After our late night playing cards we slept in and left camp late this morning. We didn’t hit the highway until well after 10am.
Our first stop was a scenic lookout high up on a hill. We could see all the way to the coast to the east, mountains to the southwest and sugar cane fields to the north.
An hour later found us sitting in a backside park in Bowen eating morning tea and enjoying the view over clear blue waters. I also stopped to take a photo of the giant Bowen mango. That’s what Bowen is famous for: delicious sweet Bowen mangos. This is one of the favourite eating varieties in Queensland.
While we were in Bowen we decided to change our plans. We had been aiming to drive to Eungella National Park but, given the late start, we decided instead to stop at Airlie Beach just 100km away.
When I ride down to the water in Airlie Beach I am glad Mum suggested this stop. The water sparkles and shimmers to a backdrop of coastal heads and the Whitsunday Islands. We pitch our tents at the backpacker hostel and camp ground in the town centre and head into town to book a snorkeling tour for tomorrow.
Airlie Beach seems to be a real backpacker town. Everything is geared to their money. Tours depart to the Whitsundays everyday. You don’t have to pre-book; just turn up and book something for the next day. Young tourists abound and most of the shops seem to be staffed with foreign-accented 20-somethings.
After dinner we walk along the lovely man-made lagoon, feeling the fresh ocean air cool the hot humidity slightly. Our stomachs full from eating dinner at a local restaurant we all head to our sleeping bags early; ready for tomorrow’s sailing and snorkeling adventure.