Airlie Beach, Cedar Creek Falls & Island Hopping!

We headed North from Tannum Sands at four in the morning to Airlie Beach which is in the Whitsunday Region that we’ve heard so much about. I’ve slowly been gathering second hand camping gear for some time & now we were ready to put it to use! We arrived at noon so all up including breaks & road works the drive took eight hours. Lucky for us the kids are used to driving long distances & it was a pretty chilled ride.

Once we pulled into the Big4 caravan park -we got a powered site which included the use of a heated pool with 2 slides, jumping pillow, mini golf, park, and outdoor cinema. Plus so much more that we didn’t have time for. All up  it took us 15 minutes to erect the tent. –We’d done a practice run in the back yard earlier in the week 🙂 Unfortunately it wasn’t a shady area.. why we didn’t pick up on that before hand beats me! So we called the front desk & they relocated us 3 spots down. So we picked up the whole thing & walked/dragged it over. Blew up our air mattress & headed out to explore!

One of my second hand scores.. a two room Oz trail tent!

One of our second hand scores.. a two room Oz trail tent!

Because we’d saved money by camping instead of glamping we were able to do a special outing. We’d planned on visiting just one island but found another package which included lunch, a glass bottom boat tour, snorkel gear, pick up & drop off plus three islands! The cost was only slightly more than the one island trip. I booked us in last minute that night & the bus swung by in the morning to take us to the port.

Waiting for the boat to launch

Waiting for the boat to launch.

On the way to our first island they stopped & had a glass bottom boat pull up & take us over the reef. One of the deck hands was giving some fantastic information on all the sea creatures & coral she then asked everyone if they knew what the biggest fish in the ocean was… no one answered except Little D (4 yrs old) who jumped up & yelled “I know!” So everyone looked to him & he said “its the shark”.. & was right! (whale shark to be exact) A proud mummy moment. By this time Miss P who was 18 months at the time started to get cranky, I had totally forgotten her bottle for morning nap. Bad move. Wont be making that mistake again. I hope! She finally settled in for a good sleep & was a happy camper for the rest of the day.

Screen shot 2013-08-26 at 6.56.27 PM

Dakota was thrilled with the glass bottom boat & talked all day about the things he’d learned.

First stop – Hook Island. They dropped anchor just off shore & jetted us over in smaller speed boats. We collected our snorkel gear & were directed to a certain part of the coral where they’d been feeding the fish so alot had gathered. I totally forgot the underwater cam which is a real shame as it was really quite cool. For those who didn’t want to snorkel were taken out on the little boats to look from above.

Hook Island. QLD 2013

Hook Island. 2013

Next stop Whitehaven Beach. And what a stunning beach it is with its fine white silica sand. Once again there was no jetty so they sped us over for a couple hours of fun in the sun. They had a bag of kids beach toys, soccer balls & sunscreen. They also offered a hike through the nature reserve but we declined. I did ask about camping on the beach & it is possible though only allowed in small numbers & in a controlled environment.

Whitehave Beach, Whitsundays. 2013

Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays. 2013

Last stop Daydream Island– This was the most commercial stop out of the three as it has a resort, pools, swim up bars etc. We tied off at the jetty & headed straight to the kiddy pool. I stopped on the way for a few cocktails to share as we chilled while the kids played. One lovely surprise were the wild wallabies roaming freely. They were unafraid & kept the kids entertained. By this time it was late afternoon so we slowed right down & just checked out the living reef & mermaid sculptures.

Daydream Island. 2013

Daydream Island.

Evening set in & we all boarded again for the ride home. I grabbed some colouring in pages, pens & a bird life book from the staff & kept the kids busy till we docked.

Phoenix saying hi to the locals

Miss P saying hi to the locals

All up it was money well spent & we’re happy we found that package last min. I do plan things in advance sometimes, but mostly its spontaneous. Which makes it all the more exciting!

Next day we headed to Cedar Creek Falls which was barely 20 min away & best part about it.. totally free! It was a beautiful tranquil spot & once you crossed a little stream there was a secluded shady area with a shallow spot perfect for kids. Just don’t forget your rock shoes as it can be quite painful on shore & in the water. We learned the hard way!

Cedar Creek Falls

Time for a dip. Brrr in May

Back at camp Little D got to play mini golf for the first time & we could not tear him away.

"Yes! I got one in!"

“Yes! I got one in!”

We were also there during the early morning Sunday markets, with so many hand made items, clothing, tarrot reading, organic produce, home made gelato & yummy food stalls.

Airlie Beach Markets

Airlie Beach Markets

Strolling through the center of town we came across this beautiful lagoon. Perfect temperature & depth for the little ones. Free to the public all year round.

The Lagoon

We did try & stick to budget for this trip but seeing as we had to pack all the camp gear in our little Rav4 we ended up buying most meals as we didn’t have room for any kitchen items & although they did have a communal fridge on hand we hadn’t brought pots n pans.. so even if we wanted to cook & store we wouldn’t have been able to. But will remember for next time & make packing those things a priority as food was our main expenditure.

That being said, we would go again. Stay longer & explore alot more!

 Have you been to Queensland?

 

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Amber Luna

I'm a long term traveller, dedicated mum of 2 & passionate about living life full of adventure. I love living my dreams & helping others live theirs as well. I hope you enjoy our informative journey!

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