Back in October I went to Airlie Beach: The gateway to the Whitsunday Islands. In the pictures the Whitsundays looks a place that dreams are made of. Jody and I were told so many times how lucky we were to be going and after reading and hearing so many positive accounts of people’s time there, we were expecting paradise and sadly it just didn’t live up to our expectations.
We stayed at the Airlie Waterfront Backpackers which was awesome. It was right on the beach as the name suggests and it was a fairly reasonable price for three nights in a double room (We also got an upgrade for the first time ever – Woo!). Airlie Beach itself was wicked – good food, good shops, good people – and we loved the little seaside town vibe it had going on.
The first day we went on a half day kayak with Salty Dog Sea Kayaking which was amazing. I am super unsporty and super unfit so I was expecting to be really bad at it but turned out to be really, really good. I won’t go into it as we still have an underwater camera waiting to be developed with all the pictures on it so the kayaking is a whole other blog post in itself!
So yeah the first day was good, beautiful weather, beautiful scenery – Just what we expected.
Proof that I really did kayak! Image from Salty Dog Sea Kayaking
On our second day we booked a day tour on a Cruise Whitsundays boat which would take us to three Whitsunday Islands – Daydream, Hamilton and Whitsunday. The cruise took us to a resort on Daydream with the biggest live man-made reef in the world. They also had a big old lemon shark called Bruce.Next up was Hamilton Island which was beautiful but stank of money (the rich and holiday gravitate towards it due to it’s privacy and up market hotels). We had a potter around and had an amazing lunch at the Marina Tavern before heading over to the main event – An afternoon at Whitsunday Island.
Hamilton Island Marina
Obviously when we were at Daydream & Hamilton the weather was beautiful – blue skies, warm with a light breeze but when we arrived at Whitehaven Beach the wind picked up and the clouds started to roll in. Just our luck.
Due to time constraints, everyone tended to stick to the end of the beach where we got dropped off as we didn’t have much time there. This meant big crowds and if we went to find our own little slice of paradise we could have ended up spending an evening camped on the beach waiting for the next day’s boat to pick us up.
Before the clouds came to say hello
I was a little bit let down by the Whitsundays.
It wasn’t the cruise companies fault, it wasn’t our fault, we just got unfortunate with the weather. I would definitely recommend others who want to go to the Whitsundays to allow time for a full day at Whitsunday Island thought so you can take your time and see the Hill Inlet (the generic Whitsunday photo you see when you google it…Blue ocean swirled with white sand).
So there you have it. Make sure you have enough time in the Whitsundays to see everything you want to see, don’t rush it and check the weather forecast!