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Cruising Through the Whitsunday Islands

(Reprint from News: April 1, 2002)

March 29, 2002


After strolling around Airlie Beach for a while and trying not to ogle all the beautiful, young women who had descended on this town at the beginning of Easter weekend, I walked into the Tourist Information center on the main street.  Just about every town in Australia and New Zealand has a Tourist Information place, marked with a huge letter "i," and they're a great source of information for what to do in that area.  They also make bookings for free, they have tons of brochures, and if you don't have an AA motel guide, which is a must-have for every visitor to Australia, they're a good place to compare motel rates.  


As you can imagine, the Aussie group, The Little River Band, is pretty popular here in Australia.  I never saw the Little River, but I did hear their music a lot on the radio.  Here's Lady.

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Speaking of motel rates, this is towards the end of "The Wet" (i.e., the summer monsoon season) here in northeastern Australia, so it's still the off-season.  One nice thing about visiting during the The Wet is that motels often have so-called "stand-by" rates that are sometimes as much as 60% less than the standard "book rate," the rate you'd pay if you made a reservation.  You can get a nice motel room on the northeastern coast at this time of year for about US$35 a night, instead of paying over twice that during the peak season, which lasts from May through September.


I hadn't done any scuba diving yet in the Great Barrier Reef, so I booked a scuba diving trip the next morning.  Unfortunately, when I got down to the dock the next morning, I learned that the trip was cancelled, so I settled on an all-day island-hopping trip through the beautiful Whitsundays.  I've posted some photos of my day-trip through the Whitsundays below.  The Whitsunday Islands are absolutely beautiful, and I'll definitely come back here the next time I visit Australia.


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Above left:  Shute Harbor is on the northern coast, just a few miles from Airlie Beach.  I hopped on a boat here for a day-tour of the Whitsunday Islands and got a glimpse into the lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

Above center:  My first stop that day was on Long Island, the first of three islands I visited.

Above right:  The Club Croc resort on Long Island. 


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Above left:  A palm tree.  Duh.

Above center:  Sailing on Happy Bay (yes, that's really its name) at the Club Croc resort.

Above right:  After a few hours at Club Croc, I headed over to South Molle Island, another resort in the Whitsunday Islands.  Here's the pier.


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Above left:  The 9-hole golf course on South Molle.  Of the three resorts I visited this day, South Molle was my favorite.  For "only" US$150 a night, you too can stay here.

Above center:  I kicked back here under a palm tree for an hour with a cold drink...

Above right:  ...then hopped on another water taxi....


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Above left:  ...and headed over to Daydream Island.  That's my boat tied up to the dock.

Above center:  The swimming pool at Daydream Island.  Daydream Island was pretty hoity-toity and stuffy, so I didn't linger here too long.

Above right:  A tourist near Daydream Island died of jellyfish stings during the previous week.  Here's a stinger sign and a bottle of vinegar.  Nope, I didn't go swimming.


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Left:  Beachfront rooms on Daydream.  Time to head back to Airlie Beach.  I had a great day cruising through the Whitsunday Islands... and all for only $20.


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