Saturday, May 3, 2008

Australia - Whitsundays -Off To Hamilton Island

On May 2nd in the wee hours, we set off from Perth to Brisbane on Qantas airlines. Qantas has not been very good to our family so far, having delayed a flight so my Dad missed his connection in Sydney and telling John his bags would go through to Calgary only to have him notice at the last moment that they were on the carousel in LA. So it was with much trepidation that we got off the plane in Brisbane. Our fears were well - grounded though as Cathy's bag did not show up. After so much traveling, though, she had everything she needed and couldn't replace in her carry on.

We had a few hours to deal with so we filed our report and then went off to eat at Subway for breakfast and then off to Hamilton Island.

The Whitsundays are locates just off the East Coast of Australia and north of Brisbane. They seem to be a little bit like Hawaii to them and certainly felt like that as we landed to the small airport with the luggage carousel outside. We had charted a boat for 10 days and were picked up by Sunsail and off to the boat. The first thing we noticed is that there were very few vehicles and mostly golf carts (called buggies) on the island. They also have 2 routes of a free shuttle bus which helps cut down on the pollution.

We drop our bags and head out to explore the island on one of the buses. We go over the hill past the apartment building where Nicole Kidman and George Clooney each own and entire floor to the hotel on the other side. There is internet there so we update John to look for our bag when he comes through in 2 days time. We then head up to watch the sunset from One Tree Hill. It looks just like the Gulf Islands off the coast of Vancouver Island with many islands as far as you can see.

Next comes the Fish 'n Chips place for dinner and the Bakery for dessert. It is a real little resort place where you can walk everywhere and there is everything you need. I ask where the key to lock the boat for the night is and they look at me as if I have 2 heads. "This is the Whitsundays" they say and admit that none of them have locked their doors in all of the time they have been there. Who am I to argue, so we hunker down in the boat and do a bit of Prison Break. We got hooked on this show when we were in Perth and the kids had bought the first 2 seasons when we were in Asia.


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