Now, Airlie Beach was more our kind of town! We staying in the Base/Nomads and they have a huge camping ground as well as hostel dorms, two pools and a bar, and its only $25/2 people plus an extra $5 for each extra person to park a camper. $35 between 4 a night is not bad at all. It’s also by far the busiest place we’d been to – it was good to hear some life around us again that wasn’t just crickets!
The drive was a long one and we all thought we deserved a beer after it! It was also a Friday night so would be rude not to. After dinner, we went to the hostel bar which was actually popping off. It was packed and had a proper DJ – it was really fun!
The next morning the rest were severely hungover but I really felt fine! I woke up at 8 and sorted our van our (we needed to re-check in and move spot). Eventually, the others appeared around 10am after I’d already been and had a coffee, come back, showered, moved the van (with them still asleep in it). What was a bit of a bummer was that in my drunken state the previous evening, I dropped my phone and it smashed into a million pieces, I didn’t even drop it from far and it landed on its back! So bloody typical.
Anyways, what that meant was I had to drive to the nearest phone shop and spend $200 on getting it fixed (sorry Mum). I could have dealt with the crack I guess but I would have had to get it fixed at home anyways, better to just pay the money and get it over with! It does mean that I’m officially broke now. Oh well.
We spent the rest of the day on the beach trying to tan but it was a bit cloudy. I was a bit naughty and got a dominos (it’s so hard when they’re $5!!). We then watched a great movie called Spotlight, would highly recommend it. After that, we drank some goon and played cards with our camper neighbour, a 19-year-old Aussie bloke called Henry. Once again we got an early night (well it was like half 11), I’m getting the most sleep I’ve ever had in my entire life!
The next day we did a lot of admin, we checked in for our Whitsundays tour (god I was getting so excited for it!!), cleaned Frans sheets, did some washing and caught up on our diaries. There was supposed to be a huge Sunday Session in the hostel but it was looking pretty dead we passed it, however, I heard that it got pretty rowdy around 10pm. Despite the bar being dead at the time, I managed to drink 3L of goon and watch a load of Love Island.
Whitsundays: Ride to Paradise
It was the moment we had all been waiting for, we were off to our lush villa in a private bay! To put the cherry on the cake I was miraculously not hungover after all that wine. We had some time to kill in the morning so we went to the Airlie beach lagoon. I don’t really know what we were expecting but a swimming pool was not it. Around 2pm we got on the boat and met our guides; Billy & Kane and we drove 25 mins to the resort. The place was even more amazing than we had expected!
After we had been shown our room and had some snacks we explored the resort and chilled in hot-tub. This place was phenomenal, it was originally created for a Love Island-esque TV show that only aired a couple of seasons and then was bought by a millionaire Australian. It had 4 luxury private villas, an infinity pool, a pool table, a tennis court, a table tennis table, kayaks, paddle boards – basically anything you could imagine there being it was there – and it was all free to use. We even got all our cooking done for us and all our washing up. The food was so good.
The place was BYO which was fantastic news because of my current financial situation so we all huddle around the bonfire and drank goon. It was pretty chilly in the evenings but really can’t complain! That night I probably had the best sleep I’ve had since we got Fran. We were still in a dorm room but they were huge king singles in sturdy wooden bunk beds so you weren’t woken up by the other person tossing and turning!
Next morning we got on the boat to go snorkelling & Whitehaven beach. It was an early start after a night of drinking, breakfast was from 7am. Our first snorkelling spot was to see some coral which was pretty cool but I’m definitely more of a fish person. The water (and the weather) was absolutely freezing. We had to wear wetsuits. The next stop was to see more fish. We stopped at Manta Bay which is run by a huge Maori Wrasse called George. Although getting back in the Baltic water was the last thing I wanted to do, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to go swimming with all the amazing fish. George was so so big, maybe the size of a small dog and he’s even been known to bite the snorkels off people’s faces so as soon as he got close I did freak out – not going to lie!
The next stop on the tour was to the famous Whitehaven beach. It was a half hour boat ride there and we were all soaked and all I had to protect me from the wind was my paper-thin microfibre towel. I have honestly never been so cold in my life. Lucky Gabby got one of the guides jackets! Not that I’m bitter at all. When we finally got there it was a bit warmer but I still had trousers and two jumpers while lying on the beach in the sun.
Whitehaven beach is really something else. It was the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen in my life. The sand was a glistening white and was so fine that it felt like walking in a bag of flour. After another chilly boat ride back to the resort, the first thing I did was grab a cider and jump in the hot-tub, it was so needed – everyone was chilled to the bone. We were in that hot-tub so long that the soles fo Christies feet went to white and it was actually painful to walk because our skin was so soft!
The resort also boasted these extremely instagramable outdoor baths so obviously, we had to get in them before dinner! That night, after another delicious meal, we all got quite drunk with the guides, it was really fun. We went out on the small boat with our torches and saw so many turtles up close, not to be dramatic but it was pretty magical.
On our final day we were supposed to be going to another spot to snorkel on our way back to Airlie but thankfully the whole group decided that we would much rather just stay at the resort. It was supposed to be even windier than the day before! The guide said that it was the coldest tour they have ever had since Ride to Paradise began 2 years ago – just our luck right!?
We went paddle boarding after breakfast which was really fun but pretty easy as the sea was so flat and then had one last dip in the hot-tub before we were dragged away back to Airlie. It was a pretty crazy 3 days but so so much fun. I am so glad we didn’t opt for the boat option as it would have been cold and miserable on a boat for 2 nights. If you ever do the Whitsundays I would 10/10 recommend Ride to Paradise, if you book last minute (if the tour isn’t full – your best bet is in low season) you can normally get quite a good deal as well. Big shout out to the whole team for such a fantastic time – we really were getting lucky with our tour guides!