Airlie Beach

We were returning after a 20-year absence, full of good memories and expectation of a backpacker ambiance. The town disappointed but the caravan park was so full of promise, we booked an extra night on the spot.

Nothing beats a tropical location.

More famous for Shute Harbour – the gateway to the Whitsunday Islands, we drove down there to discover some major renovations and expansion.

major construction and expansion

Back in town, there were cafes and eateries that faced the beach but we found it hard to get a park, so continued on a little to the lagoon, where patrons are protected from stingers by the presence of nets and patrols, in a landscaped garden setting.

Airlie Beach lagoon pool

If you’re hanging out in Airlie Beach and not taking a cruise somewhere, this is a great free activity / venue and there are plenty of shops nearby for fast food, icecream, nicknacks or diversion. An abundance of chemists line the main street, for suncream, moisturizer, bags or whatever, and there is a supermarket in the heart of town with regular-priced goods.

We couldn’t wait to get back to the Big4 Tropical Eco Resort caravan park and the great pool, where we lazed in the cool water while watching the metallic starlings, with their red eyes, glossy plumage and hanging communal nesting habit.

Everyone kept asking if we were southerners, as they thought the water was cold, for August, but our beaches have water that’s straight off the Antarctic – that’s cold!

Many travellers don’t want to stay at Big4 parks, as they are geared for families and children and they no longer need those facilities. We, however, like to remenisce and support the places we were able to take our kids to. The facilitied are always very clean and safe, too.

Safe travels. Take a hat and water and your swimming gear.

7 of a kind

A.k.a. the slimy seven. While my husband and I walked by a storm water drain, we saw this mother duck, sitting very still and all seven ducklings not moving either.

Not having my camera, Alan took the shot and the mother lay low on the water (trying to be invisible?) as her offspring started moving about. There is a lot of slime on the top of the water, due to the warm weather, but I guess you have to be a duck to want to swim in it.

It’s for Becky’s squares.

kinda rare Maritime object

Circa 1800, this Illuminated Clock-Faced Tide Gauge, was invaluable to ships navigating the channels into Port Germein, South Australia.

A series of pulleys and levers, on the outside, rose and fell with the tide and a chain and wheel mechanism, inside, directed the hands to the appropriate channel depth measurement.

In 1989 new technology made it obsolete, but in 2013 it was restored. The only other Clock-Faced Tide Gauge was thought to have existed on the Tamar River, Tasmania.

It’s uniqueness puts it squarley in Becky’s squares.

sculpted kindness

From Halls Creek in Western Australia to Becky’s squares, an extraordinary monument.

Bronze casting, by artist C.P. Somers

Straight from the plaque :

It shows”Russian Jack” (Real name Ivan Fredericks) a famous figure in the gold rush of 1885.

“Russian Jack” once carried a sick friend more than 300 kilometres in a bush-made wheelbarrow seeking medical aid over a track which existed in name only.

His feat symbolised the mateship and endurance of the pioneers of a region, then lacking all the amenities of civilisation.

I think many are metaphorically doing the same thing during these unusual times.