Airlie Beach

We have made it to Airlie Beach, known as the Gateway to the Whitsundays. The Whitsundays is an area of the Great Barrier Reef dotted with islands and barely submerged reefs. The area has been inhabited by our indigenous peoples for thousands of years. It got its anglicised name from Captain Cook who cautiously navigated here on his voyage up the coastline in 1770. He came through on Whit Sunday, the 7th after Easter, and so named the area ‘Whitsundays’ (also being the feast day of Pentecost in the Christian calendar). Allthego go didn’t know that and thought he would share it with you. A little more, why ‘Whit’? Google tells me ‘Whit’ is derived from the anglo-Saxon word ‘wit’ meaning ‘understanding’. So, it was the day the disciples were filled with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit.

After leaving Cape Hillsborough we dropped into some of the small villages nestled along the coastline to the near north. Basically, they seemed like retirement spots that get a boost during holiday times. We made our way back out to the Bruce Hwy and headed north to Proserpine where the turn off to Airlie is located.

View over Airlie from the Funnell’s balcony.

In Airlie we are staying four nights with the Funnells, old friends from Brisbane and Gold Coast days, now residing in the sunny tropics on the side of a steep hill overlooking the town and islands. Nice spot indeed. The van is off by itself in a storage yard at Cannonvale on the Airlie outskirts. Solar keeping the fridge running along ok.

Pool on the Airlie Beach waterfront

At The Northerlies, a resort type place that is located where one of the Pirates in the Caribbean movies was shot. The resort has used some of the movie set we believe.

We have enjoyed our time here, wandering through the town and some drives into the surrounding countryside. Very green place, sugar cane everywhere. Great views from the top of the steep hills out over the coastline to the islands. Gives one an appreciation of how they are all so close together separated by narrow channels.

Whitsunday Islands from hills near Shute Harbour
Cedar Creek Falls

While out we stopped for a light lunch at Whitsunday Gold, a local coffee plantation. Also home to a great variety of caged birds of all sorts, they are nicely caged and cared for of course. Nearby the Proserpine Museum has interesting memorabilia from the old days. Good variety of stuff and not a mental overload to get through!

Whitsunday Gold observer.
A hand turned wooden Biro at 3.85 m and Bowl with a diameter of 2.6 m, highlights of the Proserpine Woodturners Group. The Biro was a former world record holder.

Sailing is big up here, yachts and boats of all shapes and sizes. Mark F has joined a local sailing group and is out Wednesday afternoons for the local sailing club race. We had a nice meal back at the clubhouse among the after race celebrations.

Marina at Sorrento after the rain storm
Baked chicken breast with avocado and hollandaise sauce at the Sailing Club.

Cruise ships are well and truly back, three were in port on different days, emptying their passengers into the streets and excursions to the reef. Pacific Encounter, the ship we took to Melbourne for the 2022 cup, among them. It is now adorned with a big water slide and walkway that overhangs the side. Not into ships with water slides!

Princess Explorer in the Bay, this is the ship we went down to Melbourne on for the 2022 Cup.
From the Funnell’s balcony, after a couple of hours this cleared away.

The vagaries of the coastal weather have also been experienced. Sun to cloud to cloud bursts and more extensive rainy white washouts of the view from the unit balcony.

The time has come to move on though and commence the return trip south back to Brisbane. Picked the van up from storage all ok and are headed for Clairview and maybe some dugong sightings.

About allthegobro

I am a retired accountant who does a bit of consulting work from time to time. Leanne and I enjoy travelling around seeing the world and we are now going to have some fun recording our experiences in this blog

Posted on March 11, 2023, in Airlie Beach and Whitsundays 2023. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Tony and Rosemary

    Brings back lots of memories of our time in Bowen. Nice posts. How is the Apple pie sampling? Safe travels. Expecting lots or rain over the Brisbane weekend

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