Friday, 29 December 2017

Sailing the Whitsundays | Roadtripping Australia

If you ever find yourself in Airlie Beach or the Whitsunday Islands, you MUST do this trip.
I had always heard people recommend taking a sailing holiday around the Whitsundays and it sounded like something so unattainable -- like what am I, rich? But it turns out to be pretty much the best value for money we've ever spent. If this isn't already on your bucket list, it should be.

I won't go on too much about it, but we did the Whitsundays Getaways 3 night sailing tour and it was amazing. There were 4 couples in total, plus the 2 crew members and the boat was big enough that we didn't feel cramped at all. Each cabin was a pretty decent size and had its own ensuite bathroom, which was essential for us. The crew were absolutely incredible and went above and beyond -- I honestly don't know how they had the energy for it. They even made an entire vegan menu for me which was way beyond any expectation I ever had and I'm still blown away that the owner of the boat even made a vegan chocolate cake because she knew of my diet. It's kindhearted people like this that I am more than happy to support and pass on the recommendation to anyone thinking of making the trip.

We weren't sure whether to do the 2 or 3 night trip, but in the end I would say without a doubt that the 3 nights is worth it. After 2 nights, there was no way that I was ready to get off that boat and to be honest, if I were to do it again I would rather do 5 nights or a week. There's just too much to see and do!
We were picked up from the Airlie marina in the afternoon and headed straight out into the Whitsundays. We dropped anchor at Daydream Island for the night and had dinner and drinks as we watched the sun go down. 
The next day, we woke up bright and early (seriously, like 5:30 am) to have breakfast, have a little swim and wander on the deserted Daydream Island, and then headed out to Whitehaven beach. I'm sure most of you have seen photos of this beach and wondered just how photoshopped they are, but believe me when I tell you -- the water is ACTUALLY that color. It is easily the most beautiful place I've ever been. 
We spent a few hours on Whitehaven -- climbing to the lookout and then wandering along the beautiful white sand and swimming in that turquoise blue water. Not pictured is the stinger suits we had to wear (they aren't very photogenic) so that we didn't die from jellyfish stings, but once they're on you don't even notice them. And this beach... I don't think I will ever see another one like it. I'm glad we took about a million photos because I can relive it through them over and over and over.
That night, we set anchor just off of Whitehaven beach to have a glass of wine while we watched yet another breathtaking sunset.
The next day was snorkeling day. In the morning, we went for a pre-breakfast snorkel at the southern end of Whitehaven, then Ollie and I tried our hand at SUP and I have to say -- I'm hooked. I can't believe I had never tried it before! Now I want to get one for our cabin in the summer. I imagine doing yoga one it once I get good.
Our captain seemed to know all the secret spots to see fish because we were always the only ones there. Luckily the rest of the group loved sorkeling as much as we do because I'm pretty sure we spent hours in that water. The spot we went to in the afternoon was called Butterfly Bay and I couldn't believe the coral and fish we saw there. The entire thing was filled with them! It was just as good as the great barrier reef, but you have entire place to yourself.
That night, we dropped anchor just off of Langford Island and had the most beautiful sunset yet. There's a sand bank that comes off the island, which seems to be a popular sunset watching spot, but we had the best seats in the house. There really is nothing like watching the sunset from the deck of a boat with a glass of wine in hand.
Our final day was mostly about the journey back to Airlie Beach. We woke up early for a swim and started back. Ollie and I got to drive the boat pretty much the entire way and it was a blast! The captain was busy tidying the place up for the next set of guests and so she left the boat in Ollie's hands. 

Oh, and I finally woke up for the sunrise! It was beautiful and totally worth it.
sunrise, whitsundays
It's hard to convey just how much we enjoyed ourselves in this trip but it truly was once in a lifetime. The crew, the boat, the food, the scenery and the other guests were all perfect. We couldn't have asked for anything more.




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