Like a Rollingstone, Day 62 – Airlie Beach & Shute Harbour

Day 62 Sunday, 10/7/2016, Hydeaway Bay, a little cloud

Hydeaway beach has a sign declaring that it is a turtle nesting area, that’s good.

Another sign shows ‘Stingers’ six types of jellyfish, what they look like and what to expect when stung. For five of them it means that you probably wouldn’t be catching your return flight home. That’s bad. 

On the other side of Hydeaway Bay is Dingo Beach. A collection of neglected holiday shacks, a bikies bush block, a general store and a pub on the foreshore.

Airlie Beach is on the other side of the headland. The picturesque back road to Airlie winds through cane fields and modern farmhouses set in swathes of lawn.

Then suddenly Cannonvale appears, as densely built up as any suburb but with views across the Whitsundays to die for. That aqua blue water that anyone who has been here will always remember and the dense green islands. There is a marina at Cannonvale and the Young Endeavour sail training ship is in port. She was given to us as a bicentennial gift from Britain. She is run by the Navy and is open to all young people interested in learning to sail. Damn I wish I was younger. There is a privately owned ‘yacht’ moored alongside and we wonder how many dollars it would take to fuel. I guess that you could call it a floating fuel tank.

Airlie Beach is a bit of a misnomer as I don’t ever recall there being a beach here thirty years ago when the town was a quaint yachties village with a crazy annual yacht race. Now there is a dirty grey beach of trucked in sand, lovely parklands and a swimming ‘lagoon’. Sadly, the shopping precinct now looks and feels a little like Bali on a bad day. The steep hillsides are terraced with apartments.

Shute Harbour is undergoing an upgrade so the bare boat charter business must still be booming.

High above Shute Harbour is the residential area of Shute Haven with views to the islands.

Airlie Beach, sand where there once was …not much

We give up on finding a decent lunch in pleasant surrounds without blaring music and return to the sanctuary of our hide away. At Happy Hour the fire pit is lit and the place jollies up. The regulars are fit and weathered and more than one lady has the startled look of a face lift gone just a little haywire. Or is that just dementia? No matter they’re a nice bunch and love a damned good laugh. The evening is mild enough to eat outside and linger until late, 7:00pm.

2021 Note: We returned to Airlie Beach and Shute Harbour in 2018 and it was disappointing to see that a cyclone had decimated the boat harbour at Shute.

2 thoughts on “Like a Rollingstone, Day 62 – Airlie Beach & Shute Harbour

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