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Published: August 22nd 2010
One of our many beautiful views
From Cairns to Sydney our east coast adventure would take just five weeks, we were on a time watch as we had to get to Sydney and sell our van before our flight left for New Zealand on the 25th
September. With this in mind we picked out a few highlights of what we really wanted to do on the east coast. You could spend three months alone travelling the length and breadth of this vibrant and jam packed stretch of coast line, there is so much to see and do. If we come back here we would definitely have another to do list.
Our next stop after leaving Cape tribulation was much further down the coast, parked up at Airlie beach which is the getaway for the Whitsunday Islands, and we decided to quite literally to get away from it all. We had booked to go camping on our very own island. We checked into a campsite and paid for enough nights to leave our van there while we were off camping and set off. The idea to camp on one of the Whitsunday islands came from our friends Rob & Lorraine who also camped and said
it was a great experience, so we have long had it on our list to do.
The following morning armed with enough food to feed an army (Gemma was terrified of running out!), a hired tent, other camping equipment and brand spanking new sleeping bags that we picked up a few days before we hopped on a little charter boat and off we went. Planton Island (renamed the Republic of Ste and Gemma for the duration of our stay) is a small island in the Molle island National Park which is part of the much larger group of Islands known collectively as the Whitsundays. Our little island was big enough to accommodate just four campers but once we had booked it was reserved solely for us. And at only $5 a night per person in camping fees it was a bargain.
30 minutes on the boat and we were dropped off with all our gear on a rocky beach and with a casual 'see ya's on Tuesday!’. We were on our own. Once we had set up our gear, got our tent sorted we set about the very important task of cooking up an awesome
bacon and eggs for breakie and then followed this by some all-important sunbathing. As Stephen says, It was time to get our 'tan on!'
And that’s pretty much how our three days in paradise panned out, lazy days on the small beach next to our campsite, lots of good grub and nights sleeping under the stars. As it was so warm we just put up the inner cover of our tent. The camp area gave us plenty of space for our tent, and we had our food in a tight lidded plastic box so that we didn’t have any night-time visitors scrounging for scraps. There was even a path leading away from our camp area which leads to the toilet, a long drop and with only 3 sides to it we could go to the toilet with an open view of the shoreline and sea.
Our nights were not quite so peaceful however, as our island seemed to come alive with all sorts of nocturnal creatures, namely birds who it seemed decided to make as much noise as possible, especially in the few minutes just before dawn. We did have one friend though; a chap
Early morning on Planton Is.
we named Leeroy, a bird we later learned was a Bush-stone curlew. Apparently he is often heard of but rarely seen. Not only did he quite casually stroll around our tent at night he also graced us with his presence during the day while busy with the task of hunting for little lizards to munch on. When the tide went out our beach expanded and we had great fun rock pooling, we hunted for crabs but actually found much much more, under one rock we even found a baby Octopus.
We had fantastic weather for our two night adventure, not a cloud in the sky for three whole days, a nice gentle cool breeze and temperatures in the high 20's. And as it was the middle of the week when we camped there was very little boat traffic, we hardly saw a sole the entire time we were on our island. I'd choose winter here over winter in Ireland any day of the week.
Following our camping trip and before leaving Airlie beach we decided to take a day trip out to the Whitsunday Island. The biggest island in the Whitsundays and we were very
On our island
A Awesome breakfast of bacon and eggs.
happy we were able to fit this trip in. We got to do some fantastic snorkelling in the morning on another island and after we went to the beautiful and world famous Whitehaven beach and took a little bush walk to Hill inlet for amazing views the entire bay and some of the whitest sand I’ve ever seen.
We will be sad to leave this corner of paradise but Fraser Island is next and we are exciting to see what this will hold for us.
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