Travel by Lesley

Sailing the Whitsundays for New Year

Day 28

This morning we picked up our camper van for the drive to the Whitsundays, this was a relocation camper that was booked out over New Year and so we had 24 hours to deliver it.

So we collected our Wicked Camper from the Brisbane depot and headed up the Bruce Highway to Airlie Beach.

Its a very basic camber with a cold box for a fridge and a gas ring to cook on.


Our First Stop

We stopped off on route and our first stop was to Noosa as it had been recommended that we stop there as we had been told it had the best beach, however I think everyone else decided to visit too as it was still the christmas holidays.  

We drove through some lovely places and the views were stunning.. A quick photo had to be taken at Gin Gin, a place my husband said I should live due to my love of gin.

If you have got a bit more time than we had than one place to make a bit of a detour to is Bundaberg, it is famous for one thing, it’s Rum distillery.

If you are into that sort of thing it’s definitely going to be worth the detour for you, but it does add at least an hour (just in driving time) to the trip.

Sharing the Drive

We tend to share the driving doing on average 2 hours each before stopping to get a cold drink/coffee or to use the rest rooms and quite often take a picnic lunch with us.

At one stage the satnav took us off the map and on dirt track for about 6km we also lost phone network too during this time – I was slightly nervous!!

Take lots of breaks

There are lots of Rest stops on route and a lot of driver reviver sites that offer complimentary coffee/tea to travellers and you just put a donation in the charity box.  

As it was getting dark stopped at one of the reviver sites to cook our dinner on the camping gas stove before continuing our journey.

Camping over night

We had aimed to stop the night in Rockhampton, the steak capital of Australia, we arrived around 9pm, we stopped at a camping site, Southside Holiday Village.  

For $30 you can book a camping site without-out power.  The showers there however were fantastic.

Distance: 615km

Day 29

We had left at sunrise to continue our drive and arrived in to Airlie Beach around noon and checked in to our accommodation.

Distance: 482km 

We went off exploring the area, there are some really nice shops in Airlie Beach. 

We found Shuckz Oyster & Champagne Bar, I had finally managed to get Andy to like oysters especially when washed down with some bubbly.

There is a lovely boardwalk that curves along the foreshore of Airlie Beach which makes it very easy for getting around.

Andy even found a new friend!  

We had booked a 1 night 2 day cruise around the Whitesundays and got our 2nd nights accommodation free at Magnums hostel

Its in a really good location We had a private twin bedded room with TV, which despite being small was very comfortable. 

They also store your luggage for you whilst you go off on the cruise as you can only take a small canvas bag with you on the boat.


We are Sailing

The next morning we headed down to the harbour to board the SV Whitehaven.  We were sharing the boat with 22 other people and 3 staff members.  You also take your own alcohol with you however your meals are included.

It’s a very casual affair on the SV Whitehaven and a real mix of people on board too.  



In the afternoon we went snorkelling.

 Irukandji Jellyfish are one of the most dangerous in the world and are often found in this area and so everyone has to wear a stinger suit before they are allowed off the boat and in the water.

That evening after dinner and an incredible sunset we turned the music on, enjoyed a few drinks. 

We turned the lights out so that we could enjoy the starlit night and some shooting starts, although there were a couple of people desperately looking for the North Star!

Day 32 – Whitehaven Beach

Today we visited Whitehaven Beach, including a bushwalk to the Hill Inlet Lookout, where you get the most amazing and instragramable picture of Whitehaven Beach.

We then walked down to the beach, it was the softest white sand I have been on and totally breathtaking.  We even saw a few stingrays swimming around 

When we got back to the boat, it was lunch time again and whilst we were all enjoying it the turtle popped up to say hello next to our sailing boat.

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