Two of the first places I visited after my farmwork were two of the most beautiful in my two years in Australia.
The Whitsunday Islands, 74 islands that lie between Australia’s north east coast and the Great Barrier Reef. I managed to get a tour of some of these islands on a fast boat from Airlie Beach (the town known as the gateway to the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef), and I have plenty of shots and information in this post from the time I visited. The stunning coastline shown above is of the beautiful Whitehaven Beach. A beach of pure white sand, clear waters and what I wasn’t expecting, a whole row of dead trees from a cyclone that hit the area. More on all of this can be viewed in the link above.
There is a viewing platform that can be accessed by another boat ride further up the coast, taking you on a short walk and a steady incline, providing one of the best views Australia can offer.
In the shot below, the sand that can be seen on the left of the shot was used for a scene in a Pirates if the Caribbean movie. I am not sure which one, so brownie points if you can tell me!
This was in fact the second stop on the journey, I just so happened to upload in the reverse order here. The first stop was an amazing snorkel in one of the reef spots that are popular on this tour. I had to take the following shots from the photographer swimming along with us, but I promise I was there!
Quick tip: If you are ever snorkelling, listen out every now and then to other swimmers, not just as a safety precaution but so to not miss out on anything. On this occasion I did and I managed to hear someone shouting that they found turtle swimming by and loving life. I managed to swim up to the group that found it, we all kept a good distance and watched it swim into the darkness.
Certainly an amazing memory to go home with.
Australia’s east coast is huge. Townsville to Airlie Beach was a three and a half hour drive, which I learned was just the tip of the iceberg. My next stop was Hervey Bay, a very quiet town that broke up my journey nicely. This was around 14 hours on the coach from Airlie Beach! I spent a couple of days here and spent the time having a well deserved rest from farmwork and my recent adventures. The pier above was impressively big, built in 1917 and after protests, was saved after plans to be demolished.
A day later, I visited the world’s largest sand island.
Fraser Island, a world heritage site with lots of sand.
Over 100 freshwater lakes and this beautiful rock pool.
It has a registered highway on 75-mile Beach, an airport and this shipwreck…
The Whitsundays and Fraser Island deserve at least two days to really make the most of the excursions. Hervey Bay was nice and I could have done that probably in a day, although I loved being in a chilled town and using the time to simply unwind. It was a great time to just stop and think clearly after a whirlwind of experiences and tough work. I think this is great to do at least once either travelling up or down the east coast.
The views from the observation deck at the Whitsundays is the view of Australia I had always imagined… gorgeous beaches with white sands and clear waters. The trip was just what I expected and more. The problem is, could everything else on the trip down live up to my now incredibly high standards of the east coast? I would have to see…
Looking back, the earlier stops on my trip down to Melbourne were more natural, the latter more urban. I guess this makes sense as the population increases the further we travel south. Brisbane is the capital of Queensland and is in the south of the state. Then we hit the bigger cities of Sydney and Melbourne. So to be honest the destinations cannot be compared, and each and every stop provided something special. I look forward to publishing the rest of these and I hope you are enjoying them so far!
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