Whitsundays – Airlie Beach

First Impressions:

We arrived at the tourist mecca of Airlie Beach almost a week ago. First impressions are that the world wide attention this place gets is well deserved.

We’ve finally reached the right climate. Bathers (togs or swimmers), and thongs (Aussie summer footwear/flip flops) are the dress of the day. There’s no need for either heating or air conditioning – it’s perfect, day and night.

Aussie thongs - worn on the feet, not the bum!
Aussie thongs – worn on the feet, not the bum!

The skies are blue, the grass is green, the waters blue and calm, and the fish are biting. The days have been pleasantly warm at around 25º – 30º, and the evenings are mild and pleasant. We’re in the tropics so the mozzie coils are lit by 4.30pm to keep the bities away, and we’ve been enjoying evenings in the outdoors with a drink or two to round off the sunshine filled days.

Calm and tranquil Airlie Beach.
Calm and tranquil Airlie Beach.

We’re here for almost three weeks, so we can pace ourselves and relax into what the area has on offer. This week we’ve swam most days in either the caravan park pool, (heated to 28º), or we’ve parked the car and walked a couple of kilometres to the free public swimming lagoons overlooking Airlie Beach in the centre of town.

One of several free public swimming lagoons.
One of several free public swimming lagoons.

The walk along the foreshore and boardwalks into town are an absolute joy, the scenery so stunning it’s hard to believe we’re not looking at enhanced photos.

Paddle boarders on hired boards.
Paddle boarders on hired boards.

Although this area is on the world wide tourist bucket list for many, it’s surprisingly uncrowded, as you can see by the lagoon in the middle of a warm summers day. No doubt there are many backpackers, grey nomads, and other tourists in town, but there’s such a variety of experiences to be had wide and near that I guess no one place becomes overcrowded at any one time.

A group of people enjoying the cool water.
A group of people enjoying the cool water.

In the first few days we sussed out a fishing jetty and Paul cleaned up the fishing gear for our first fish since Barn Hill more than two years ago. Paul didn’t take  long to catch a big Ribbon Fish using a lure. Experienced fisher people near by told us Ribbon Fish make great bait. So, for the rest of the fishing that evening and again the next day we had bait. We had lots of nibbles, and even caught a few undersized Golden Trevally, but nothing pan sized. After the ribbon fish, all the other fish caught were returned to live another day. We weren’t bothered. We enjoyed a couple of hours looking out towards the Whitsunday Islands, watching boats come and go and enjoying the sun. Very therapeutic and meditational, and the bonus – no yukkie fish to clean.

With almost three weeks here we’re pacing ourselves for the experiences to be had. A boat cruise out to Whitsunday Island is a definite must. A car trip around to Hideaway Bay and lunch at a beach side restaurant there we’ve heard wonderful things about is also on the agenda. If the reputation of both is anything to go by, each will be worthy of being allocated it’s own full chapter. And then there’s the caravan park we’re staying at. We’ve treated ourselves to a resort style park this time. It’s very, very nice and worthy of the few extra dollars. Details and pics coming soon, so watch this space…..

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