Ok so as we left it we were just about to jump on a 12 hour overnight bus to Airlie beach for our whitsundays sailing trip...
After a couple of days browsing round airlie (small but lively town manily aimed at backpackers!) and recovering from our overnight bus trip we had to up to get on our sailing boat at 8am.
Our boat was an ex racing yacht (siska) has won the cowes week race! There were 22 people and 3 crew staying on the boat and we were the only native english speakers apart from the crew! So we set sail (well motoring half the time coz there was no wind!) round the islands. First stop was a bay off hook island where we struggled into oru stinger suits (had to wear because of coral and stingers) and then jumped in the water and had our first snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef! Saw loads of pretty coral and thousands of fishies. After lunch on board the next stop was whitehaven beach in the main whitsunday islandwhich was absolutely beautiful ! The 2nd most photgraphed spot in Oz. That evening we spent chilling on the dack of the boat chatting, stargazing and drinking wine.
Next day we woke and it was pouring down (first rainfall in 2months!) but luckily it soon cleared up and we were able to sail through the islands to blue pearl bay and do some more snorkelling on the reef and it was much clearer than the day before saw loads more colours and fish and a huge maori wrasse with a big humphead! Greg (the decky) was feeding the fish so they would come closer to us which was cool but a tad bizarre to look into the water and be surrounded by thousands of fish! That afternoon we sunbathed and sailed (helped put sails up and had a go at steering the boat) all the way back to the mainland, at one point we got quite a lot of speed up and were tipped right overonto one side ! Was fun!
The day after our trip we moved on up the coast to Townsville where we are now, it is apparently tropical queensland's largest town but there is nothing here really and its like a derelict ghost town really bizarre! Spent yesterday on magnetic island just off the coast which was also like a ghost town but really pretty and we saw a baby koala in the tree and they were trying to rescue him as he was all alone and so tiny! Have also been to the reef HQ aquarium where they have all the coral and fish and sharks that would be on the reef but much easier to see in huge tanks!
Monday we are moving onto Mission beach for a couple of days and this is where we will be doing the skydive and landing on the beach !!