Seriously, no one warns you about just how long the bus journey is. It is so unbelievably long and painful and horrible, totally worth it, but so so painful. In Aus you have two choices of coach. Cramped without plugs or wifi (Premier), or cramped with plugs and wifi, which is double the price (Greyhound).
So after considering our options we spent our 17 hour journey from Rainbow Beach with little phone use, little food (try to be vegetarian without a packed lunch on the road, it is awful) and really sore arses.
Magnums, the hostel we stayed in Airlie has got to be the best complex I have seen so far. The cheapest rooms are still spacious and light. Each room had a balcony and en-suite, so no more sharing with 50 or so other people. They also have these really cute bungalows and private houses to rent, if you're looking for something a little more luxurious.
Our location was just a stone throw away from all our amenities, with the supermarket, pubs, lagoon and sea just down the way.
Okay Okay so who cares, you're here to read about the boat trip to Whitsundays!
We were given an array of boats to choose from, rated from 'Party Boat' all the way down to 'Chill Boat'. We decided to go with something that provided both, and booked our 3 day trip on the Tongarra.
We were greeted by the captain of the boat at midday, ready to set out to sea. A group of about 20 of us were ready with our bags and cozzies to spend the next two nights at sea.
Rule one, no shoes on the boat. Rule two, no jumping into any shark infested water, Rule three, drink, be merry, and enjoy the atmosphere!
The first night we sailed out to a nice cove between two islands. There we drank, chatted and enjoyed watching the fish until the sun went down. From there we laid our tispy selves down and gazed at the stars, I honestly didn't expect such a wondrous sight as that. It is there on the deck under a canopy that we all slept, one big sleepover!
The next day, we were woken up nice and early (and half hanging) to head over to Whitsundays. The weather wasn't at its best but we didn't particularly mind because the views were still breathtaking.
The sand at the Whitsundays is unique, not only due to the ever changing patterns it creates in the shallow waters, but because it is the purest in the world. The beautiful white powder is 98% pure silica, and the Whitehaven beach runs 7km along Whitsundays Island.
The water is so clear that you can see fish dart about your feet. The rocks and small dunes provide a brilliant lookout point. We spent a few hours on the Whitsundays, enjoying the little sun we could get, avoiding the horrible March Flies and goofing around on the beach together. When we returned to the boat that evening we played games and dived off the side of the boat as the sun set behind us. I wished on a dozen shooting stars that night.
The last day of our trip, we went to the edge of the great barrier reef. It is a truly magical experience, though it is a shame to see something that is so close to dying. The vast array of marine life supplies hours of entertainment. Definitely one to tick off the bucket list.
All in all, the trip was absolutely 100% worth it. Though similar in its theme to Fraser Island, the Whitsundays tour provided a very different experience, due to the three day boating trip.
After our little adventure, we headed back down to Brisbane to spend a week with our friends before departing to begin the dreaded farmwork.
|The Airlie Beach Lagoon|
|Enjoying Whitehaven Beach|
|Alex at Whitehaven|
|Some of the views from the Tongarra|
|Tongarra Deck, photo by Danny Phen|
|Me and Alex on the Tongarra, taken by Danny Phen|
|Top Deck on the Tongarra, taken by Danny Phen|
|Building a human pyramid on Whitehaven Beach photo by Danny Phen|
|We made it! Photo by Danny Phen|
|Tongarra sign, guess which one is me! Photo by Danny Phen|