Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tragic Whitsundays Visit

A group of 11 other Americans and I planned a trip to the Whitsunday Islands through STA travel, a travel agency on campus for students. We were suppose to be gone Friday morning through the following Monday night. However, our trip was cut short due to a massive tropical cyclone coming for the Queensland coast. It was predicted to hit Airlie beach hard, and do a lot of damage. Naturally, this was where we were staying.

The Friday we arrived, we had all day to explore and relax. We grabbed lunch and went to the beach lagoons. It was a beautiful day! The next two days we had a sailing excursion and Great Barrier Reef snorkeling trip planned. We were able to go on the sailing excursion that Saturday, although the weather was not the greatest. We went away from Whitehaven beach (tear) to Hook Island to snorkel, while our snorkeling excursion for Sunday was cancelled in advance. The weather progressively got worse throughout our sail and the locals were discussing how bad it was predicted to get, so a few of the other girls and I started to plan our way back to Newcastle. We planned on leaving right when we returned from the sail. However, after calling the airport on the boat, all the flights were already cancelled for the next several days. So, we ended up renting a car and driving all the way back to Newcastle from Whitsundays which was a long, but also exciting 20 hour journey along the East coast. That is, after the first day of driving... because as if it could not have gotten any worse, I got food poisoning on the sail boat and was puking during the first day of the drive. GO ME.

Even though we didn't get to see much of the Whitsunday Islands, it was still a fun trip and exciting drive home (minus the puking)! I was extremely relieved we made it back before Cyclone Debbie hit, because she caused major damage. Including demolishing this restaurant we ate at in the picture below. RIP.

Sailing excursion to Hook Island Reef

All smiles as we began our 20 hour journey down the coast back to Newcastle & before I knew I had food poisoning!

Gold Coast dinner stop!

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