A Travellerspoint blog

Sea Kayaking

Airlie Beach - Monday

sunny 25 °C

I actually followed the recommendation of the Sunset Cruise skipper and was up very early and "trespassed" on the Marina construction site to go to the new beach over there and look for sea shells. I made it over there but didn't see any nice shells. I noticed on the walk back to my usual McD's location that the markets were being setup. I've already learned that if the markets setup on a day other than Sat that means a cruise ship is stopping there for the day and I was right. lol I went ahead and headed over to McD's since my internet is down at my resort. Had my usual Macca's breakfast and cruised the net for a while. Then I had to get back to my resort and prepare for my sea kayaking trip.

Normally the excursions pick you up at your accommodations but this activity was over booked and had no room in the van. So I took the public bus which picked up right at the foot of the hill of my resort. It was a very nice drive down to Shute Harbor; takes you opposite direction of Airlie Beach. It was about 12 km to Shute Harbor. Shute Harbor is surrounded by Conway National Park and apparently there are some nice hiking trails in that area. I was early since I took the public bus so had time to chat with the crew. The main guy was from New Zealand but has lived all over the world including the states. The one young gal was a traveler from Canada who had been on the move for one year. She explained to me how backpackers like herself come to Australia with a little bit of money and a work visa and then just work to support their ability to stay in Australia. It was impressive.

The cruise line ship that stopped at Airlie Beach for the day had many people on the Kayaking trip. We were given Kayak skirts and life vests and then a lesson on kayaking. We all had to use tandem kayaks for the trip which was fine. We kayaked in the beautiful blue water over to a small island that had a lovely coral beach. The crew prepared a snack for all - very good Tasmanian blue and brie cheese and crackers and juice. Some folks chose to go in the water while some just relaxed or walked the beach as I did. There are "stingers" in the water so if you went in you had to wear a stinger suit. After about an hour we kayaked back to shore. The water was just gorgeous and it was very relaxing. I enjoyed the excursion very much. After we were finished they delivered us back to our resorts slightly ahead of schedule.

I came back and got cleaned up and then walked into town. I met up with Liz who was killing time before her flight back to Brisbane. We hung out at the Lagoon ( big swimming area) and then walked down to the Esplanade and got a snack. After that we walked over to the beach and hunted around for shells until she had to leave to catch her ride to airport. Liz was a very nice young gal and it was nice to meet her. Funny how women young and young at heart all have so much in common.

Headed back to my resort to do some laundry and sit around the pool. It's been tough but someone has had to do it..... not sure what night life holds yet....... going with the flow. : Last night in Airlie before starting down the coast in transition for coming back home...

Posted by cyntiast 00:03 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Airlie Beach - Saturday

Lazy Day

sunny 25 °C

Decided to just relax today.. I did get up early and walked all thru town for almost four hours. There is a "Market" on Saturday morning down by the esplanade - quite like the Farmers Market back home. Took time to walk thru to see the merchandise which included fruit and vegetable stands, clothing, jewelry, etc. Was back by 11 am as it was starting to get warm. Spent time at the resort and enjoyed the pool and hot tub. The resort next to mine has a mighty rowdy crowd over there; they've been cheering and such all afternoon.

Walked downtown and met up with one of the gals from the Whitehaven Beach trip to walk around. Stopped in at Magnums for a bit. This is a big open area with lots of picnic tables; there are food and beverage vendors all around. There are pool tables in the back as well as a sand volleyball court. There was a one-man band there as well; reminded me of the guy back home that plays at Patrick's frequently. Then we went down to Arlie Beach motel and socialized with some of the folks this gal had met the night before. Nice quiet evening....

Posted by cyntiast 00:42 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday

RAIN!!!!!!! spider!!! Lizard!! Clearing of rain...

sunny 24 °C

Today was a boat trip on the "Big Fury" - a powerful rafting style boat to some islands in the Whitsunday.

Most boats start out at 8:30 am, but this adventure dd not start until 10:30 am. That is because the vessel is so much faster than the other ones to get out to the islands. The biggest attraction to using this boat was the "no seasickness" promotion! And I am happy to report that I did not get sick or even feel sick! so that was great.

There were only 10 of us on this boat; normally they take out 35. So it was perfect. The crowd was nice and everyone was nice and friendly.

It took about an hour to get to our first snorkeling destination. They dubbed the first spot 'turtle island". I just took the dingy to shore to walk around; it started pouring down rain after about 20 minutes. LOL Am I surprised? since it never rains here.... they gathered us back up and we puttered on over to the Whitsunday Whitehaven Beach. Fortunately the weather cleared by the time we got there. There are some "facilities" on Whitehaven beach including some picnic pavilions and bathroom facilities. We had two crew members on our vessel; one of them rushed to one of the pavilions to setup for our lunch. Once he was setup; he called us to come back to eat. I walk back in the 'bush' and heard something moving around and looked and there is this two foot long lizard there. Then someone called out that there was a spider on the roof and it was this HUGE spider.... of course he was just a "small" guy compared to others there on the island. I didn't like him one bit though and would not sit down to eat my meal. I kept looking around me for other creatures. I would have died if any of them had crawled on me. LOL

We spent about 3 hours on Whitehaven beach which was wonderful and just what I wanted. White sand. Blue water. Perfect!!! I took long long walk and then sat on the beach for a while. It was very relaxing. There was a family on the ship with two young boys. It took me back in time when my kids were young and we went on adventures with them. The kids were having a lot of fun on the beach and in the water.

