Day 73


Airlie Beach



What We Did:

Some days are full, others are bursting. We woke the kids up at 7am (they only sleep late when we need them to wake up early) for a 3-hour-plus drive from a quick overnight stop in Townsville on our way to Airlie Beach. We’d be driving straight to the port to hop on a Cruise Whitsundays day-trip to magical Whitehaven, renowned as one of the world’s best beaches,  with quartz sand so squeakey-fine you can use it to polish your jewellery. Of course Gali had to throw up his Uncle Toby’s porridge in the car, which led to a mad and tense dash to catch the boat but of course we made it (we always do). The waters in this part of the Great Barrier Reef are impossibly blue-green, and the weather today was just perfect. A strong southerly trade wind did however cause a few waves that were a little too much for Mom’s tummy, but Gali remained strong with lots of attention from the crew, and Raquel continued a tradition she picked up ages ago on the Rottnest Express of naming the big swells that splashed the windows. The waves didn’t last long and soon enough we found ourselves on a 7-km-long slice of beach paradise. Gali had a much needed nap under a shade tent, while Raquel played cricket with the friendly crew and soaked up a couple hours digging puddles with the beach toys handily provided. We also checked out the large monitor lizards and fed some large dart fish swimming at our toes.  Feeling the warm wind in our hair, Cruise Whitsunday’s comfy Orca took on a lovely sunset boat ride back to port.


What We Ate:

Breakfast was porridge down (and for Gali, porridge up).  Dad snuck in a BP cheese spinach pie. Lunch was some toasted sandwiches, and tea was crackers with cheese and various yummy pickles on the boat (don’t eat the pickled onion Gali! Oh too..late). . We were too exhausted to do much except nuke some mac-n-cheese for dinner, although Dad did gourmet his bowl with sriracha sauce and smoked salmon.


Where We Ate:

Breakfast: On the road between Townsville and Airlie Beach

Lunch: At the the Cruise Whitsundays port terminal

Dinner: At our home for the next few days in a Bali Villa at the Discovery Parks Airlie Beach

My Favourite Pictures Today

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Where We Slept:

The Discovery Parks in Airlie Beach ain’t your grandad’s holiday park! Our recently refurbished Bali Villa is modern and spacious and has all the fixin’s: leather couches, big screen TV, soaker jacuzzi tub, new kitchen appliances, ceiling fans and air con, and a big water park the kids can’t wait to attack. It’s tropical and warm and the thatched hut and plants really do give the feeling we’re somewhere like Bali. We arrived pretty late so look forward to discovering the park over the next few days, while Dad runs off to explore the reef!

We Learned:

74 islands make up the Whitsundays, with 96% of the 30,000 hectare area protected. Before the last ice age, the Whitsundays was a mountain range. We learned that the sands of Whitehaven Beach are so pure they are suitable for fine glass making and optical lenses.  And they cleaned Dad’s wedding ring! We learned that box jellyfish and irakandji in April my be rare like unicorns but you still don’t want to be stung by a unicorn. We learned there is a lot of sugar cane between Townsville and Airlie Beach. People with caravans shouldn’t pull onto the highway in front of cars travelling 100 km/hr. And how come there’s never a “How am I driving?” sticker on the back of a truck driving like a lunatic.  That you can get rid of beer bottle stains on new wood furniture by using a hair dryer (whew! and thanks for those coasters gifts Discovery Parks Fraser Coast!)

Reflection of the Day

The Best Part:

Playing cricket on the beach and watching the sunset from the boat

The Worst Part:

Cleaning up Gali’s puke in the car is getting a little tired, but we can’t blame him for that. Probably the worst part was when Mom and Dad miscommunicated in the morning about where to meet, and ended up wasting 15 minutes we thought we didn’t have, but in the end, did.

We'll Always Remember

  • Name: Emrys
  • Favourite Place: Germany, where my girlfriend is
  • I Love Travel Because: it's important to meet new people when you live in a small town
  • My Advice for Kids: Don’t grow up
  • Name: Rebecca
  • Favourite Place: Lamington National Park
  • I Love Travel Because: I love adventure and seeing new places
  • My Advice for Kids: Be creative as possible and always have fun
  • Name: Brent
  • Favourite Place: Mystery Island in the South Pacific
  • I Love Travel Because: I get to experience different cultures
  • My Advice for Kids: Growing up is optional
  • Name: Tam
  • Favourite Place: The Great Barrier Reef
  • I Love Travel Because: it enriches my life
  • My Advice for Kids: Never be scared and always ask questions
  • Name: Michelle
  • Favourite Place: Here on Whitehaven Beach
  • I Love Travel Because: I feel the freedom, and I want to know more about the world
  • My Advice for Kids: Be yourself and be happy every day

  Today's Random Thing

  A Note from Mom and Dad

We downloaded some story podcasts for Raquel and were horrified at the supposed toddler-friendly stories that came up: evil goblin spiders and wicked mice and Japanese soul-eating monsters…each time we thought it couldn’t get any worse it did and although we managed to stop a few the damage was done. Raquel had nightmares and we feel like idiots. She’s only 5 and these are powerful images, so don’t believe those “Best Podcasts for Toddlers” because Storynory doesn’t belong anywhere near a five year old. Gali’s sleeping and eating patterns might to be changing, and we fear this could be the end of our good sleeper/eater phase. He also has a habit of kicking everyone out the room when he does his “diaper business”. Back home we’d be potty training him already, but until we’re in one place for more than a week, it doesn’t seem to make much sense.  At the end of a rainbow is a golden pot, and in that golden pot are three lucky leprechauns, and if these three bearded elves give you the choice of gold or your kid outgrowing diapers, you start shopping for undies

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