7th May, 2012
we slept a bit longer as the tour started not so early in the
morning. With a boat we went into the Whitsundays. We sailed to the
Hill Inlet and walked up to a lookout. Here we had a wonderful view
over the bay and Whitehaven Beach. From far the combination of white
beach and turquoise sea looks gorgeous. Now we went there and stayed
there for two hours. We used the time to swim, to walk, lay on the
beach or to enjoy the lunch prepared by the crew. Attracted by the
nice smell came more and more big lizards. Some of the animals were
surely about 1.5 meters long. They are not dangerous as long as you
do not get too close. Back on the boat we went to a bay where we had
some time to snorkel. Unfortunately I had bad goggles and thus often
water in the eyes. But I had the opportunity to let Konrad listen to
the sound of coral eating fishes.
were back to the hotel just before sunset we could enjoy the last
rays from the balcony.
Saturday / Sunday 5th / 6th May 2012
On Friday we flew from Sydney to Hamilton Island. The tourism is booming on this island since
a few years and there are some very expensive hotels to stay.
We just stayed shortly and walked to the tourist center and enjoyed the lunch.
Then we went with the ferry to the mainland.
In Airlie Beach we let us drive to the hotel and then went to fetch the vouchers for the different
tours we booked. Airlie Beach is an ideal spot to discover the Whitsunday region and the many
tours which can be made here. The quite small center is full of travel agencies.
We wonder how so many may survive here. I was already in 2007 here an I liked the region.
And so I suggested to Konrad to stay a few days here.
On Saturday morning we were picked up in the hotel already at 7 o'clock and brought
to one of the many harbors. By ship we passed the many islands of the Whitsundays and
we drove to the open sea. The catamaran was rocking heavily as it did not have a big draft.
Thanks to my medication I could stand the torture, but Konrad who normally does not suffer seasickness
had problems. After an hour we got close to the reef and the waves got closer.
At the reef the waves were gone.
Arrived on the Hardy Reef we were shown the room for the night.
Up to six guests can stay overnight on the pontoon.
We changed cloth and went to the first snorkeling tour.
They had quite many diving googles, even corrected ones.
Konrad rented one, else he would not have seen very much.
After Konrad checked how that works with the snorkel we enjoyed three times
the underwater world. In our two-day package there was also a led snorkeling tour.
A group of four was brought by a small boat to another part of the reef.
From there we slowly swam back to the pontoon and Erin, the biologist explained the underwater world.
It was very interesting, beside different fishes and corals we also saw a turtle.
It did not let itself be disturbed from its lunch.
It was shortly before full moon and thus the low tide was rather strong.
Suddenly the reef was looking out of the water.
Shortly after 2pm the ship went and only very few people stayed back on the pontoon.
Some of them went by helicopter back to the mainland.
Two couples arrived in the late afternoon by helicopter and went snorkeling.
We went by boat to the waterfalls. Right, there are waterfalls in the sea!
The reef forms a lagoon and the water level was higher inside and flew like rapids over the reef.
At the second, a bit bigger waterfall we surfed a bit on the waves.
As we had sufficient fuel we went further to the sand beach.
In the middle of the reef there is a sandy strip which looks like a beach.
We could not get onto it, as it is too far in the reef.
We enjoyed the view of the different colored corals and once we saw a clown fish, better known as Nemo!
Back at the pontoon the moon was raising and the sun setting. It was very beautiful.
Below the stars we got a very rich dinner and we enjoyed the evening atmosphere.
As they had some lights outside, we even could see the fishes in the chamber below the water.
There was also a fish which was three meters ten years ago. We guess it grew a bit since then.
After a restful night the alarm clock went off at 5:15 as we wanted to welcome the sun.
First we saw the moon disappear slowly into the sea. On the other horizon it got lighter and lighter
and very slowly we saw the sun and its first rays.
After a cozy breakfast we jumped into the water. I thought it will be cold, but it was pleasantly warm.
We snorkeled four times until the ship came.
The most beautiful is it when we were out alone.
On the way back the ship was rocking quite strong and Konrad stayed outside.
As I had a seat below the air conditioning I endured the trip without problems.
We came back to Airlie Beach with many nice memories.
18th March, 2012
shortly after 8am we went with snorkel, diving mask and flippers into
the sea. In Coral Bay the Ningaloo Reef is sometimes less than 500 m
away from the beach. We saw many fishes, small and big ones, more and
less colourful ones. After 45 minutes we made a rest as we got a bit
cool. After we warmed up in the sun, we went out to the another time
and observed the corals and the fishes. We lost the feeling for time
as soon as we were in the water and stayed again until we got cool.
We warmed us up again on the beach. We were already a bit tired, but
still we wanted to do another short swim. That time we did not get
that far and already saw the corals and the fishes. At one moment
Sandra waved me as she found many different fishes. Funny was that we
could watch them nibbling the corals. In the water this sounded like
a file drawn over wood. Sometimes it sounded like someone is cutting
his toe nails. I started again freezing and left the water. Sandra
stayed for another while, but after it was enough for today and we
returned the rented material. After a last view to the beach of Coral
Bay we continued driving.
a few kilometers we saw again many termite mounds. We drove about 100
km until there was no termite mound to see anymore. After 70 km there
was a sign pointing to a termite mound. We think that must be
Australian humour as they were all over since a while. Arrived in
Exmouth we looked again for a camping and, already quite tired, spent
there the rest of the day there.