Airlie Beach

On my last post I mentioned needing more time to travel. Before leaving Townsville we were talking to a young couple who sold their house in Sydney bought a van and hit the road. That was nine months ago. No plan, no safety net, just living the dream. Awesome.

The next leg of our trip is to Airlie Beach, the gateway to the Whitsundays. From Townsville it is only about 300km to Airlie Beach but they sure made us work for it, between what felt like constant roadworks, and south of Bowen we had to fight the wind the whole way.

Mural at Ayr
Desperate times call for desperate measures
Painted water tank at Bowen
Big Mango at Bowen
Camp at Airlie Beach

Airlie Beach is all about the islands so we organised a sunset sail on the afternoon we got in and a day trip on the next day out around the islands. We were looking at a third activity but it just felt too crammed and we wanted a chance to sit and not have to be anywhere or do anything.

Our sunset trip was on a yacht called providence where we spent a couple of hours. It has a great atmosphere and once we were out of tbe harbour the sail went up and we enjoyed a nice sunset, no noise from a motor just bobbing around, sipping champagne, taking in the moment.

The next morning we were out on the purple catamaran called ‘Camira‘ heading to Whitehaven beach and to do some snorkelling on one of the reefs.

To date we have been lucky with the weather, but the rain finally caught us and it rained all night and we weren’t sure whether we would even be going out.

This was the first time we’ve had to pull out our wet weather gear and they sure came in handy. Fortunately the sun came out for our snorkelling and while we were on the fine pure white silica sands of Whitehaven beach and having a wander around the island.


Our purple boat – Camira

Whitehaven Beach

A local Monitor soaking up the sun by the track. We saw a few of these on the island
In some places it was like walking through a butterfly house there were so many around.
I don’t think you’re meant to wear these hats like this … but it had already been in the drink once today … so taking no chances.
A crew member feeding a friendly sea gull while we were sailing

On our return trip it was quite windy and the captain put the sails up and we cracked 20 knots (about the top speed of this boat … and way faster than the motor can power it). You could really feel the sails harnessing the power of the wind. It was great sitting up the front as we were crashing through the waves, and getting drenched.

It seemed the perfect end to the day – sails up and another beautiful sunset. A great way to end the day.

I’d highly recommend a trip on the Camira if you’re up this way. It’s a great day out, food and alcohol provided, and the crew are fabulous. Just look for the purple catamaran.

Our last day in Airlie the weather didn’t improve so we snuck into town between showers to grab some breakfast and a few souvenirs. Then retreated back to camp to chill and play a few boardgames.

Tomorrow we are heading for Yeppoon. Hopefully the sun will be out when we drop camp.

Total Distance: 4,375km

Next – The Long Haul

One thought on “Airlie Beach

  1. Pingback: Sights of Townsville | Zed14

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