Airlies Beach Queensland

Cruise Ship Pacific Dawn arrives at Airlie’s Beach. I decide I should go on shore to see Airlie’s Beach. There was a shuttle bus that would take passengers to a market and I understood a small tour for $5 and along with other passengers I took the bus.

It was a very short drive from the Marina up the road to where a market was located. I got off the bus walked across the road, and walked back to the bus and returned to the Cruise Ship. There was really nothing to see, no view points, a driver who was not interested in his passengers, and as the large ferry was waiting I went back on that one…a choppy ride back to the ship. I am not quite sure why we came to Airlie Beach at all.

Hotels3-star averaging $133, 5-star averaging $218. View hotels
Weather29°C, Wind SE at 21 km/h, 59% Humidity
Location1,123 km (698 mi) from Brisbane; 151 km (94 mi) from Mackay; 25 km (16 mi) from Proserpine
Population1,208 (2016 census)

Hamilton Island Queensland

The Pacific Aria cruised from Brisbane to Hamilton Island. The ship moored out and tenders took us to Hamilton Island for the day. It was beautiful seeing the morning sunrise from the ship

It was great having a balcony on the ship. I was able to see everything in front of me day and night, and I enjoyed the solitude. The tenders took us to the Island, and I was lucky to meet two travelers from  Argentine to spend the day with.

Hamilton Island is one of the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, Australia, close to the Great Barrier Reef. Most of the car-free island is covered in bush land, and the coast is fringed by coral reefs. Tours offer up-close sightings of koalas, kangaroos, wallabies and kookaburras. Trails lead up to Passage Peak in the east, with views of the surrounding islands. Hamilton Island is the largest inhabited island of the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, Australia. It is positioned approximately 887 kilometres (551 mi) north of Brisbane and 512 kilometres (318 mi) south of Cairns. It is also the only island in the Great Barrier Reefwith its own commercial airport

Hamilton Island was purchased in 1975 by Keith Williams and Bryan Bryt. In 1978, Keith Williams commenced construction of Hamilton Island Harbour and the resort complex shortly after. The resort opened in phases between 1982 and 1984. In 1985, a fire destroyed most of the central portion of the resort complex, which was completely rebuilt by 1986. The current Whitsunday Holiday Apartments opened in 1986 followed by the current Reefview Hotel in 1990. In 1992, the resort was placed in receivership and between 1995 and 2003 it was owned by BT Australia and managed by Holiday Inn for a portion of that time. In 1999, the five-star Beach Club opened.

Bob Oatley an Australian winemaker and his family purchased Hamilton Island in 2003. Bob Oatley first noted the potential of the island when he cruised past the island aboard a yacht when Keith Williams was in the early stages of the development of the resort. Following an investment and development program the Oatley family now offer holiday destinations there

From the Jetty, there is a free tour bus that comes every hour to tour the island. It takes you up to the Lookout climbing some very steep roads, and back via the Hotel complex to the Jetty. There is a shopping centre with a Supermarket, ice cream parlor, restaurant, and a few tourist shops. The marina is crammed with expensive yachts and the island has spectacular views.

There seems to be a ‘deadness’ in the island. There were no birds, or wildlife and this may be the reason…the wildlife has been culled for tourism..The hotel foyers were packed with serious, almost sullen, faced tourists waiting with bags for departure. The bus driver told us, he can transport over a thousand tourists a day to the airports, so people are always on the move here…and he is one bus.

In September 2016, it was reported by news media outlets that the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (EHP) had issued Damage Mitigation Permits(DMP) which resulted in over 1,000 animals being culled on Hamilton Island between November 2014 and May 2016 by the Resort’s operator. Over 18 months the cull resulted in the death of 599 common brushtail possums, 393 agile wallabies, 36 pied currawongs, 35 sulphur crested cockatoos, 3 torresian crows and 1 laughing kookaburra.

At least two major films have been on location at Hamilton Island, Muriel’s Wedding (1994) and Fool’s Gold (2008). Hamilton island was the holiday location in the 1999 movie Sabrina, Down Under, sequel movie of Sabrina Goes to Rome, both movies extending from the popular TV series Sabrina, the Teenage Witch.

Drinking water is provided by a combination of rainwater harvesting and seawater desalination. A reverse osmosis seawater desalination plant was commissioned in 1996 and can supply up to 1.3 million litres of potable water per day. The plant’s seawater intake is driven by two vertical turbine pumps installed on a purpose made jetty. Waste brine is discharged to a pit where it gravitates to an ocean outfall away from the seawater intake



Sunset of Fire and Beauty in December


There are storms predicted for the days ahead, and tonight’s sunset was very stormy

I started walking and running down the road taking photos as I climbed the slope for the best view possible. All around me the sunset was turning the entire sky deep pink and purple and the oranges glowed brighter and brighter

Apple Tree Creek Queensland

Apple Tree Creek free Camping is next to the War Memorial and the Pony Club. There are toilets and playground here and it is a popular camping spot


The Hotel is next to the Park on the Isis Highway, and the hotel also offers free camping to Patrons behind the Hotel. Travelers are welcome here. There is also a bird Sanctuary across the road.. We stayed over night here on our way up north.


Southport is a suburb and the central business district near the midpoint of Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia and has one of the city’s largest communities. At the 2011 Census, Southport had a population of 28,315.[1]     Originally known as Nerang Creek Heads, it was named Southport because it was the southernmost port of the colony of Queensland.  Southport is recognised as the central business district of the City of Gold Coast.,_Queensland


A settlement was first surveyed in 1874 and the name Southport decided the following year.[2] Southport was once the site of timber mills.  A port was established to ship logs to Brisbane. The water way continues on to Brisbane, past South Stradbroke Island and between the Moreton Bay Islands. Today it is mainly the Tourist Cruise boats that use the water, and a few private cruisers.


