Published: May 22nd 2010May 22nd 2010
Airlie Beach - as promised.
Steve - quote “As you drive over the crest there she is, beautiful little bay. Crystal clear turquoise water, pretty marina with hundreds of beautifully tanned backpackers bobbing up and down in the free lagoon, what a sight, can we stop longer?”
The camp site, thanks to the receptionist for the ‘drive through site’ (makes it easier to park, ha ha) Half an hour and 10 attempts later we were parked! So off to explore the delights of Airlie Beach. We take a stroll around the small town with lots of restaurants, cafes, and bars (some open till 5am). It has a good vibe and it’s only early afternoon. Steve insists on a slow walk round the lagoon just to see who’s hanging out! Debby refuses to comment on the question “Are they real or false?”
On our second day, after a hazardous walk to a cyclone damaged Coral Beach, we rewarded our selves with a ‘let’s blow the budget’ meal at the Thai!
We have to tell you that some Pom (from Sheffield, whose Mum used to live at Wilbert Lane in Beverley) at Kinka Beach said that Airlie Beach was horrible and that we
should go to Conway Beach instead. So on day 3 we went to investigate. Conway Beach is a few shacks and a shop (at the caravan park). To be fair the cyclone had taken it’s toll and work was in progress to tidy it up, but the moral here - never believe a Pom from Sheffield! We escaped to the Peter Faust Dam at Proserpine to eat our picnic lunch.
Day four begins another caravan saga. Being posh we have a toilet, a far cry from the bucket we used in the bus last time we toured (every blog should have a little toilet humour). For those non-campers, a little bit of info: On emptying the cassette a vent button needs to be pressed to prevent ‘splash back’. As Steve removed the cassette, the vent button broke!!! Which had to be retrieved…….a quick shout to Deb with rubber gloves and the job was done. There begins more calls to the caravan company!
Anyway, back to the blog, we booked a day out on The Mataray cruise.
Along came another day and along came another early get up - will have to do something about that - anyway, got collected by
the courtesy bus being driven by John “you gotta be crazy John” and he was, he was also the owner of the boat. Debby made instant friends with a couple from Adelaide, and Steve put his foot in it when telling a pommy couple what we thought of Mackay (not a lot), only to discover that was where they lived…….We didn’t pick the best morning to go into the ocean, but things improved. Stopping at Hills Inlet, then on to the northern end of Whitehaven Beach before returning for lunch on our cruise liner (see pic). Then on to Mantaray Bay for some snorkelling, diving or lazing around. We settled on snorkelling, let us say some of the best snorkelling we’ve seen outside of a fish tank! Alas all good things come to an end but we passed the exclusive resort of Hayman Island on the way back. The pic is of a house being built which, when finished U2 could stop there for $10,000 a night! Even after crazy John’s driving taking us back to the camp site, we had a great day out.
Sadly we left Airlie Beach and moved towards Townsville vis Charters Towers and Home Hill.
Don’t miss blog 7 as we go free camping, drink ½ bottle of single malt whiskey and find ourselves on a nudist beach on Magnetic Island…..
There are more photos below