Since departing Darwin on the 15th Feb we sailed along the coast of tropical Northern Territory and North Queensland. Now with the Pilot on board to guide us down the coast through the Great Barrier Reef, we enjoyed his informative talks of Australia’s past history and discovery by Captain James Cook in 1770 as he explored these waters, islands and coastline while out on deck taking in the sights of these lovely tropical islands.
Sailing through the Whitsundays in the Coral Sea we arrived to anchor in the deeper waters off the coast of the town of Airlie Beach. Today we tendered to the quayside of Abel Point Marina and were all warmly welcomed by the local volunteer team who provided cold water, brochures and friendly advice of where to visit while on shore for the few hours.
We took the shuttle bus provided by P & O to the local markets drop off point at Shute Harbour. We strolled along the white sandy beach pathway under the shade of palm trees to walk towards the town centre which is situated on Shute Harbour Road.
This section of Shute Harbour Road in Airlie Beach is the centre of activity, with banks, post office, restaurants, cafes and shops. We took the opportunity to check out the prices of food and goods in the local supermarket.
Airlie Beach Lagoon was opened in 2001 and this ideal swimming and picnic area is a relaxing destination for local and tourists alike to soak up the warm tropical sun while cooling down in the mad made lagoon then share a BBQ lunch using the provided gas barbies. We were impressed with this free facility.
We spent some time just relaxing on the grassed area on the beach front while sipping on cold milkshakes and enjoying being back on home soil again.
Time drawing to a close we walked back along the boardwalk along the rocky water’s edge. Again the cheery volunteers were ready with cold water and friendly chatter at the quayside and we were now ready to board our tender back to our home on the Oriana.
On to Brisbane………
Airlie Beach is situated on the tropical coast of Northern Queensland and came into existence in the 1930’s with the arrival of a few settlers. In 1960 the Airlie Beach Hotel and a few shops were built and more development at Airlie Beach in the 1980’s saw tourism in this area and the Whitsundays’ open up.
Airlie beach boasts beautiful white sandy beaches, warm tropical days and a relaxed atmosphere. The main attractions are the nearby Whitsunday Islands, the Great Barrier Reef, national parks and towns like Bowen which is situated 55 miles north of Airlie Beach.