I took the Light Rail from Surfers Paradise to Broadwater, where Meriton Apartments is located right opposite the Light Rail. There is a collection of restaurants and hairdressers on this corner, assuming that locals like to eat and have their hair cut and colored, and a little Chemist where the heat literally forced me to buy an upmarket sunhat to match the surroundings. This is not the raggle tag of Surfers Paradise where backpackers stroll around in the most motley of undress. This area is more upmarket where the shoppers wear designer hats and sunglasses, and elegantly probe the Supermarket shelves which are missing the ‘Odd vegetables’ and the bargain table. Same Supermarket brand, Woolworths, but high quality stockings catering for a different buying public. Everything here is better quality and with a slightly lower price. I bought grapes here for $5.90. Grapes were $7.90 in Surfers Paradise Woolworths and also Coles.

The Apartments line the river and the Meriton gave me the 52nd floor, with amazing views over the Broadwater with changing skies and water, and last night the golden Moon hovering above. The main road is just below the Hotel, and at night cars race along here with screaming noises, and police sirens and motor bikes breaking the otherwise peaceful evening, forcing me to close the always open soundproof glass doors, which effectively block all outside commotion. The River is beautiful. You can see all the way to South Stradbroke Island and its surf beaches that the surfers paddle out to from The Spit

This is the place for the sunrise, and last evening the reflection of the sunset was beautiful. The sky was pink with mares tail clouds whispering above and the entire water turned pink in the sunset. This was north too…

Across the green parkland that is everywhere, is Australia Fair Shopping Centre .I walked there following two boys headed for McDonald’s. It is a huge shopping complex with every shop imaginable, two supermarkets, six major stores, Event Cinema,  Broadwater Food Court hosting 16 multicultural food outlets, as well as another 22 food outlets including takeaway and restaurants.


There are 3 fitness centres here and all the usual shops, in a bewildering two stories with lifts and escalators and stairways all adding to the overall effect of confusion. The Centre itself is surrounded by more restaurants and eating places and apartments.


War Memorial

On 25 April 1922 (ANZAC Day) Southport War Memorial located at the foot of Nerang Street was dedicated by the Member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for Albert, John Appel, in a presence of many Southport people.[13] In 2010, renovation of the parklands required the relocation of the memorial; it was re-dedicated on 11 November 2010…..and here it stands a lonely monument by the River.

From my Balcony I can see all the places across on the other side…. Marina Mirage,  Sea World, The Tavern, Peters  Fish market, and the  Southport Yacht Club

Brisbane River Walk at Southbank

You can walk along Brisbane River on both sides. One side has Southbank, which starts around the Kurilpa Bridge, the William Jolly Bridge and continues along past Victoria Bridge, then the Captain Cook Bridge, the Goodwill Bridge, the Story Bridge, and the Kangaroo Point Cliffs.


Captain Cook Bridge Pelicans from South Bank 

Each Area has its own beauty and character. The River Walk from Victoria Bridge as far as the Captain Cook Bridge is the Southbank Precinct and the most popular, as it has the Southbank Beach, and the Brisbane Wheel that many tourists come just to ride. They line up by busloads, with cameras and sunhats to take photos of Brisbane from the Wheel.


Brisbane Wheel and Victoria Bridge 

Southbank’s Street  Beach is where the Backpackers and the Asian tourists go to lie on the green banks and swim in the pools and picnic on laid out towels and the grass.There is no restaurants or shops in this area, simply gardens and sand and water and it is where the action is for everybody, including families with kids loving the water plays and the playgrounds.

Southbank Beach

East Meets West with the Two Finger Salute

Right at the end after the Goodwill Bridge, past the Maritime Museum is the Kangaroo Point Cliff Walk which is popular with the Joggers, walkers, photographers and the abseilers who climb the cliffs where they often have accidents because they do not have proper safety gear. I watched three men work as a team while one climbed up and down. On my return, six ambulances and police were in attendance as a climber had fallen. I had watched three young boys with a rope tossed over a tree at the top, and wondered at the time how safe this was, and also a young girl without any safety gear at all climbing the lower part of the cliff.

There are many bike riders along this path which has a special bike path just for bikes. One has to be careful walking here if your camera is looking upwards, as the bikes come speeding along and around curves in a huge hurry ringing bells if you are in their way not listening. You can hire bikes from here and ride a bike yourself

You can Hire a bike here at Southbank

The walk is very scenic with many birds and animals, and spiders with great webs, as well as the City Buildings on the opposite side. As you walk past the ferry stops and the jetties, there  are seats for viewing and resting, picnic areas with barbecues and statues and viewing places for Photography.  You can simply take the ferry back if you get tired, and the Free Red City Hopper has Thornton Street Ferry Terminal  as its last stop on this side of the River. The other ferries, known as Cats, stop every Jetty as far as Bretts Wharf, and the ride is well worth the photographs you get.

The red standing figure statues are visible from the other side of the river and as you ride the ferries.  Its called the Man and Matter and was created by Peter D. Cole  for the 1988 Expo. The statues are a part of this walk and Kangaroo Point

The River Walk is busy in the early mornings. The bank is lined with expensive apartments and residential buildings and people are walking dogs, jogging, riding bikes or just walking. It is a very beautiful walk along the river.

Marguerite Carstairs