MONDAY SEPTEMBER 2 AIRLIE BEACH
Today was to be “my” day, after John’s of bowls yesterday.
We had decided our next stop would be somewhere around Yeppoon, an area that was new to us. John was still mumbling and grumbling about TV and internet. With football finals happening, he was going to be very TV focussed. I finally got fed up with the criticism and told him to organise the next place we would stay at, and see if he could do better. He rang a park that looked good in the literature, and very gruffly interrogated them about their internet and TV. He didn’t query whether they took dogs, or had a site the Bus would fit onto – those were my priorities, not his! I wasn’t surprised when the park person basically told him to get lost!
He then phoned a park at Kinka Beach, and adopted a more pleasant tone with them. He was told he’d have to use a cable to connect TV there, too, but that the reception would be good. So he booked for six nights – all they could fit him in for, and on an en-suite site. He was happy because that would get him through the weekend, with its football – and maybe some bowls! After prompting, he did check that they took dogs. After hanging up he told me the site would cost $58 a night! We had never, ever, paid that much for a site! I was just glad it was him that made the arrangements. If I’d booked somewhere at that price, I’d never have heard the end of it.
I wanted to do some exploring today.
We parked the Terios behind the Airlie shops, then went walking in the very attractive parkland between the shops and the beach. It was not easy, though, to work out where we were allowed to walk, with the dog along. The signage was confusing, yet again. What is it with this place? A path where it was permitted to walk with dog, would suddenly turn into a no-dog zone, with no alternate paths and no choice but to do an about turn and go back they way we’d come.
I’m sure we transgressed the rules a couple of times, without meaning to, but we managed to walk a couple of kms.
It seemed the beach area had changed since we were last here, and now was more rock and pebble areas than decent sandy beaches.
The harbour had certainly changed with the creation of marinas. In the cruise season, now, lots of cruise ships anchor off Airlie and visitors are brought in by small boat. Thus the shops have become even more geared to feeding visitors and extracting much in the way of souvenir dollars. Now, all the “proper” shops are out at Cannonvale, it seemed. We were not interested in the predictable tourist tat, though John did buy himself an ice cream.
Back to Bus for lunch, then drove the other way, out to Shute Harbour, site of another marina and base for all the tour boats that ply the Whitsunday waters in these parts. Again, this area had changed, with more houses having sprouted on the hillsides.
The scenery out at Shute Harbour was to die for. Azure sea, lush greenery, islands and bays all over.
We cruised around the very hilly little streets of Shute Harbour, envying some of the perched hillside houses their views.
From a lookout, watched the activity in the harbour, for a little while.
Back through Airlie Beach to the supermarket at Cannonvale, for a bit of a food stock up, and so to the Bus. Tea was salads and sliced cold deli meats.
It had been interesting, and pleasant enough, to return to Airlie Beach, but we agreed we wouldn’t come back here again. Absolutely beautiful coast, but just too developed in an unattractive way, for us.