We leave the quiet streets of Yeppoon anticipating a more lively Airlie Beach, but are pleasantly surprised at the village feel of our new destination. We arrive late in the day and find our accommodation perched high on one of the hills overlooking Airlie Beach. The Summit Apartments (perhaps the name should have been a hint) have spectacular views over the coast and we can see the Whitsunday Islands in the distance.
Most of the apartment style accommodation in Airlie Beach are on the ranges surrounding the beach, while the backpacker style digs are all in the centre of town. It is a steep walk up to the Summit but the complex is well worth the effort.
Airlie Beach is where we are expecting some Adelaide visitors during our stay - Karen and Paul and Jane's parents. They have arranged it so that they can share a one bedroom apartment right next door to our apartment. Karen and Paul stay for 3 nights before heading off on a 5 night bareboat sailing experience, when Jane's parents occupy the apartment. Once they return to Adelaide, Karen and Paul return for a final 3 nights.
We arrive a few days before Karen and Paul are expected and check out the local surrounds. We've heard a lot about the Airlie Lagoon, which is an artificial beach/lagoon in the heart of the village. It has a shallow kids pool perfect for both Nadia and Isaac - Isaac can easily sit and splash away to his heart’s content.
We generally take it easy and enjoy the perfect weather. The biggest highlight of our two week stay is catching up with our Adelaide visitors.
Other highlights of our two weeks include:
- Dinner out at the Rum Bar and Fish restaurant with Karen and Paul, we splash out and hire a sitter for the night.
- Dinner out with Jane's parents at the local Mexican restaurant.
- Lazing around the apartment complex pool and having poolside picnics.
- Nadia starts “swimming” by herself with the aid of floaties and a pool noodle.
- Enjoying the lagoon and walks along the coastline.
- Jane and Karen have a luxurious spa pedicure and have beautiful toes and feet.
- It's Tour de France time and Greg and Paul seem determined to watch the coverage late into the night while enjoying a Bacardi and Coke (or two.. or three...)
- Isaac gets his first tooth.
- Nadia and Isaac love reconnecting with their Grandparents and Karen and Paul.
- Nadia has a ball running from one apartment to the other and every morning regularly goes out the balcony to see if our visitors are awake yet and ready for an early morning visit.
Greg and Jane take advantage of free babysitters and take up Jane's parent's offer to head out for a whole day with Karen and Paul on their yacht. We are picked up by Paul from the beach and tender out to the d'Artagnan where Karen waits for us. Unfortunately the day we’ve chosen doesn’t start out too well - it’s our first day of rain and wind at Airlie and it’s a wet ride as we leave the Bay and head out to sea. It just happens to be the day that a large Cruise Ship (Pacific Dawn) is visiting Airlie and we sail up to get a closer look. We then head out and experience two hours of sailing into the weather and find a sheltered bay to lay down the anchor.
As if by magic, we enter the Bay and the wind and rain dries up and the sun shines and we have a wonderful afternoon. We swim/jump from the back of the boat; enjoy lunch on the deck and Jane and Greg decide that they are happy not to return to the kids. Unfortunately the tide starts to go out and it’s time to up Anchor and head back to the real world. We motor back in to Airlie as we've spent a little too long in the bay and Karen and Paul need to be anchored for the night by 4pm (to meet the conditions of hiring the yacht). We enjoy a few drinks on the deck watching the sunset before we head back to the mainland. We have enjoyed a great day out on the water and vow to one day return and attempt a bareboat adventure once the kids are old enough.
Our two weeks fly-by and before we know it, all our visitors have left and we are ready to head further North for our final 800kms.