Published: June 7th 2010June 7th 2010
Well, we're finally enjoying some proper Aussie sun again here in northern Queensland. Townsville, despite soundng like the most unimaginative place ever (I can see the meeting now: "what should we call it?"; "how about 'Town'"; "don't be silly, we need more than that"; "ok, how about 'Towns... ville'?"; "ok, but we'll come back to look at that later and come up with something better") is actually quite nice, although it shares it's love of roundabouts and speed humps with Noosa.
Fraser Island 4x4 driving was amazing, we drove along the beach and up the to Lake MacKenzie which was beautiful although surprisingly a little chilly. The beachside camping was great as well, although the dingo fear was definitely worth bearing in mind - you had to go to the (self-dug) toilets in pairs, and when me and Sarah came back on the second night we realised that there was a fair sized pack of dingoes just following us along. The driving and views were amazing throughout though - and although we couldn't go in the sea for fear of massive rip tides and crocs we had a great swim in the lakes (MacKenzie and Wabby) and the driving was amazing!
We then drove at a fair pace up the coast to Airlie Beach, stopping off for a night at Rockhampton (beef capital of Australia) where we had a great steak in an Irish pub for a measly $7. From Airlie we took the Atlantic Clipper (ex racing boat, did quite well in the Sydney to Hobart race a couple of times) out to the Whitsundays which were also very impressive. We spent the first night chilling out and then the first day got up and went to Whitehaven beach which has the most pure sand in the world (the national park authority are very clear about not being allowed to take it with you - they only ever allowed it to be removed once which was for the lens of the Hbble telescope!). The views were amazing and water rather pleasant as well! Then we went for a dive and stroked Elvis, a large (nearly a metre long) coral wrasse who is happy to meet and greet the punters so long as he gets fed! A bit more snorkelling and then back on board for a hot tub and a couple of beverages before bed. Then the second day involved not much (for me anyway, Sarah saw a turtle whilst snorkelling) and then they even managed to get the sails out for an authentic sailing experience. We went out with all the guys when we arrived back in Airlie, but our 'early night' in Airlie turned into a 2pm finish - don't know how that happened!
We camped here (Townsville) last night, having made it out of Airlie after a nice walk through the nearby rainforest, and after meeting up with an ex-colleague from Aussie Farmers we're now heading up to Ingham to see a big waterfall, before hopefully making it up to Cairns where we need to sell the car and fly back to Brisbane (driving back to Brisbane, a mere 2000km away, was not the best plan I ever came up with as it turns out).
Tim & Sarah