We had a great last night in Airlie Beach touring through the bars, with new friends. Finished the night with a small lovely group listening to the acoustic music played by these two talented men, Tana and Shane. They are regularly playing at Airlie’s main bars, so if you go there, listen out for them.
Early this morning, just after sunrise we made our way to Whitsunday Island in order to reach Whitehaven Beach before the other tourist groups. We followed a bush walk that at first lead us through the Whitsunday Island National Park area to an amazing viewpoint. The sight during the walk was absolutely restricted through all the plants growing on the sides of the path and so the moment when it all suddenly opened up and gave space to that massive view over Hill Inlet with it’s turquoise ocean and the incredibly white sand of Whitehaven Beach was thrilling. So many impressions, so much beauty at once. After taking a million photos, that all didn’t quite manage to do justice to how awesome it actually was we proceeded the walk down to the beach.
And even though we had already seen it from the viewpoint, even though we have already had this situation just a couple of minutes before, the moment when I stepped out on the deserted beach blew my mind all over again. The sand on Whitehaven Beach consists of 98% silica which gives it a bright white colour and makes it incredibly fine. So fine that you can scrub your skin, clean your teeth and even polish your jewelry with it.
I have tried it out and I can approve, it does work! But before that we first took a walk along the beach to explore this 7 km stretch of paradise. All the beauty around me was so much to take in , I literally felt like I was walking through the photo on a postcard. The first thing I realised is how comfortably chilly the sand felt, even though the sun was blaring down by now and how much the sand squeaks when making a step, both effects of the high percentage of silica.
When we finally went for a swim there was another highlight waiting to surprise us. Not only has the water a beautiful aquamarine colour and is a clean as you can only imagine. In the shallow areas of the water we could also see little Reef Sharks and Sting Rays basking in the sun. We could even get quite close to them, without them seeming to be bothered.
Without any doubt, Whitehaven Beach definitely deserves to be called Australia’s best beach and should be a must-visit on everyones trip to Australia.
We have been staying at Airlie Beach for the last two days, just enjoying life and cooling down a bit before we are starting our Whitsundays sailing trip from here tomorrow. And we don’t want to leave this place anymore! It’s very small and therefore probably not the most exciting place we have ever been to, but people are so friendly and the atmosphere is very homely, what made us feel comfortable and eased from the moment we arrived. It’s just a feel-good place. Most of the shops and nightlife of the city are in one street as well, making it really easy to navigate around and the lagoon is beautiful and a great place to meet new people.
Today we took a short board walk along the ocean to the Abell Point Marina and had a delicious lunch there, at a restaurant called Sorrento Restaurant & Bar. We had the perfect view from our table and as I was watching all the boats leaving I became very excited for tomorrow, when we are going to board our own sailing ship for the next 3 days.
After an awesome sleep on Patrick’s couch we got up early today to make the rest of the drive to the ferry terminal in Townsville, were we boarded a Sealink ferry to Magnetic Island. It leaves every hour between 6 am and pm and takes about 25 minutes to get there. Tickets cost around 30 $ return.
We spent our day exploring the island on foot and the great network of walking tracks took us to some awesome places. My favourite part of the day was wandering along the paths of Forts Walk. Starting at Horseshoe Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches of Magnetic Island, we followed a pretty steep track up to the historic World War 2 fortifications, that are hidden in the bushes up there.
We kept hiking up further up the mountain and the views started to get better and better and as we finally arrived at the top we had an incredible 360 degree view over the whole island.
But now to the highlight of the day and the reason we came here originally: Magnetic Island is said to be the best place in the world, to see free Koalas in their natural habitat. And it did not disappoint us. Sure, you have to be alert to spot them, as they are pretty well camouflaged. But watching out for them, we were able to find quite many. Just little sleepy, fluffy packets hanging around in the trees next to the path. One of them was even sitting so low, that we could literally stand next to him and touch him. That was so much more than we had expected! Definitely worth the walk and so much better than just looking at them in a zoo.
Today we were meant to drive all the way to Townsville, from where we want to take the ferry to Magnetic Island tomorrow morning. But unfortunately we only came to start our drive when it was already afternoon and so we we already knew that we were going to struggle to arrive there in time before it would be getting dark. Driving in the dark is according to our rental service too dangerous because you can’t see animals, especially kangaroos early enough to avoid them- also our insurance would not cover any accidents happening after dawn. So we decided that we would try to get as far as possible and then look for a close camp site where we could spend the night.
And so we did. It slowly got dark and we followed a sign, that was promising a campsite onto a small path in the middle of nowhere. It was already dark when after about 15 minutes we came to a big premise with a house and assuming, or maybe just hoping this was were we wanted to go we pulled in and started to get sorted for the night. Suddenly a guy came out of the house and started talking to us. Turns out, we have not parked our camper on a camp site but in the front yard of his family home. Pretty fortunate for as though, as Patrick invited us in to meet his lovely family. They have just been incredibly welcoming and even invited us to sleep on their couch. The rest of the night was well-spend, sitting on the veranda and drinking beers with Patrick and his friend Trent. And what i didn’t even mention so far, with their baby pig! The cutest thing i have ever seen and you even can feed it with a bottle! It’s unreal!!
So funny how things are turning out sometimes..
Today we spent the day at the beautiful waterfalls of Crystal Creek. It is just approximately half an hour away from Cairns, but as there are no buses going there it does nearly not get any backpackers at all. It is definitely worth a visit though. Not only are the waterfalls very nice to look at, but there are also a few spots where you can get down in the absolutely clear freshwater. Admitted, it is super cold, but in the middle of Australian summer that is absolutely enjoyable.
We really enjoyed our time there. Sliding down the little waterfalls and jumping from rocks almost made me feel like a kid again, but it was so fun! And the big rocks in the middle of the water are just the most perfect place to relax.