Whitsunday Coast Part 3

Disclaimer: This post is mostly pictures. All taken on my crappy iPhone camera.

Saturday morning we headed back up to the Cruise Whitsundays port to take a day long cruise to Whitehaven Beach. We left Airlie around 6:30am and headed toward the island. Whitehaven is located on the the uninhabited Whitsunday Island. The island consists of the national park and the beach only, so it is very remote. It’s the only beach I have been on where there are no restaurants, hotels or shops in sight.

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Once we got there, our group boarded a small boat and went to the hill inlet. Our tour guide Craig might be one of the most interesting characters I have met. His likes include: nature, “being one” with crocodiles, Steve Irwin’s father and aborigine culture. His dislikes: Matthew McConaughey, technology, Candy Crush and Channel 9 News. He was definitely passionate about the area and was extremely informative. He made our trip fun and entertaining. He took us on a short hike to the top of the hill where there was a lookout point.

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It was the most beautiful view I have ever seen. We took about 100 pictures but they all pretty much look the same.

After we hiked down back to the beach, we got back on our little boat and went around the island to Whitehaven Beach.

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Whitehaven has been named one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The sand is 98% silica which makes it so white and pretty. It also doesn’t retain heat, so even on the warmest days your feet don’t hurt walking on it.

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Part of our day package was lunch- that was actually quite delicious. So we got to enjoy a little picnic on the beach.

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After lunch we took the little boat around to a small coral reef to snorkel. Although it wasn’t the same as the Great Barrier Reef we were still able to see some really beautiful coral and fish. After snorkeling we went back to hang out on Whitehaven before it was time to head home.

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They also have boats you can go on where you spend the night of the shores of Whitsunday Island. So if you want to come visit us we already have our next trip planned out 🙂

As much as I loved the Great Barrier Reef Adventure, the views from the hill made this my favorite part of our trip. It’s amazing that a place this breathtaking exists just an hour and half plane ride from our little apartment.

Whitsunday Coast Part 1 and an #HonestInsta

Before I begin a recap of our weekend getaway with breathtaking views and crystal clear water I want to show you a glimpse into our real, everyday, not picture perfect life. My friend (and blogger) Ali does a thing on Instagram called #honestinsta where she shows photos from her everyday life that may not be pretty or “instagram worthy.” I love that idea because we all know that nobody’s life is as perfect as their instagram feed makes it appear but sometimes we forget and it’s nice to know that other people have days without the perfect #ootd or imaculately plated meal.

Well here is my #honestinsta taken the morning we left for our mini vacation.

IMG_0458Rewind to the day before this picture was taken. It was Wednesday and I was packing, cleaning and getting ready for our trip. I was in the middle of doing laundry in our laundry room (which also doubles as our master bathroom) when the door on the washing machine got stuck. That’s the washing machine to the right of Travis and our shower to the left. There’s not much room to get in there and pull. I tried for approximately ten (maybe five) minutes with no success, so I did what I do with everything else in my life and I decided to wait until Travis got home from work to fix it.

Well Travis is super strong and opened it right away (after I remembered it right before we went to bed) but then water started gushing out of the machine onto our floor. After multiple google searches and a helpful Bristish you tube tutorial we thought we had successfully drained the machine. We patted ourselves on the back, threw in a test load and headed to bed.

Sure enough I woke up to get ready to go to the airport and walked into the bathroom to the above picture. DIY fail. As I mentioned in our apartment hunting post the units here are all privately owned. Which means we couldn’t just call the maintenance man to come out and fix it. So here I am, Monday morning, still waiting to hear back from the apartment leasing company.

Alright, so now that you know the Alkek life is not all beaches, koalas and sunshine I will tell you about our weekend at the Great Barrier Reef.

We arrived at Airlie Beach on Thursday around lunch time. Airlie Beach is a town on the mainland that is easily accessible to the various Whitsunday Islands and the Great Barrier Reef. We figured that would be the best home base for us. Our plan was to check in to the hotel and then spend the afternoon lounging on the beach since the next two days were fully booked with excursions.

Our hotel room was actually an apartment that Travis had booked. At first I was skeptical of the place after reading mixed reviews online. After aimlessly walking around (and up and down hills) around the building that needed a fresh coat of paint, I was still not sold. BUT we walked into a very clean, nice apartment with this view from the balcony…

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I have never seen water so blue. It was gorgeous. We changed and went to go to the beach.

That’s when we found out that Airlie Beach doesn’t have much of an actual beach.

We were very confused. We did find this one sandy bank.

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But nobody was on it. Everyone was at “the lagoon” which we found was just a man made beach and pool like Streets Beach in South Bank or the Cinco Ranch Beach Club in Katy. Only there were some topless sunbathers, I don’t think they have those in Katy. We spent the afternoon laying by a fake beach with a real beach only meters away. We were glad the we had booked trips for the next two days. Airlie Beach is cute little backpacker, port town but not much past that.

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It does have some beautiful scenery though. After our low key afternoon we headed back to the apartment to enjoy a beer and watch the sunset from our balcony.

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At dinner Travis ate the Australian plate (crocodile and kangaroo) while I ate a sub-par steak. I think the reason we were told KC’s is the best steakhouse in Airlie is because it is in fact the only steakhouse. Also, we waited over thirty minutes for our check, sometimes I miss a tipping culture.

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After an interesting start to our trip, we went to bed excited for the next day’s adventure of scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef.

Come back tomorrow for Part 2 to hear how I conquered another fear and checked something off my newly created “30 before 30” list. You can click the “Follow” button at the bottom of this page to get e-mail notifications of new posts or follow along on Blog Lovin’ (my newest addiction) the link is also at the bottom.

Upcoming Adventures…

Well life hasn’t been too exciting over here lately. The past two weekends it has poured alllll Friday and Saturday and without a vehicle that tends to limit our options of things to do. BUT we do have some fun things coming up on the calendar.

This weekend we are going to the horse races with another couple. My friend Emily Anne (another former teacher from the south whose husband works for Halliburton) and I spent all day today looking for the perfect race hat/fasinator so we don’t stick out like a sore thumb or a clueless American. In case you are wondering what a fasinator is (because I was) some of them look like this…

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Or this…

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Or sometimes like this…

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We really have no idea what to expect from our day at the races but we’re excited to do something different and Australian.

Another upcoming adventure we have in the books is a weekend trip to the Whitsunday Islands in a few weeks. The Whitsunday Islands are a group of 74 islands off the coast of Queensland almost 600 miles north of Brisbane (that’s close by Australia standards). Here is a map in case you are a visual learner like I am.

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My plan is to relax on the beach all weekend BUT if you know my husband there will probably be little of that. He is currently looking into scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef and any other activities we can squeeze into three days.

If you are friends with me on Instagram you probably already saw my announcement about our Christmas plans… Sorry Victoria, Texas this year the Alkeks are spending the holidays in Fiji!

I am SO excited about this trip! We leave from Brisbane Christmas Eve and will be staying here for six days…

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So… even though it’s been a slow last couple weeks we have a lot to look forward to. Hopefully I will have plenty (or heaps as the Aussies say) to report back on next week! 🙂