We got off the Greyhound, after a wonderful night's sleep in a cramped seat and arrived in Airlie Beach on Monday. We booked our 3 day, 2 night tour to the Whitsunday islands for the next day and had a pretty relaxed day walking around the town. Grace, Elena and Charlie spent a couple of hours shopping while I spent a couple of hours standing outside the shops.
We made our way to the port for 11 and picked up our very attractive stinger suits and boarded our boat, Avatar. The weather was awesome and the sea was really calm so noone got seasick or anything, and as we were setting off we saw a load of dolphins swimming around us! After lunch we all got changed into the full-body suits and did a bit of snorkelling. I think I was the only person who appreciated the suits as I saw it as an extra bit of protection against the fish. I'm getting quite good at this snorkelling business now, I hardly panicked at all. A few people saw a turtle but unfortunately we didn't which was a bit disappointing- it's the only sea animal I really like. Back on the boat we got snacks and chilled for a while before dinner and our first goon-filled night on the boat.
Day 2 and we were up for sunrise, it was amazing- a lot better than the other sunrise I saw at Angkor Wat. Our first activity of the day was to visit Whitehaven Beach. It was a bit of a forest walk to get to it but when we did it was just like being in a postcard. The sand is made of 98% silica, I'm not too sure what that is but apparantly it's a rare thing. We walked around the beach, taking a ridiculous amount of pictures, trying but failing to capture just how amazing it is. We saw a tiny sandshark too, which was pretty cool. After 3 hours on the beach we returned to the boat, got lunch (pie and mash!) and went snorkelling again. The coral out here was a lot more impressive than the stuff we saw when we were near to Cairns. There were loads of different colours and the fish looked more interesting too, although I was still trying to avoid them and keep lookout for a turtle, although I still didn't see any. We got snacks again (I love how each activity is punctuated by food on these tours) and then went to some Aboriginal caves. It turned out to be one cave with a bit of paint on it, I wasn't too impressed but once again, the scenery was incredible. Back on the boat we had roast beef for dinner, considering the small size of the boat, it's impressive how such good food for 25 people comes out of that kitchen! It was another goon-filled night for most, but I didn't fancy drinking too much.
Day 3 was just sailing home. I woke up feeling seasick so spent the majority of the morning sitting outside in the cold. We got back to Airlie Beach early and immediately headed to the supermarket to continue our run of eating good food. We bought all the ingrediants to make the perfect fry up and had a lot of fun doing just that as soon as we got back to the hostel. The rest of the day was spent chilling out, everyone was pretty tired as it's hard to get enough sleep on the boat, especially as we had been getting up ridiculously early. The night was spent at the "after boat party", basically a repitition of the previous nights but just with better drinks!
We are chilling in Airie Beach for an extra day before getting the Greyhound tonight to take us to Hervey Bay where we'll be heading off to Fraser Island for 3 days.