The morning finally arrived and we headed down to the harbour. The Whitsundays had been our most anticipated place in Australia so needless to say we were pretty excited. On the advice of my former boss, we had decided not to go on the standard booze cruise that most backpackers do and splashed out a little on more of a luxury boat. From the stories we had heard, we were more than happy to pay the little bit extra and actually be able to remember our time in the Whitsundays, rather than return to land with nothing but a massive mind blank and a hangover from hell. From the moment we set off it became apparent the decision was spot on.
Our boat, Summertime, was absolutely stunning. An old Crayfishing boat, she was a decent size for the twelve tourists on board and even came with a hot tub, kayaks, diving equipment and of course, an Eski to keep the ciders cold. However, our first day would spent on Whitehaven Beach, notorious for its white sand and aqua waters.
It was truly the most spectacular beaches I’d ever seen. We swam in the surf for an hour or so, playing with the sting rays and baby sand sharks. We were even fortunate enough to see a giant marble ray which are rare enough as it is, but this one stuck around for a good half hour, completely unfazed by the backpackers surrounding him from all sides.
Afterwards we relaxed on the beach and had some fun taking perspective photos, much like the Salar D’Uyuni in Bolivia, although the use of Vegemite was definitely unique to Australia.
Finally, as the sun began to set, we headed back to the boat and sailed towards our anchoring point amongst the islands. On the way the boat normally has the opportunity to take sunset photos and tonight was different in that regard. However, the sunset we ended up seeing was nothing short of epic. With all the photos we managed to take, you would think that no one put their cameras down. The reality was that it lasted for a full hour and only got better and better as the sun slowly disappeared.
The trip had started by exceeding all expectations we had of it. The Dolphins cruising around the boat as we went to bed only made things more surreal.