Friday…Saturday…Whitsunday!

whitsunday island

I’d heard about The Whitsundays the first time I came to Australia. A collection of 74 islands nestled in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef and named by Captain Cook as he sailed through them on Whitsunday (the Sunday of the feast of Whitsun or Pentecost in the Christian liturgical year, observed 7 weeks after Easter). It was one of those magical places that you figure you’ll only see in photos. I didn’t make it there the last time I was here, but I made sure to see it when I returned. And boy, did I! I took a flight over the famed Whitehaven Beach where blue water and ultimate white sands swirl together like cream being poured into a rich cup of coffee. It’s a place you could never get tired of looking at. Nature, once again, at her best. Let the photos speak for themselves. (None of them have been photoshopped in any way, even though they may look a little better by doing so, I wanted to show exactly what I saw.)

Puddle jumper we flew in
Puddle jumper we flew in
Looking at Airlie Beach
Looking at Airlie Beach

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Whitehaven Beach
Whitehaven Beach off of Whitsunday Island

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whitsunday island

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There are only a few places I’ve seen that moved me emotionally and this is definitely one of them. I just wanted to hang in the air forever, my brain tickling with the images my eyes were feeding it. $99 and 25 minutes well spent.

Knowing I would be wanting more, I pre-booked a boat trip out there including some snorkeling time around the nearby reefs. I had to walk on the “singing sand” which squeaks under your feet due to the high silica content (98%). I walked on some in the Gold Coast and had no idea what was going on with it. It’s quartz sand and each grain is perfectly spherical which causes vibrations when they are moving over top of one another. I met a girl from Estonia and she helped me make a video of the singing sand and we took a walk up to a lookout point.

whitehaven beach lookout

whitehaven beach lookout

Helen and I on the boat (yes, it was cold!)
Helen and I on the boat (yes, it was cold!)

There were a few lace monitors hanging around while we ate lunch, hoping for some cold cuts!

lace monitor whitehaven beach

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For you movie buffs out there, Pirates of the Caribbean was finishing up the last 8 minutes of the film as we passed by them, at the low cost of 35 million dollars.

pirates of the caribbean filming whitsundays
Pirates of the Caribbean movie set on Whitsunday Island

The spot we snorkeled at briefly had this beautiful sailboat passing by. There were way too many jellyfish in the water for my taste even though I had a wetsuit on. Something about feeling a slimy blob brush up against your face and lips didn’t sit well with me. Plus the water was freezing, so I only stayed in a few minutes. We traveled 120 km round trip so it was a great introduction to the Whitsunday islands.

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I’m staying in Airlie Beach which is the gateway to the islands. Sailboats float quietly on the calm waters and further up the road at the marina, the big boys sit waiting for their next adventure (in style).

My "front yard" in Airlie Beach
My “front yard” in Airlie Beach
One section of the main road in Airlie
One section of the main road in Airlie

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More camels on the beach
More camels on the beach
It's tough being a camel in Oz
It’s tough being a camel in Oz
Sunset over Airlie Beach
Sunset over Airlie Beach
Crazy big yachts
Crazy big yachts. You can rent one for about $12,000 a day!

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I’ve spent almost every day at the beach the past 3 months…it’s been really tough. But paybacks are coming my way. I’ll be back in New Zealand in a few days where it’s REALLY winter. Time to pack away the shorts, bikini and sandals and purchase coats, gloves and boots. But I’m looking so forward to returning to my wonderful boyfriend! I’ll be going to Abel Tasman next week, so stay tuned for more photos and yet another adventure.

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7 thoughts on “Friday…Saturday…Whitsunday!

  1. Camille July 18, 2015 / 1:05 am

    Captivatingly beautiful! This makes me want to read about Captain Cook’s travels. I wish I had been there to ride one of those camels. Come to think of it, you and I have never actually traveled anywhere together.

    • StephieD July 18, 2015 / 7:06 am

      Yeah, I don’t think Boerne counts! We need to change that one day, woman!! Shoot, I probably should’ve ridden a camel too now that I think about it. Maybe I’ll do that today if they’re out there.

  2. Lynn July 18, 2015 / 3:00 am

    Your photos are fabulous . You sound so very happy. Continue to relish each adventure. Lynn in Basye.

    • StephieD July 18, 2015 / 7:03 am

      Thank you, Lynn! Good to hear from you…and I certainly will! It’s been great being able to travel for so long.

  3. Andrea July 18, 2015 / 5:08 am

    Wow! What an amazing place! Glad you got there.

  4. Teresa July 21, 2015 / 1:07 am

    One word – Amazing. Oh, and did you perchance spy Johnny Depp?

    • StephieD July 21, 2015 / 6:44 am

      Wasn’t so lucky, friend!!

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