I couldn’t decide about my next Australian destination. When I met Karen, whom I told you about on another post, she told me her experience in the Whitsundays & that helped me make up my mind!
I had never been that close to the Great Barrier of Reef & wanted to see the biggest reef in the world which lives in the Coral Sea & it is World Heritage.
I found a very cheap ticket from Brisbane to Prosepine & I booked an Airbnb, which had the option to also book airport transfer to Airlie Beach, the little village where I stayed & where the boats depart from.
The airport is only small & my transfer company has a small booth at arrivals. It took us half an hour to arrive, the apartment was not far from the main street, the place was surrounded by “tropical” green.
I went for a walk & only a few meters away I found a lovely café where I had my hot chocolate whilst reading my book.
The sun had gone down, so I went exploring, there isn’t much, it is really a street with offices which sell tours, bars, restaurants & some shops. There is a manmade lagoon opposite the sea.
When it is jellyfish season it is not recommendable to swim in the ocean, even if it’s very appealing.
My kind host offered to book the tours for me with a little discount. On my second day I walked to the port, we boarded a massive catamaran & from there we headed to our first stop, Whitehaven beach.
If I say it is wonderful, I fall short; with its white sand, 98% silica & totally virgin, it is synonym of paradise.
There we spent a few hours enjoying it. On the boat they’d given us a stinging suit, just in case we wanted to swim. I settled myself under a hut of logs, I became a mixture between Tom Hanks in “Castaway” & Brooke Shields in “The blue lagoon”.
We went back on board & made our way to Hamilton Island whilst enjoying the ride & the view along the way.
Hamilton Island is the most inhabited island out of the 74 that form the Whitsundays archipelago, which are also part of the natural reserve of the Great Barrier of Reef.
It is an ideal island to go on vacation, snorkeling, scuba diving, seeing the coral, in one word, great to relax from our busy lives.
There is an elevated lookout you can reach on the free bus called, One Tree, where you can admire the coast & the sea from, the view is spectacular, like every corner of this part of the planet.
After a wonderful day & a well-deserved rest I woke up looking forward to seeing the reef. I again walked to the port. The trip on the giant catamaran takes two hours, stopping first at Hamilton Island to pick up more passengers.
Getting closer & seeing all those spectacular shades of blue left me speechless.
Near Hardy Reef there is a Heart Pontoon, the boat moored & we all stepped on it, all the equipment for snorkeling & diving was there. I got myself a stinging suit.
The moment came, in the beginning I took a floating cylinder to splash around, I saw the photographer surrounded by fish, it was so cute, when I played with “Maggie” the fish, it was magical!
There is a glass boat where you can see the reef closely without getting wet. Some of the fish would come swimming around it. It is mandatory to look after our oceans, we cannot delay it any longer… the coral is dying.
We had lunch in the catamaran & continued swimming, I kept going up to the upper deck to admire the extreme beauty from there, my soul was full of bliss, another of my dreams had come true dear nomads, I left a part of my heart there.
The tide was getting lower & the coral was coming out on the surface, in the heart pontoon I found out that you can also spend the night there, I imagine it must be amazing so I kept the tip because that day I decided, I was coming back.
I returned totally in love, I went back to the upper deck to absorb all the energy of the place on our return to the port.
Next day I went to the artifitial lagoon with Lukas, my flat mate, to enjoy the sun & chill out, we chatted, read & in the evening my transport arrived on time. On the way to the airport we saw a few kangaroos which were observing us whilst they’re eating.
On the boat I was reading the second book of a new writer I had recently discovered, Elisa Mayo. I liked her first book so on this trip I read her second called “Una terraza frente al mar” (a terrace in front of the sea) what better title as I was surrounded by sea everywhere. The entertaining & fresh story introduces us to Vera, a girl who lives with her girlfriends; during this summer they meet Jorge & his friends, a nice friendship is born & … love, love that cannot be as Jorge has a complicated relationship. The plot involves themes of family reconciliation, work harassment, blackmail linked to a shady matter they see themselves involved into, will they solve it? What will it happen to their love story? You won’t be able to put the it down.