|Snorkeler on the Outer Great Barrier Reef|
Back to Cairns on Sunday evening, I take it easy as I've a long bus ride to Townsville further down the coast the next day. Townsville is a big mining town and I'm not doing much here apart from sleeping. The following day it's off to Airlie Beach, a small town, most famous for the 74 small beach filled islands off its coast. I have a rare hostel treat of a dorm room all to myself & it has free wifi, another rare treat for and Australian hostel. The following morning I'm up early again to do a Ocean Rafting boat trip, out to the coral at 60km/hr on a inflatable boat with two 350hp boat engines. It's amazingly fast and feels like a rollercoaster for most of the trip. We visit two snorkeling areas, spotting lots of fish and getting to swim with some huge parrot fish about 3-4 foot long. We then head to the famous Whitehaven beach, a stunning, huge white sandy beach beside a tropical island. We take a bush walk to the top of the island, spotting a 3 meter carpet python slithering through the forest on the way up.
It's back to Airlie beach later in the evening, and then I have a few hours before getting the overnight bus further south. By 10am the next morning I find myself in the tiny town of Agnes Water/1770. I'm only using it as a stop over point but I spend the day lazing around reading and walking around on the huge, virtually deserted beach, that put this town on the map. The water is a bit too cold for swimming however and I decide not to try my luck at surfing again. I'm staying at the Cool Bananas hostel, a really cozy, spacious place, and that's where this blog entry ends. Me sitting in the common room, writing this blog, with X-factor Australia on the TV.... Off to Hervey Bay and Fraser Island in the morning.