Road Trippin’, Airlie Beach & The Whitsunday Islands

I’m finally getting back into the swing of things when it comes to blogging, life has been so fast moving on this great adventure of ours, I just haven’t had a second to sit down and write about it all. Writing is one of my favourite things to do as many of you know, but I really wanted to make sure I embraced every single opportunity that came my way during my travels and because of that, writing has taken a little bit of a back seat.

But I’m back, and still reeling in the excitement that was Airlie Beach. I had a little taster of the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns, but like the reef, the Whitsunday Islands have been on my bucket list for such a long time now so needless to say I was super excited to arrive in Airlie and begin discovering the Whitsundays.

We had four days to explore so the first thing we did after settling into our hotel, Coral Reef Resort, was check out all the different tours on offer and decide what we wanted to see and do during our stay. Whitehaven Beach was top of our list, but we also wanted to do some more snorkelling and so after lots of research, we decided to go with a tour company called Whitehaven Xpress.

Whitehaven Xpress offer a one day tour to Whitehaven Beach, and passes by the other Whitsunday islands on the way, including Hamilton and Daydream islands, followed by a BBQ on Whitehaven beach and an afternoon of snorkelling on the one of the reefs nearby. A jam packed day full of everything we wanted to see.

On the morning of our tour we left early to began our hour and a half boat trip out to Whitehaven, the beach considered to be Australia’s purest and most beautiful, and one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.  Although we knew this, you can’t imagine how beautiful it is in real life until you’re there, standing on that fine, dust like sand, feeling it squeak beneath your feet and looking out on that crystal clear water. It is beautiful in every way imaginable and as I lay on the sand, I closed my eyes, turned my face to the sun and felt so much gratitude for my life in that moment. It was magical.

We ate a delicious BBQ and spent a few hours chilling on the beach before making our way to the northern tip to visit the hill inlet. The inlet is that infamous view you see on postcards of Whitehaven, where the fresh water meets the sea water and creates more shades of blue than you can imagine. It is truly breathtaking and something everyone should experience because it really has to be seen to be believed. Nature at its most beautiful.

We stood at the inlet looking out over the water and sand, in what felt like a very surreal moment. I’m not joking when I say I pinched myself to make sure I was really there! Because WOW! How did I get here? But it was real and I was truly awed by the whole experience.

After coming down off my cloud nine bubble, we all made our way back to the boat to go snorkelling. We were a bit concerned about snorkelling in the Whitsundays because the water is much more shallow there meaning the sand swirls in the water making it cloudy and not as easy to see coral and fish. But really there was no need to worry, because even though the water was a little cloudy, we still saw so many amazing fish, and they were huge! This guy in the below photo, a Humphead Wrasse, was almost the same length as my leg!

I just loved the whole experience all over again in Airlie and am beginning to think snorkelling may just be my new thing!

Without a shadow of a doubt, that day was one of the best in my life. I loved every second of it and am so grateful that I was able to do it.

If you read my earlier post this week on my Great Barrier Reef plane adventure, you’ll know what else I got up to during my Airlie Beach stay. But apart from the reef, we had so much fun wandering around this quirky beach town. This truly is a place made for tourists, and everyone is super relaxed and chilled out here. The laid back vibe is contagious and we made sure to soak it all up while we could.

Airlie was also home to one of the most delicious meals we’ve eaten on our trip so far, so much so we’re still talking about it! Walter’s Lounge is a small spot tucked away in the middle of Airlie Port and has an Australian/French food mix. Their ethos is to share everything and there’s no distinction between starter and main courses, so you order a few different plates and share. I loved this idea!

We had everything from slow cooked beef rump, to baked camembert, and sweetcorn croquettes to braised pork belly, and every single bite was heaven on a plate. To top it all off, the dessert of pineapple, mango and vanilla was one of the best desserts we’ve ever eaten and the perfect end to an amazing meal. Not to mention the delicious cocktails!

Leaving Walter’s and Airlie, we definitely had big smiles on our faces. We had so much fun, discovered new places, ate great food, laughed, drank, played… All the things that make a trip somewhere so great.

I know that sounds similar to how I finished my post on Cairns, but the thing about travelling is, it’s all experiences, great experiences – and thankfully all our experiences have been great. Reality goes out the window, responsibility goes out the door, and life walks in. All the amazing, incredible, wonderful things about living life to the full.

We’re over half way through our trip now and I can’t believe it. But every day that I am here, I am so thankful to have had this opportunity.

The world is an incredible place just waiting to be discovered. What are you waiting for?

Sorcha x

One thought on “Road Trippin’, Airlie Beach & The Whitsunday Islands

  1. Pingback: Farewell 2016… |

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