We couldn’t have picked a better day to leave Sydney, it’s raining cats and dogs and temperatures dropped to less than 12C (well, it’s late autumn after all). Flying north to Queensland into the tropics is quite soothing indeed. The 74 Whitsunday Islands were named by Captain James Cooked who passed through the famous “Passage” in 1770 – on the 7th Sunday after Easter which is the Feast of Pentecost. Fun fact, he didn’t realise that in Australia it was actually already Whitmonday while it was still Sunday in Europe 😉
Airlie Beach is a quaint little town nestled between the coast and the lush green hills rising up just behind it. We love the leisurely stroll over to the marina and some beaches further afield. It’s an enjoyable half-day excursion to walk up to the HoneyEater Lookout, rewarding views await us.
As we find out our kayaking plans were – quite literally – blown out the window by the prevailing winds 30 knots strong, we decide to be flexible and without further ado change our arrangements according to the motto: if life gives you lemons, make some lemonade 🙂
Now we’ve got time to complete the Great Whitsunday Walk along the ridge of the Conway Range. We hitchhike our way out of town, then seem to have the whole 35km through the National Park to ourselves. Except one mountainbiker no human soul far and near. Although we’re away from civilisation only about 15km as the seagull flies, this tropical jungle feels extremely remote. We spot lotsa wildlife and especially the funny forest pigs are somewhat of a highlight albeit super messy and not exactly gentle with their surroundings.
We cook our lunch on a rock with far-reaching views, and are taken by surprise when a reptile-looking fella makes its way up our picnic area. Holding still, s/he doesn’t seem to notice us – or doesn’t care – and curiously draws closer 😉
Back in Airlie Beach, we decide to put the wind to good use and book a 2-day sailing adventure around the Whitsundays Islands. A truly unforgettable experience to be out with the Alexander Stewart. Built over 17 years by 3 generations, this beautiful wooden 2-master is made for rough seas and happily glides over the waves.
More bushwalking, cycling, awesome snorkelling around the Great Barrier Reef, stargazing, hissing the sails, making new friends, sharing inspiring stories, remembering the past and dreaming about the future.
What a wonderful journey it has been, thank you very much everyone for being part of it 🙂
On the last evening of our trip we pick a wonderful seafood restaurant with adjacent rum bar (this area is famous for producing sugar cane;) and dine on some ocean’s delights while reflecting on this dream holiday and what unexpected turns it had taken from how we initially envisaged it. What a coincidence that I find below as a painting on one of the walls … so powerful, and applicable for whatever situation life throws at one 🙂
I can choose to let it define me, confine me, outshine me or
I can choose to move on and leave it behind me.