TaylorSutton's Travel Journals

TaylorSutton Taylor Sutton

  • 29 years old
  • From California, United States
  • Currently in California, United States

My First Trip to Australia!

I'll be telling everyone about my adventures in Australia and everything that I've been up to down under!

Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef!

Australia Great Barrier Reef, Australia  |  Jul 20, 2010
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My trip to the Whitsundays was amazing!!! Going there was seriously like being in paradise! It was truly amazing! We left on Thursday and headed out to Hamilton Island. It took about 2 and half hours to get there, so it wasn’t too bad of a flight and the flight was gorgeous. It was almost worth flying into Hamilton Island just because the views from the plane were amazing. The Whitsundays is basically a bunch of islands just off the coast of Australia. It’s made up of 72 different islands that are all relatively small and most of them are uninhabited. When we flew in you could see all the little islands it was gorgeous. We landed on Hamilton, which is a pretty small island with nothing on it except resorts. The island itself only has 3 gates and it’s like one big room. Also security is like nothing, I didn’t even have to show my id once it’s kind of crazy. 

We took a ferry from Hamilton Island to where we were staying which was Airlie Beach. This is actually on the mainland, which is also an island if you think about it :-p Any ways we got to Airlie and got shuttled to our hostel. We just stayed at a hostel to be cheap but we got really lucky because our hostel was awesome. It was literally right across from the beach and had a beautiful view. We immediately hit the beach after being stoked for finally having some warm weather. We swam around and laid out for a while and then got pizza for dinner at ate it by the beach.

The next day we had to get up super early for our Great Barrier Reef adventure! We boarded on the boat that was good sized and headed out to the reef, which took about 2 hours. We got morning tea and biscuits on the boat and enjoyed the amazing view going through the islands. It was really lucky because we also saw whales on the way and I finally saw them breach! It was exciting. After finally getting to the reef we were anxious to jump in and snorkel. Except we didn’t just snorkel, I actually did scuba diving! It was amazing! I was a little nervous but it actually wasn’t scary at all! It was awesome getting to see the reef up close and just having fish swim all around you. It really is like a whole different world down there. What is crazy is it’s just everywhere, like it is huge! Scuba was definitely the best way to see it though and I almost feel inspired to get certified. I just did an intro dive though, so we don’t have to worry about the tanks or anything and they seriously hold your hand the whole time, but it was the craziest experience of my life! After scuba and snorkel we went in a glass bottom boat, which was cool but not nearly as cool as the other stuff! There were so many different fish and the coral was so colorful! We had about 4 hours at the reef but they flew by way to fast.

The next day we had to get up early again to get ready for our sailing trip. The sailboat was pretty big with about 50-80 people on it. It was great to just lie out on the boat and watch the great view while enjoying the sun. It almost felt like I was having a summer :-p The boat sailed through the islands and then to Whitehaven beach. The sand here is 97% silica and its one of the top 3 beaches in the world. It is so beautiful it literally looks like a beach from a screen saver. The sand was so soft and the water wasn’t even that cold. They said it was around 73 degrees, which is still cold but not bad for the beach. We stayed on the beach for about an hour and a half and then headed back to the sailboat for lunch. We sailed around and then stopped and did some more snorkeling around Hayman Island. It was cool to see some different fish, but this wasn’t nearly the same experience as the Great Barrier Reef. Someone said they saw a turtle, which would have been pretty cool, but I didn’t see it. After snorkeling we sailed back to Airlie Beach for our last night.

            The next day we were all sad to leave. The weather was just so great we got really lucky that we picked such a good weekend. We walked around the town, which was also very small. You could walk through the whole town in about 10 minutes. We went to a few of the little souvenir shops and then walked along the beach for one last time before we had to head back to the airport. Getting back to Sydney was a little disappointing because it was rainy and cold. But hopefully there will be better weather in the future! 

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    Pam wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2010
    What an awesome experience. It sounds so beautiful. I must put this on my bucket list!.
    Sounds like you did the perfect trip.
    Love you Mom