so I got to see a lot more and get much closer to the coral and fish - I even saw Nemo!
I also managed a trip on the glass bottom boat (very similar to the one I went on in Cairns except this one was free!) and spent a bit of time in the underwater observatory.
The following day I went sailing on the Camira. It wasn't really a sail boat but it was still a good day which we spent pretty much just sailing around the island. We did get to spend an hour on Whitehaven Beach which is like nothing I had ever seen before - the sand is pure white and its so pure you can make glass directly from the sand on the beach.
On Tuesday I had a day trip out to Long Island which was pretty much a chilled out day on the beach with really nice weather and amazing views across the ocean to the other islands. The water on the Whitsundays has an amazing colour - its so clear and blue.
Tuesday night I met up with Claire (someone that I know from work) who had just arrived in Airle Beach and we had dinner and then spent most of Wednesday by the lagoon in Airlie Beach which is really nice and really big so it doesn't really feel crowded even when there are loads of people.
I also made the decision on Wednesday to join Claire on her sailing trip on Thursday, so the following day we set off on the Anaconda II sailing boat with 16 others and 3 crew.
The first day we got a lot of sailing in as the wind was good and we stopped just once and Langford Bay to do some snorkelly which was ok but not great as the water wasn't that clear. In the evening we went to South Molle Island for dinner before spending our first night on the boat.
The second day, the highlight was definately going to Whitehaven Island. We got dropped off at Tongue Bay and walked to Hill Inlet lookout. The views were spectacular - the water was so many different colours of blue, the sand was pure white and the swirling effect with the sand and the water was amazing even though it wasn't low enough tide to see fully.
We then walked down to Betty's beach which we had seen from the lookout and had just over an hour there before having to drag ourselves away to go back to the boat for lunch.
The afternoon we went to Luncheon Bay to do some snorkelling (I stayed on the boat like a few others enjoying the amazing weather we had and my book) before heading to Blue Pearl Bay where we stayed the night.
The following morning was snorkelling (and again I was a little lazy and stayed on the boat). Even though I didn't go in the water I still saw quite a few fish from the deck and there was also a sea eagle souring around the boat which was really cool.
The afternoon saw one more snorkelling site. This time I fed some of the fish off the side of the boat which was fun as they were almost jumping out of the water to get the food.
It was then time to head back to Airlie Beach and for me to get the overnight bus to Hervey Bay, but we had one last surprise on the trip - a pod of dolphins swimming not too far from the boat as we headed back to the Marina.
That was a nice end to an amazing trip and a brilliant time in Airlie Beach.