Wa-Hey for the Whitsundays!

Friday 7th October

Since we last wrote we went to the pub to watch the Cowboys match - they lost! As it is such a big thing here in Queensland, there was a draw to win a cowboys shirt (worth $150)... you got a raffle ticket for every drink you bought. Debs had only 1 ticket but managed to get lucky - and is now the proud owner of the aforementioned shirt... imagine how fed up the locals (with handfulls of tickets) were. We met some Canadians travelling (Amanda, Jamie and Jolene - we camped next to them) and they also won prizes. Obviously a lucky night for the tourists!

The next day we left for our cruise onboard 'Whitsunday Magic'. The boat only started sailing the Whitsundays in April and is the most luxurious boat you can go on (unless you can afford your own private yacht I guess) and we had an amazing 3 days and nights. Jamie, Amanda and Jolene were on the cruise with us which was good and there were only 12 other passengers on baord. We had a great cabin, fantastic food and drinks and the scenery was breathtaking.

On the first day we sailed to Tongue Bay (Whitsunday Island - the largest Island). We anchored there for the night and in the morning enjoyed watching the turtles swimming near the boat. From there we got a dinghy to the island and walked up to Whitehaven Beach lookout. This is one place that really does look exactly like the postcards - white sand and clear turquoise waters. We could even see rays swimming in the bay - very cool. Then we went onto WHitehaven beach itself. The beach is made from almost pure silica sand (because of an underwater volcano distributing the silica in a certain direction) and is powdery white. beautiful. Matt, Jamie and Jolene played frisbee, Debs and Amanda swam, sunbathed and Debs enjoyed a walk along the shore. Sadly we had to leave and headed back on to the shipm for a proper sail. The boys helped raise the sails and then we enjoyed the peace of pottering along under wind power. We stopped at Bali Hai (near Hook Island) for our second night and partook of a cocktail or teo that evening - well, why not eh, we are on holiday after all!

On Wednesday morning we went to Luncheon Bay (Hook Island) for a snorkel - and Matt went for a dive. There was some beautiful coral and lots of fish. After lunch we went to another bay (Mantaray Bay) just around the corner. This is one of the most pristine bays on the reef. The amount of fish and coral was amazing... Everywhere you looked there was something new to see - the pictures can't really capture what it was like. Debs got to stroke a 40kg Giant Wrasse - it was a bit scary but felt very soft. There were fish all around us, bumping into us. It is one of the best things we have done on our entire trip. After a couple of hours snorkelling the glass bottom boat picked us up and we went back onboard Whitsunday Magic. We stopped just off Black Island for the night - our last night of luxury :-( and on Thursday morning sailed 3 hours back to Airlie Beach. What an amazing trip.

Last night we went with Jamie, Amanda and Jolene into town for a few drinks, checked out the nightlife of Airlie and caught up with a couple of crew from the boat... Debs and Amanda left at 2, the others at 4. We have had a day of catching up on sleep today, taking it easy! Tomnorrow we are heading south - hopefully to Agnes Water and Town of 1770 and then onto Hervey Bay and Fraser Island.

Airlie Beach

Sunday 3rd October

Well, what have we been up to since we last wrote? We finally left Mission Beach and travelled south to Townsville. We spent 3 days in Townsville and in an effort to get through all the things we want to do, hit the ground running. As soon as we arrived Matt booked himself onto a dive to the Yongala Shipwreck - one of the Top 10 dives in the world! We spent a day at Magnetic Island - hiring a Moke to scoot around the island in - a boy's toy if ever there was one but lots of fun! There are some pictures on the website. After Matt's dive (pics appearing soon) we left Townsville for Airlie Beach. We have booked ourselves on a sailing trip around the Whit Sunday Islands. After looking at brochures for day trips, racing yachts (matt was keen I most definitely wasn't!), big ferry type boats etc etc (and over 2 hours later)we decided on a luxury tall ship cruise! We have a private cabin with en-suite, porthole, air con etc , the boat (Whitsunday Magic) is the poshest you can go on - it even has it's own chef preparing restaurant quality food (and we seem to get fed about 5 times a day!). We got a good deal too, instead of $690 that it usually costs we got a standby rate of $449 each - bargain! We leave tomorrow for 3 nights and 3 days. We get to see islands, go bushwalking, snorkel, steer the ship, maybe dive...While we were here we also spent a really nice night out with a couple of friends we made in Townsville (who we followed here). We hope to catch up with Danny and Michael in Brisbane or Sydney. We might head out tonight to catch the AFL final match - it's a big thing here so we'll see what it's all about (GO COWBOYS! is what we have to say I think...). We'll write again when we get back from the Islands. Bye.

Dunk Island

Monday 26th September

We have spent today at Dunk Island, about 5km off the coast from Mission Beach. It was discovered by Capt Cook in 1770 and was inhabited by ej banfield - who wrote 'confessions of a beachcomber'. It is a beautiful place. We swam, snorkelled and climb to the top odf the lookout for some beautiful views - pics on the website soon. Tomorrow we are heading to Townsville for a bit of shipwreck diving (matt), more snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef and a visit to Magnetic Island.

Mission Beach

17th September

Had a week on mission beach, just soaking up the rays. On Tuesday we went out for dinner to celebrate our one year anniversary away. Cant believe its been that long. If we had the camera we would have had pictures but hopefully we should have it back by the end of the week. We may reenact the dinner just for the camera ;-)

Going to stay here for another week as our taxback wont be paid til sometime next week! oh well that just compresses the time in which we have to spend it ;-)

The next move...

Saturday 10th September

Well having clocked up 5 days work between us we have finally made it to the weekend. We are going to spend the weekend here in Tully - not because there is really anything to do but 'cos we've already paid for the campsite! Matt's feeling achy from his banana work and from planting water melons yesterday. We are probably going to climb the 'Golden Gum Boot' - Tully's monument to the rain! and then take it easy for the rest of the day, using the internet to catch up and enjoying the sunshine (while it lasts). On Monday we're going to head back to Mission Beach and spend a while hanging out there saving our hard earnt cash. Our tax back money should have come through in a couple of weeks and then we'll be beach hopping our way back to Sydney. Yeah!