I thought we were stopping by Hill Inlet Outlook on the way back; where you see the view of the infamous Whitsunday white swells; but they just pointed out the site to us and said "well, you have to be in a helicopter to see the views that are on all the postcards". I didn't mind as I was ready to get back. Chatted with the folks on the boat back which was very nice. There were people there from Canada and Melbourne. Went back to my room and took a long long nap. It is now Friday night here and time to go check out the town... so we'll see if I make it there.. LOL

Hello to all back home!!

Posted by cyntiast 14:31 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Airlie Beach

The Exploration.....

sunny 25 °C

Woke up fairly early this morning anxious to see where I am staying for the week since I arrived in the dark. My room is a nice studio apartment with a balcony overlooking to the far far distance... the coral sea. The immediate view to the left is the construction site of a new Marina. If you look more towards the right it is a slightly better view..... sigh.... The place has two pools and a hot tub. One thing is that it is one of the resorts on the lower side of the hill so I do not have to climb as far getting in and out of the city. ( But Gloria - I will climb the hills for exercise..)

My resort is slightly outside of town so walked down the sidewalk into town to see what was there. As much as most of us hate it... McDonald's is within ten minutes and they have FREE internet!! So McD's becomes your friend when your accommodation does not offer free internet. Airlie is a very commercialized area with shops, hostels, motels, touristy things. There is a nice walkway around the parameter of the water area which is very nice. I plan to do a lot of walking while here to work off all those biscuits that are enjoyed so much here! lol walked for about four hours today!

Spent the afternoon at my resort relaxing. Went into town for dinner at Cactus Jacks.

cruising to Whitehaven Beach tomorrow...

Posted by cyntiast 04:02 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

Kuranda Railway Excursion

Koala bear day!

21 °C

http://www.cairnstours.net.au/vkrst.html

Today was the Kuranda Railway All Inclusive Day trip. We were picked up from our accommodations and taken to coach buses that transported us to the Kuranda Freshwater Railway Station. We boarded the Kuranda Scenic Railway for our trip up to Kuranda. I decided to upgrade to the "Gold" class of this trip and will tell you it was well worth it. "Gold" passengers rode in a luxury coach with nice chairs and hardwood floors. There were only seven of us on this day in our car. We had a hostess who fed us the whole way with biscuits, sandwiches, scones, muffins. And any beverage we wanted. I had white tea (tea with milk) and then some Sparkling Australian Wine. There were four other Americans on this train so we enjoying chattering about our visit to Australia. Shout out to Kelly & Jason and Alix and Bill from the LA Area! The ride up the mountain on the train was very nice. It took about 90 minutes to climb. There were some spectacular views including Barron Falls. The water was not running heavily for this time of year, but it was still nice.

Once we got to the town of Kuranda, three of us jumped on the bus to get to the top of the village to get to the Koala area. This was a definite highlight of my trip. You have to pay (of course) to enter this area and pay extra to hold the Koala. But worth every penny. The Koala we were able to hold was called "Chibby". She was the cutest thing. Koala's are much heavier than you would think. She clunged on to you, but did not scratch. I could have held her all day long. Was able to feed the Kangaroos and Wallaby's at this location which was awesome. Kangaroos are so funny in the way they scratch themselves.

After the Koalas, wandered around the shops in Kuranda and made my way back down to the Skyrail Rainforest Cableway. Alix and Bill were there so I traveled down in their car. Historically I would have been as nervous as Alix was, but mind-over-matter I decided to just enjoy the ride down. You are suspended high in the air in these cable cars that basically lifts you over the tall Rainforest trees up the one side of the mountain and back down the other. There were two vista stops on the way down where Bill and I got off and took pictures. Alix sat back at the cableway and silently cursed that her husband was doing the cableway as she was really scared. Bill was extremely nice and understanding to her and very appreciative that she took the cableway so he could experience. Our hostess rode with us from the last vista stop. She is a native of Australia originally from Perth and then relocated to Cairns. She had just come back from 18 month maternity leave. (Australia is very generous with leave for raising kids).

The Cableway did offer fantastic views of the valley and sea below.

At the bottom of the Cableway we arrived at Caravonica and enjoyed a buffet lunch at the Tjapukai Restaurant. (another perk of the "Gold" package). After lunch we enjoyed different shows and demonstrations at the Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park. We watched shows about their music where they did this fun dance imitating the kangaroos including their funny scratching activities. We learned about how they used the different plants for medication. We got to throw a boomerang and throw a spear. We watched a couple shows about the history of Aboriginies. After the show, we were returned back to our hotel.

Highly Recommend this trip if you visit to Cairns!! yes, it is touristy stuff, but well worth it I believe.

I wandered around Cairns a bit after our return and then just relaxed back at the hostel for the evening.

Posted by cyntiast 17:32 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

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