We flew from Brisbane to the Whitsunday Coast Airport with Virgin Australia. We needed to be in Airlie Beach the day before our departure on the boat so we booked a night at the Coral Sea Resort (£158 including breakfast booked through Agoda), which was located just around the corner from the marina we were departing from. Airlie Beach is quite a small place, particularly popular with backpackers and has a really chilled, relaxed vibe that despite my reservations I really liked!
We didn’t have a transfer booked so grabbed a shared taxi van from the airport to our hotel which was great – our driver was very entertaining and shared lots of local insight. I caught my first sight of wallabies too!
We received a warm welcome at the Coral Sea – our room, whilst not luxurious was perfect for one night and boasted the most incredible views out to the islands. We had to check into our boat at the office in town before 5pm so we dropped our luggage and hurried the 5-minute walk into the main town area.
We had been told the office was between a fish and chip shop and a didgeridoo shop so found it easily! Once check-in was done with the lovely ladies in the office, we grabbed some fish and chips from next door and headed to the beach to enjoy them! Fish and chips are one of the things I miss most from home so this was a real treat!
After a quick trip to the pharmacy to pick up some motion sickness tablets (just in case!), we headed back to the hotel to sort our luggage from our big bags into one smaller shared bag ready for the boat the next day.
After a good night sleep and a lovely Christmas Eve breakfast of croissants and fresh fruit, we wandered into town. The boat is ‘bring your own booze’ so we needed to stock up at the ‘bottle shop’, we had also spotted a City Beach shop the day before (one of our finds of the holiday – the most incredible selection of swim and beachwear) so popped in to pick up a rash vast each (or as I learnt, a ‘rashie’). Swimwear in Aus is so reasonably priced compared to Thailand. As well as an amazing choice of beers and ciders which we thoroughly took advantage of during our time in Australia, Dave also enjoyed the delicious array of coffee, so we stopped for some final onshore refreshment and last minute reading! Following a quick haircut, him not me, we headed back to the hotel to grab our luggage and head off to our boat!
Coral Sea Resort
25 Oceanview Avenue,
Airlie Beach, 4802, Queensland, Australia