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Airlie Beach - QLD

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Next stop on my travels north was a destination I'd been waiting to get to, and had no plans onwards - Airlie Beach.

I was staying at Bush Village, Cabins, paying for my board and food by cleaning. I was welcomed into the role by Jude and Leandro (the current workawayer)
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and Brian
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Bush Village is in Cannonvale, about 2 miles out of Airlie Beach, with 17 cabins surrounded by beautiful gardens
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and palm trees
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It was great to have my own space to spread out and not live out of my bags
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At night, the pathway was lit up,
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with the moon shining down
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and cockatoos visited regularily
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On my first afternoon, Jude took us down the road to Shute Harbour
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Serving mainly as a boarding point for ferries between the Whitsunday Islands and the mainland, it is also home to many charter boat operations.
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It is second only to Sydney’s Circular Quay as the busiest commuter port in Australia and it has the largest seaplane airbase in the Southern hemisphere.
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There are regular bus and taxi services available to and from the port which take the winding road through Conway National Park towards the harbour.
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Shute Harbour takes its name from Shute Island, named after a crew member of HM Kangaroo.

Airlie Beach is the hub of the Whitsundays.
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Vibrant and alive, Airlie Beach provides the base for fun and adventure.
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with beautiful beaches
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and beautiful views
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Bicentennial Boardwalk goes from Port of Airlie right around to Cannonvale Beach.
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The 3.7km long boardwalk winds along Airlie's beautiful coastline with magnificent views of the coral Sea, along mangroves and botanical gardens.
As I was staying in Cannonvale it was great to have such a beautiful walk in to town, and I did this almost every day.
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along the way, it was interesting to see this shipwreck, or not, if the tide was in - the Venus-Portsmouth. The timber deckhouse of this steel-hulled motor-sailor broke up in front of a large crowd on the rock wall outside Sorrento's at Abel Point Marina during Cyclone Oswald in January 2013
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and walking back in the moonlight was magical
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Most mornings I went for a run to make the most of the cooler air, along the great Bicentennial Walkway.
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Sometimes I was early enough to watch the sunrise, from Cannonvale
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and along to Shingley Beach
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The town centre has recently undergone a $23 million upgrade and the whole town feels fresh and alive.
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Overlooked by a picture puzzle of houses
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The Lagoon is a popular spot for sunbathing and cooling off safely
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On saturdays and on days when cruise ships came to town, a small market popped up on the foreshore, along with other activities, such as camel riding!
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and sand forming
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another activity people enjoyed was skydiving
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On the far side of Airlie Beach is the Port of Airlie an up and coming area of housing, cafes with a marina
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with some blossoming Frangipani
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Nearby is another beautiful beach, Boat Haven, only this one has the added attraction of a safe, fun swimming area for children
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One afternoon I went for a walk to Airlie Creek.
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The 850m track varied from an easy going grade of less than 5 degree slope to a gravel path up to 20 degrees. and all of it was uphill, in 27 degree heat!
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Apparently it featured rare flora and fauna such as the Whitsunday Bottle tree and the endangered Prosperine Rock Wallaby, which are only found in that region. I did see a lace monitor and a turkey investigating each other!
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and the beautiful nest of the green ants, held together with silk extracted from the larvae.
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This was an impessive Strangler Fig tree
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that dwarfed me
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Apparently the path passes tranquil rock pools, magnificent fig trees and sub tropical plants. In reality, there hasn't been any significant rain for quite some time, so there wasn't any water in the creek, nevermind tranquil rock pools!
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Still, it was fun to go rock climbing up the dry creek. Just a shame there were no views over the coast from that height due to the trees.
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It's always good to see some of the local wildlife, such as these Black Ibis that I'd not seen before
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and these Friar Birds, although pretty ugly, they contrasted well against the red Wheel of Fire flowers
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Whitsunday Opals
One shop in town got my attention immediately and kept drawing me back - opals & didgeridoos. I've searched every jewellery and opal shop on my travels since buying an opal stone for my birthday back in March. As soon as I walked in and started talking, I knew I had found the place and the person to design and make my ring! Sunny - by name and nature
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The shop had a large collection of original Australian didgeridoos and Aboriginal artwork.
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I was invited to join in on a group didgeridoo lesson - which had me laughing
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But I also learnt that in aboriginal art
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there are some key symbols that have meaning,
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and these could be used to put together a story to be painted on to your own didgeridoo
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Sunny invited me to Tuesday Tea on the beach - where people got together to chill out and play music
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It was great to be out, to meet people and sit and enjoy such a beautiful beach lit up at night
This fella made me laugh - he has the biggest beard and the smallest guitar
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but there were several other guitars knowing around that people picked up and played, whether they were beginners or advance
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Then there was a whole range of other percussion instruments that came out
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and just before I left, I was serenaded, by Sunny who sang beautifully
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But one of my favourite past times is to watch the sun set,
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and it was great to see the water change colour over Abell Point Marina
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When it came to leaving, we had the last supper, with Jude & Brian and Claus & Renata, a German couple staying at Bush Village that I had become friends with during my stay

even the Rosellas got to try the cheese and biscuits
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much to the annoyance of the Cockatoos
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Below is a collection of short clips from my time in Airlie Beach

Posted by charlystyles 14:31 Archived in Australia Tagged airlie_beach abell_point_marina whitsunday_opals Comments (0)

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