Day 33: Motoring at the Whitsundays

After the leisurely spent day of sailing on the Coral Sea yesterday, today will be completely different. We will tour the National Park by RHIB with twin 350bhp engines. At speed, they will take us around the ocean at 50km/h and over, so it’ll be an exhilarating ride!

We are on the “Southern Lights” tour, which is basically a tour around Whitsunday Island, but with stops on the most beautiful points. We started our day off in Airlie Beach off course, with a pickup at our hotel. After embarking we sped towards Hill Inlet for a bush walk to an amazing view on the swirling sands of Hill Inlet, where 98% silica sand creates a sandy shallow inlet which is home to all kinds of marine life among which the rare Estuarine Stingray which you can see in the water from the lookout. Great stuff! This is probably the most picturesque place we have been to in Australia, and that says a lot.

The weather today is kind of a mixture of things, we woke up to clear blue skies, which an hour later had made way for overcast greyish goop. After leaving the harbour, the skies opened up and the blue was visible again, and it stayed like that for quite some time. Great news!

Our second stop was at Dumbell Island, where we had yet another chance to snorkel the Inner Reef. The reef is really shallow over here, but visibility is a little less than yesterday. This reef was brimming with life, and we have seen a great amount of corals and fish. We have been out snorkelling for about 75 minutes, and this time we were wearing a wetsuit as the water was a little cold.

An exercise like that will work up your appetite, at the third stop we have been treated to a great lunch. We stopped at Whitehaven Beach, where 100% silica sands will make you want to wear your sunglasses all day long. It also squeaks under your feet as you walk over it, and it is the finest and stickiest sand you will even see. It is so unlike anything we are familiar with! We have spent about 2 hours on this beach, which at 7km long is pretty big and will acommodate a lot of people. We were a group of 20, which is rather ok. It wasn’t very busy over there either. Thr funny thing over here though was that it has rained a few times during the two hours there. It on,y rained for very short periods of time, but it is the oddest sensation to lie on a beautiful beach and get rain in your face…

The journey back was really bumpy as the winds had picked up a little and together with the tide they created a rough sea. I had a great time, some other people on the boat did not. 🙂

Tomorrow, we’ll leave this piece of paradise and head for the big city of Brisbane. We will fly from the nearby airport Proserpine, and will leave our trusty ASX behind as well.