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A long weekend in Airlie

After three insane years at university, I decided that to celebrate graduating I deserved a holiday in the sun! It was just me travelling & I couldn’t afford to fly overseas so I had to look closer to home, not devastating when you are living in Aus. The Great Barrier Reef seemed like an amazing idea with the promise of sun, sea & shirtless international travellers. 🤣

 

I stayed at a boujee 5 star resort from Thursday - Sunday that had an infinity pool with views of the water, a delish buffet breakfast & a 24 hour golf buggy. I spent the first hour speechless at the resort that is Club Wyndham.

 

Obviously a sunset yacht cruise was non-negotiable, I booked with the Camira sunset tour on the recommendation of the hotel Concierge. BEST DECISION EVER. I paid $95 for a 2-hour sunset cruise that included beer, wine, cider & soft drinks plus food. You pretty much head out to the furthest point for the sunset which is unobstructed views & the prettiest pastel skies then cut laps of the open ocean until it’s time to head back. There is also live music so you can dance on the deck. I was a tiny bit sad that I was alone at the start but no one was outwardly judgy.  It is really cold once the sun goes down even though it was December so don’t do a me & forget to pack your jacket regardless of how hot the day is. #willieverlearn?

 

Take two hours to pack yourself some snacks & a bottle of wine & head to the marina for sunset. Sadly, in Airlie Beach it’s set the tiniest bit inland which takes away any chance of seeing a sunset. Meaning you have to walk around to the marina to get a view of the sun setting. It’s a 30 min walk from the middle of the main street to the marina. I set up my tripod off one of the docks & the sky straight up exploded with colour! If you want to see the sunrise, you can just do that from the main beach or the marina at the opposite end. Sunset always just looks more vibrant though in my opinion. 

One of my favourite travel experiences to date was a day trip to Whitehaven beach. I decided to splurge & go with Whitehaven Xpress. It was $200 & it was a huge ten-hour day. They picked me up from my accommodation & drove me to the boat. Once we all signed the waiver we started out towards the reef, Braden was super entertaining & pointed out all of the notable things. One advantage of this tour is you don’t stop until you reach the beach, whereas, others do pickups at different islands along the way. 

 

Whitehaven is split into North & South because it’s such a long stretch of beach. We arrived at Hill inlet and did the walk up to the lookout, it's so unbelievably beautiful! We got to spend 2.5hours at this end of the beach, swimming and taking photos. This end is definitely busier because all of the tours stop here. It was a bit crowded and there was lots of activity but that made it fun and easy to meet people.

 

We then got back on the boat & travelled another short distance to stop at the other end of the beach. Whilst we were out at hill inlet the kids onboard did some fishing & so we got to eat fish that was caught, killed & cooked on the BBQ all within the hour. I will forever judge fish on that experience going forward. This end of the beach was much more chilled out & because we had been with the same people all day everyone just hung out together. They give the option of a second hike which is very similar to the first or an extra 2-hours to walk around & explore the beach at your own leisure.

 

Please, learn from my experience & be sun safe, burnt feet is the most exquisite pain. Also, wear the stinger suits they give you! Turns out the jelly fish they are concerned about is clear & tiny, that’s a big nope from me. Lastly Braden knows how to pose a great beach photo so ask him for his insta-worthy photo ideas.

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