What an action packed few days I've had! I left Cairns on Saturday to start my Oz Experience... experience! Our first stop of the day on the way to Townsville was Babinda Creek to see the famous (though I'd never heard of them) Babinda Boulders! After a short walk through the rainforest we reached them. They're pretty! And an Aboriginal story lies behind them. A girl and boy from different tribes fell in love and decided to be together, which was forbidden, so the couple decided to run away together. Unfortunately the boy died while crossing the river, and the girl's family forever put a curse on the boulders so that any man trying to cross will perish. And there have been hundreds of deaths along this point in the river, 90% being male! Spooky!
After Babinda we stopped off at Johnston River Croc Farm where we fed kangaroos and wallabies, then had a tour around the farm. It rescues "problem crocs", pretty much crocs that have attacked humans or livestock. The biggest croc there was a 5m saltie! Bloody huge!! And the guys working there went into the enclosures with the crocs to feed them... its the closest I'd ever like to be to a croc thanks very much! Then after the excitement of the crocs we had the chance to hold snakes and baby crocs. So of course I obliged! I'm becoming the right wee snake handler! After the crocs, it was a short stop off in Mission Beach to collect a few peeps then off to Townsville, gateway to the magnificent Magnetic Island! Unfortunately due to my screw up of missing the bus I had one night here which meant roughly 4 or 5 hours in sunlight! Which was a shame coz it was a beautiful place!
We left Townsville after getting the ferry across and it was a short drive to Airlie Beach (after swapping buses to get on a luxury coach... woooo!!). Just to give you an idea of just how small Airlie Beach is, it wasn't even recognised on the wee map on this site!! Its basically one road and an esplanade, Carrick is bigger! Anyway, there was a screw up with the bookings so I ended up in a twin room with one other girl, and I got a double bed!! I was sooo excited!!! What a good start to the Whitsunday adventures!!
So on Monday, after a sprawled nights sleep in the double bed it was off to the jetty to board the Camira, a $4 million yacht! And it was purple! The weather was a bit crap really but it was very windy so perfect for sailing!! We stopped off at Whitehaven Beach on the Whitsunday Island, the sand was so so fine there, and we were lucky enough that the sun came out for 10 mins so we could get the famous pics of the brilliant white sand and the turquoise waters! After that we had a buffet BBQ lunch on board (I stuffed myself, a running theme for the Whitsundays)! Then it was off to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef, unfortunately I didn't notiify them so they didnt have a prescription mask so I couldn't see much and it made me feel quite ill so back to the yacht I went! I slept off the nausea until we reached Daydream Island, where we got our ferry transfer to Long Island (unfortunately I didn't get to see Hamilton Island, a must do for when I come back!!). We headed straight to the restaurant after checking in and paid $30 for an all you can eat 3 course buffet with a glass of wine included!! Delicious!!! I gorged big time.... well I'm a backpacker, I rarely see huge amounts of food on one plate!! After that feed we just went to bed... absolutely wrecked!!
I got up very late the next day and spend most of it lounging by the pool doing sweet FA!! Swimming, sunbathing, chatting, more sunbathing, eating! You get the picture! There's a lot of wildlife on Long Island, as the resort is built into a National Park, so every mow and then a wallaby would cross your path and wild bush turkeys. Curlews were hanging about your tables looking for scraps of food... very odd birds but sooo cute too! The following day was more productive (after having a few cocktails last night I was surprised!!) and I went on bush walk then fed some rainbow lorikeets, during my time sunbathing and lounging in a hammock!!
So that brings us back to now, where a relaxed pampered Natalie is sitting in a noisy hostel and has crashed back to reality with a big thump!! A day to explore Airlie Beach is tomorrow then its off to the Hinterland, to Kroombit, a cattle station where goat wrangling is on the menu!!
Love and miss you all, hope everything is good at home xxx