After a very comfortable stay at the Shingley Beach Resort, we found ourselves embarking on yet another tour out on the water, we’re in the Whitsundays after all – everything’s out at sea.
Boarding the Ocean Rafting Cruise, which was one of four rafts that went out that day (it’s peak season) we settled into the back of the rafter after being told by our skipper that it was the best position for those who get seasick.
“That’s me” I almost shouted, worried that I might spend most of the day throwing up overboard, but instead I took my position at the back and prayed that I’d be ok.
Having been told by the Whitsundays Tourist Board, that the Ocean Rafting Cruise had recently been given an award for being the “Best Tour” in Queensland, (which is some accolade given the sheer volume of tour operators in the region) I was extremely keen to enjoy my time onboard. And I have to say, not only was I pleasantly surprised by the day, I can certainly vouch for why they received the award.
From the moment we departed, the skipper and his crew made us very comfortable and it was clear the day was all about having fun, fun, fun! The waves, to my delight, but to the crew’s annoyance, were extremely calm and the winds were slow so we had a very comfortable and smooth ride.
However, our skipper had other ideas. Knowing that most people on-board had signed up for some whirlwind adventure, he spent a portion of the journey out to Whitehaven beach doing what can only be described as acrobats on the water. I admit it was great fun and having taken two seasickness tablets beforehand, felt relieved that not only did I not throw up, but that I actually enjoyed the craziness of the journey.
There was also a more relaxed period with a spot of superb snorkelling. Hundreds of huge colourful fish saturated the bay we were in and I’ve never seen such enormous fish. They were just inches away from me, which initially was quite daunting.
After this we cruised along to Whitehaven Beach which is considered by many to be the jewel of the island. Pristine clear white beaches, turquoise blue sea, manta rays gliding along casting shadows on the water and a crystal clear, cloud-less sky helped make this trip spectacular beyond belief. We pulled up on the beach and went for a tour through the island’s rainforest to a look-out point before boarding the raft again and being taken to another nearby island for lunch.
Pulling up on the sand of our new island, we were informed about its natural habitat then asked to depart the boat whilst lunch was prepared – they didn’t need to ask me twice! The lunch, was a buffet of fresh salads, potatoes, fresh bread rolls, chicken, ham and pastas, and we all sat on the island appreciating not only the food, but also the magnificent views.
The whole day was so memorable – not least the journey home, which was the most adventurous of all – for me at least. I decided I’d be brave and sat on the edges of the raft, holding on to some rope for dear life, as the skipper announced that now it was time “to have a little fun” and he meant it!
Blaring music engulfed us, as he played around with the raft and the sea like it was his toy. I have to admit it was incredible experience!
By the time we docked, I felt a little queasy, but the trip was well worth it!
If we didn’t know our fellow passengers before, we certainly did by now, we were regularly thrown into each other’s laps. It was absolutely worth the ticket price and I strongly recommend it to anyone who wants to see more of what the Whitsundays has to offer.