Once you catch the travel bug, there’s just no getting rid of it. It sticks with you like a persistent itch underneath the skin.
I first caught this bug in 2014 when I embarked on my year-long exchange in Switzerland. Since then, I haven’t been able to shake it off. I have a constant craving to explore the world and seek new adventures.
Mattias and I headed to the Whitsunday Islands for a little paradise getaway in the first week of October. We went a day after my 24th birthday. Initially I had wanted to go to New Zealand but because Mattias had recently come back from a work trip there, it seemed kind of redundant. So, I figured it was the perfect opportunity to head up to the North of Australia to dunk our feet in some crystal waters and see the Great Barrier Reef before it completely dies in the hands of corporate greed.
So, here’s a summary of our week at the Whitsunday Islands. I’ll post more photos from each day in separate blog posts over the coming week.
Day 1 – Exploring Mainland Airlie Beach
We arrived at Proserpine Whitsunday Coast Airport just before midday and took a shuttle bus to our accommodation (Shingley Beach Resort). We stayed on the mainland, about 20 minutes walk from the main town of Airlie Beach. For most of the day, we assessed our surroundings and scoped out the local cafés and restaurants. We also spent an hour or so booking day trips for the rest of the week.
Day 2 – Hanging With The Mermaids of Daydream Island
On day two, we were supposed to go kayaking but due to strong winds, our booking was cancelled. Mattias and I decided to just wing it and got on a 10am ferry to Daydream Island. Despite the crazy winds, I really enjoyed exploring Daydream Island – it’s only about 1km long. We went on a small nature walk (and Mattias spotted a HUGE spider which made me extremely paranoid for the rest of the walk), then chilled by the resort pools. Mattias also did a little snorkelling at Lover’s Cove.
Day 3 – Scuba Diving & Snorkelling AT The Great Barrier Reef
Day three was our cruise to the Great Barrier Reef with Cruise Whitsundays. The ocean waves were pretty extreme and there were a few times when I thought I couldn’t hold in my sea sickness… but WILL POWER. When we got to the reef pontoon, Mattias and I put on our wetsuit and snorkelling gear… and I snorkelled FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE. It was amazing but damn, salt water really burns the passageways. Also, most of the coral that we saw were dead and bleached which was super sad.
We also went SCUBA DIVING (!!!) – something that has never been an intention of mine. But I did it even though I was scared and it was easily one of the best experiences of my life.
Day 4 – Kayaking Through The Whitsunday Islands
Finally, on day four we could go kayaking! We got picked up at our hotel and taken to Shute Harbour for our half-day kayaking tour with Salty Dog Sea Kayaking. Mattias took the back seat of the kayak (because apparently the person at the back does most of the work) and I took the front.
Can I just say… KAYAKING REALLY HURT MY NON-EXISTENT ARM MUSCLES? My arms were burning from the inside out, but it was so fun. I actually want to do it again sometime in the future. We were so exhausted by the end of our kayaking session that we spent the rest of the day doing nothing (but complaining about our muscles – or lackthereof).
Day 5 – Working Up A Tan at Whitehaven Beach
Day five was a beautiful day. We woke up super early to catch our day trip with Cruise Whitsundays to Whitehaven Beach. This is a pretty big deal because this beach has been voted Australia’s #1 beach and is apparently one of Australia’s most photographed destinations, so I was really excited to finally sink my toes in the white sand (actually it’s not sand, it’s crystal). I was not disappointed. We also went on a small trip to Chalkies Beach where Mattias went snorkelling and saw a Bluespotted Stingray (!!!) and then we went on a small hike to Hill Inlet… and the view of Whitehaven Beach was just breathtaking.
I also got molested and bitten by HUGE flies (apparently called ‘March Flies’) and it frigging hurt.
Day 6 – Hiking The Hills of Hamilton Island
We spent our last full day at the ever-popular Hamilton Island. By this point, Mattias and I were so exhausted, yet somehow we managed to walk up the REALLY STEEP HILLS of this island. We looked at a lot of real estate and imagined a life where we would one day own one. Most of the island guests drove around in little golf buggies (which was super cute) and I totally regretted not hiring one out as my calf muscles were really aching by the time we reached the highest point of the island. I cry. But anyway, I rewarded myself with some ice-cream afterwards, so no complaints.
Yep. That about sums up my week-long trip to paradise. For some reason I’m still feeling kind of motion sick and dizzy. I’m hoping it passes soon because I’m finding it hard to concentrate and look at my screen for long periods of time, which is why this post is so scattered.
Anyway, I will proceed to upload blog posts in the next few days filled with photos and more details of the things we did at the Whitsunday Islands.
Hope you’re having a lovely day wherever you are!
Until next time,