Having heard countless awesome stories from my mates that have visited the beautiful Whitsunday Islands, I thought it was about time that I took advantage of the cheap flights on offer from Tiger Airways and get myself up to the crystal blue waters of the Whitsundays. With only three days to experience as much as I could, I went straight from the runway to Abel Point Marina at Airlie Beach for a four hour jetski adventure!
Luckily for me, I had the privilege to share a 50 kilometer adventurous jetski trek with “happy days” Ange. Moving from Brisbane to Airlie Beach a year ago, Ange lives in paradise working at the travel desk at Airliebeach.com.
After a short safety introduction from Steve the owner of Jetski Tours, it was time to get suited up and hop on the Seadoo, forming a single line out of the harbour and into the open waters.
Nearly full throttle following the jetskis ahead of us we zoomed around Daydream Island, South, Mid and North Mole Islands which are part of the 74 Whitsunday Islands. We took a picturesque pit stop at Daydream Island for lunch and after holding a shark, petting a stingray and cuddling a sea slug it was time to switch drivers and hang on for dear life. Not long after, we both ended up flying off the jetski straight into the ocean. Did I mention it was stinger season? After surviving the unreal experience of jetting around the offshore islands we end our day with a cold beverage and a steak at the popular backpacker haunt, Beaches.
Waking up slightly hungover I headed back to the marina to board a 52-foot, former Sydney to Hobart racing boat called Iceberg. Welcomed with open arms and great knowledge of the sea was our entertaining Skipper Jesse. Without ever being on a proper sailing boat I was able to assist Sophia the deckhand to set sail. With no more than 12 passengers on board, you really get the space to take it all in and be part of the sailing experience and relax.
The awesome thing about a two full day tour is that you fit a lot in and get to snorkel three of the best island reefs and explore the postcard Whitehaven Beach, including Blue Pearl Bay and the famous local humpheaded Maori Wrasse called Elvis. Man, this guy was massive! After a tasty lunch we checked out a long beach lying in the water during low tide, appropriately called Long Reef. Everywhere I turned, I couldn’t stop taking pictures, the weather gods really turned it on for me.
It’s not everyday that you don’t have to add a filter to your Instagram photo to make it look better, but no, not here, not at the stunning Whitehaven Beach. This is the ‘must see’ place I imagined. Although there were heaps of other boat tours, we got lucky and got to walk on the softest and whitest sand and swim with the stingrays in the clearest clear water all to ourselves.
To top it off, our Skipper suggested we hike up the Hill Inlet Lookout to check out the sand formations resulting from the outgoing tide. The pictures I took there where so amazing that I even started using a new hashtag called #nofilter because of this.
Nothing beats being out on the sea, beer in hand, meeting new and interesting fellow travellers. But before my short holiday ends, I had to check out the so-called ultimate Sunday Session at the World Nomads Bar in Airlie, and man it was pumping! Do I really have to fly back home now?
Justin travelled with iSail Whitsundays (1 night /2 day tour starting at $379). Daydream Extreme do jetski tours from $190. For more info see airliebeach.com