Jan 2022: Finally, we were able to travel outside Victoria. After multiple lockdowns and flight date modifications, we were able to see T’s family, THANKFULLY! Our flights were, luckily, uneventful though the view from the plane was superb. The birds-eye-view of the endless ocean, several small islands and the desert-like sand formations underwater was a treat. I enjoyed it more than the movie I was playing. It was so good; I would say those first two flights were among the many highlights of the trip.
(Tip: Qantas Flight from Melbourne to Brisbane to Townsville: Right Side: hopefully your flight is on a non-cloudy day)
Queensland during summertime truly feels like the Philippines. It made me feel nostalgic in a way. The heat, wind on my face, and the occasional rain made me feel like napping all the time. Well, that was what we did on our first day in Townsville. Along the Strands, we just sat under a tree and napped. Our focus in Townsville was family hence, we didn’t really do anything new.
Airlie Beach is 3.5hours away from Townsville and it is also, apparently, the gateway to the 74 (wow) Whitsunday Islands. So, over in Airlie Beach, as expected, we did more adventurous activities. We joined a tour group for snorkelling. We had to, unexpectedly, climb a few uphill steps at Whitsundays Island National Park. What for? For its awesome lookouts! The ocean view from up there was worth the sweat. Just don’t forget to carry water with you. We also went to Whitehaven Beach to experience the warm ocean water and its powdery white sand. We snorkelled at Mantaray and Butterfly Bay. I enjoyed the whole day so much. I wished we had more time. We booked a jet ski tour too, but we had to cancel it due to unpredictable weather.
We went a few times to Airlie Beach Lagoon to swim for free too. I was hoping that the trip would make me a stronger swimmer, maybe it did. I was literally in awe of all the viewing spots around Airlie Beach. I particularly loved Shute Harbour and the viewing points near it. It was more serene out there than most parts of Airlie Beach.
With T’s mum, we also joined a ‘tuktuk’ tour which brought us to some paths we’d never seen before. Unfortunately, we did it on our last day. It would have been nicer if we did it earlier, so we could walk back to the paths and points where they brought us and stayed there longer, especially because in some areas, when one’s lucky, one could see turtles. I wanted to see turtles!!!! =( So that’s another tip for you.
Overall, it was a fun trip of exploration and family bonding! It made me happier.