Airlie Beach is known as the party town of the East Coast and is also the gateway to the beautiful Whitsunday Islands. I arrived early Friday evening with a few people I was with in Magnetic Island and we all checked into Beaches Backpackers. Standing at reception we were told that they had run out of dorm beds and were going to have to upgrade myself and two girls into a room for 3 with a private bathroom - luxury! The room was huge, huge enough for a party. So we invited a few peeps from our bus to come round for goon drinking games. The games soon got out of hand and someone had a fab idea to carry on the party in the bar downstairs without getting changed because we were all in our pjs! We recieved some very strange looks that evening, but I'm not sure we noticed at the time.
My Whitsunday sailing trip was at 3pm on Saturday and I already knew a couple of lads that would be sailing with me so we headed to the harbour together. We were greeted by Benny and Scotty, the crew of Tongarra, who were both completely nuts and set sail. The 23 of us sat on deck drinking and chatting whilst watching the sun set on the horizon. The weather stayed beautiful for us apart from the last day and during the night. First night was hillarious all of us were up for a party and Scotty bought out a snorkel with a funnel in the top of which we had to drink our drinks through when nominated. Other stupid games were played throughout the night too until everyone crashed out on deck.
Hangovers aren't meant for boats. Especially when people get seasick anyway! I was a lucky one, I didn't feel too bad but the sea was extremely rough on the second day and I'm sure at least half of the group were wishing they were somewhere else! We stopped off at the famous Whithaven beach in the morning and it was beautiful. It's supposed to be in the top three of most stunning beaches in the world but I have definateley seen others just as stunning in the last ten weeks. Standing ten feet into the water we were surrounded by reef sharks, fish and even manta rays. It was an amazing sight. Back on the boat we sailed to another of the islands and went snorkelling around the reef. Some of the tropical fish were huge and extraordinary colours.
Second evening was much the same as the first, silly games and loud music. I was the last one to go to bed and I couldn't find anywhere out on deck that was under cover and it was impossible to sleep in the cabin without feeling very ill so I opted for a spot which was under the stars only to be rudely awoken before sunrise to rain lashing down on me! Still nowhere else to sleep I sat out in the rain and watched to sun come up underneath a huge rainbow. The bad weather continued all the way back to Airlie beach but it was fun to sit on deck and get absolutely soaked. I really enjoyed myself, once again because of the group of people I was with. We all met up at Magnums bar that evening even though I wasn't feeling too chipper and were given free drinks all night by the boat company. Called it a night quite early only to find that my dorm had been turned upside down by the five Brazilian girls I was sharing with, because they thought they had seen a mouse. I wasn't bothered, I was sleeping on the top bunk! Ha ha!
Still feeling a bit under the weather the next day so lounged around the Lagoon. The best cure for an illness is partying, so I had a very late last night in Airlie Beach with a couple of people from my dorm and had to get up at 6am to catch the bus the next day! Not the best idea, and apparently partying doesn't cure swollen glands. I'm sure Uncle Brian told me that once???!!!!
On the Oz Experience bus from 7am until 6pm when we would arrive at our overnight stop, Kroombit Cattle Station. On the way we stopped off to play a spot of lawn bowls! Great fun and I obviously inherited something other than big ears from my Grandad. I was pretty good for my first time since we used to play in the back garden! Our team came second.