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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Winter Holidays - Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays

The next stop of the McEwen winter adventure was Airlie Beach and the Whitsunday Islands. This was by far our favourite part of the trip.

Note: There are lots of pictures in this entry, so you may want to open them and scroll through them if you want to see them larger.

The drive from Cairns took 2 days with a stop overnight in Townsville. Along the way there were fields upon fields of sugar cane growing. Imagine driving through Saskatchewan and all the wheat fields are sugar cane. It went for 100s of kilometres!

The Big4 Adventure Whitsundays was the kids favourite holiday park along the way as well. It was totally geared towards kids and had everything they needed for a great holiday. A playground, a pool with 2 watersides, kids programs, movie nights, mini golf and a bouncing pillow. They made use of all the activities they could, and made more friends than they knew what to do with!

There were even a couple of extra Canadians! When we woke up the second morning how surprised were we to discover fellow teacher exchangees Andrew and Janel camping right behind our cabin! There are multiple holiday parks in the area, and 100 different spots in our park alone, and they end up right behind us...what are the odds! 

One of many rounds of mini golf played! Have I mentioned my daughter is a hustler? And my son has a lucky streak?

Junior Masterchef winners Isabella and Sophia Bliss visited the park one day to cook with the kids. Hannah is a huge fan, she's been watching back episodes every moment she gets.

The main road though Airlie Beach was under construction, but we still managed to get to the beach and admire the scenery.  Great markets have become one of our favourite places to visit, and there was a fantastic one on the beachfront Saturday morning. What could be better than shopping by the beach?

Looking for a little exercise we headed to Conway National Park for a short hike. Well a short hike turned into 5.1 km, the first 2.5 km all up hill. No worries, it was a lovely day out and the view at the top made it all worth it.

Our last full day in Airlie Beach was our favourite. We were looking to check out the Whitsunday Islands and have some fun at the same time so we booked an Ocean Rafting Tour. Sarah was our skipper and Will our guide for the day. They really made the day. The sun was shining, the boat was fast, but Sarah and Will kept us entertained and smiling all day!

Our first stop out of the harbour was Daydream Island to pick up a few more guests for the tour. Daydream Island a gorgeous holiday spot, just 1 km long and currently up for sale if anyone has a few spare million!

From Daydream Island we head out to Border Island for a snorkel.  Again with the wetsuits as the water is really cold! Hannah was shivering before she even made it into the water. But it was all worth it. We saw the most amazing coral of our whole trip. It really does have to be seen to be believed.

 Once we're all on board and drying out we head out through the islands for Whitehaven beach and the Hill Inlet lookout. Hill Inlet is a stunning inlet at the northern end of Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island, the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays. As the tide shifts, the white sand and blue hues of the inlet blend into each other for a breathtaking view.  It is officially my new happy place :)

Lunch on the beach was of course a must, followed by a walk to check out the locals.

Usually by the end of a long day tour the kidlets are tired and ready to be home. Not this time! They rode the side of the boat all the way back to the jetty the wind in their hair and smiles all the way.

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic pictures...what a great holiday. I'm jealous!