Mission Beach to Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia

On our day #15 in Australia we left Mission Beach and headed to Airlie Beach. Another day, another ridiculously long drive. However, this time, somewhere in the middle of our trip, we stopped for a couple of hours at Toolakea Beach to get some sun. Another empty beach with no ability to swim. But it was so beautiful there because it looked like an alien landscape.

Basically that day we were driving the Whitsunday Coast. The coast where we could take a boat (expensive boat) to some of the most pristine island beaches in the world like Whitehaven Beach. But we didn't do it as we were traveling on the budget and were trying to choose wisely. We're really not a big fans of paying a lot of money for being in the tourist group. What's the point? We'll wait when we can pay for a private boat. That's how we think.

I must say we fell in love with Airlie Beach right away. Even though it's another small, charming town with a beach where we couldn't swim, it was a fun place with a great vibe to stay among people for a day or two. Airlie Beach is geared toward backpack travelers so it's full of young people, pubs with cheap beer and wine, and many cool hostels and motels.

We stayed for two nights at Airlie Court Holiday Units. We didn't do a lot except for hiking. How we managed to get ourselves into hiking in the middle of the day under the tropical heat I have no idea. But we took the Honeyeater Lookout Trail, which is an 8.2km – 3hr return walk and is considered a Grade 4 steep walk up and then down. It was the first seriously difficult trail in my life so far. Many times I thought I wouldn't make it, but my man kept going and I couldn't slow him down. Snakes, 4' lizards and even a 6' Cassowary (which is basically the only truly deadly bird in world) were our companions. But we did it! Our reward was an amazing view of Whitsunday Coast and Islands. Just breathtaking! Plus we lost few pounds. Ta-dam!