Road trip, days 3, 4 & 5: Magnetic Island/Airlie Beach/Gladstone - 860kms


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November 18th 2018
Published: November 18th 2018
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Day 3: Magnetic Island to Airlie Beach
We got back to Townsville and parked in a McDonald’s car park (to avoid paying for car park!) and went to the information centre where we booked a day tour to the Whitsundays islands for the following day. The drive was nice and quiet. We stopped halfway to change drivers and arrived in Airlie Beach at 4pm. We stayed a bit away from the bustling village, in Backpackers by the Bay. We went for a walk on the coastal boardwalk and got an ice cream to cool us from the hot drive.

Day 4: Boat trip to the Whitsundays
On the next day, we did the boat tour to the Whitsunday Islands. We chose to go with Ocean Rafting, which added a bit of adventure to the trip. It was a large rafting boat (with an engine and everything - there were about 25 of us but we had lots of room). We sat on the inflatable edges and had lots of fun when our skipper was speeding and going crazy! We went to the inner side of the Great Barrier Reef to do some snorkeling. Shaun went snorkeling while I basked in the sun. Then we stopped at the south of Whitehaven Beach. It was absolutely stunning. The sand is the whitest, it is actually the beach with the most silica sand in the world - which makes the sand very rare and expensive. We went for a swim in our stinger suits (don’t want to get stung by these lovely deadly jellyfish, do we?). We had a nice buffet lunch on the boat. After that, we went to Hill inlet, an inlet of water that divides the south Whitehaven Beach from the north. The north beach is quieter. The tide was in and we saw plenty of fish in the shallow waters including stingrays, a leopard ray and a lemon shark that swam just next to us. We then went for a short bush walk to the viewing platforms where you get a beautiful view of the white sands and the clear water. You might see lots of pictures on Google and Instagram... And, no filters, it actually looks like that in real life! It’s obviously a very busy place, with tourists making these Instagram pictures and selfies everywhere. That was the last activity of the day. On the way back
Paradise - Whitehaven Beach from Hill inlet viewpointParadise - Whitehaven Beach from Hill inlet viewpointParadise - Whitehaven Beach from Hill inlet viewpoint

The picture doesn’t even do the landscape justice!
to Airlie Beach, I sat on the edge again and had the time of my life when the boat sped up! We saw false killer whales, which kind of look like big dolphins. That was a really nice experience and is apparently a rare sight on these tours, especially as they don’t usually swim in groups but we saw many!
Once we got back to Airlie Beach, we were a bit tired because of the wind and the sun. We walked back to our accommodation where we met Douwe again! We cooked all together as Douwe had food for the three of us and then the guys drank a few beers and we participated in a pub quiz where we met a few people. We also saw the Norwegian girl we had met in Magnetic Island.

Day 5: Airlie Beach to Gladstone
On the next morning, we had a quick breakfast and started our drive to Agnes Water. We decided to drive in convoy with Douwe who has his own car. Douwe was a bit tired and decided to stop in a camp site on the way to Agnes Water. It wasn’t far away from Gladstone, an industrial city and we found a private bedroom in a nice looking hostel so we decided to stop there instead. We arrived on the camp site at about 5.30 and made dinner together, it was a really nice experience. After dinner, we chatted for a bit but night was falling and mosquitoes were about (and thirsty for our blood!) so we left and made it to our hostel at about 8pm.

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