Thursday, February 22, 2018
BEAUTIFUL LOCATION… Airlie Beach is a beautiful part of the Queensland coast and it has grown so much over the years that today a block of land can sell for some $600,000.

Sailing the Australian coast Part II

Editor January 11, 2017

PEOPLE often wonder if they go cruising will there be enough to fill the day while at sea. Well, there is so much to do that it’s impossible to do it all.

From stand up surfing on the ship’s ‘flow rider’ to climbing the rock wall on the top deck, or even ice-skating if you are so inclined.

Yes, this ship has its own ice-skating rink on deck three. There you can use it during the day and they even have world-class skaters doing floor shows during the cruise.

The latest show is called Blades and is spectacular. The skaters give their all, which is no mean feat when you are skating on a moving ship.

The other floor shows, held each night, provide equally good entertainment, with the acts being flown in to meet the ship at its different ports of call.

But the best show of all is that put on by the crew and staff. These are the people who look after you in the many restaurants and lounges, or look after your cabin.

You tend to get to know them as the cruise goes on, so I wasn’t surprised to see the ship’s theatre full to capacity as passengers turned up to see the crew members perform. Some had never performed in front of a big, live audience like this, but they were fantastic and received standing ovations from the crowd.

Our next stop was Airlie Beach. It has been 20 years since I was last there and what changes! It’ has grown so much. There are huge areas of mud flat have been reclaimed providing more infrastructure for the harbour.

Holiday homes for rent abound on the hill, providing magnificent views over the bay and land values had gone through the roof, with blocks selling from $600,000.

It’s a very pretty place and of course, the beauty of the clear blue water of the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef provide so much for visitors to see.

It was then time to get back to our ship and we spent another two days at sea before we reached our next port of call, Brisbane.

Brisbane is an easy city to get around. It has excellent bus services to get you pretty much anywhere you want to go and the city’s water taxis give you another special view of the city from the Brisbane River.

The Gold Coast with all of its dazzle, Mt Tamborine and Surfers Paradise are all favourites or if you just want to drink in the city’s history, then a visit to the XXX Brewery and Alehouse, established in 1878, is a must. You can explore the 125 year old history of the brewery and discover why the XXX brand has remained so strong in Queensland.

If you visit the Sunshine Coast then the Australia Zoo is a must see. It has been 10 years since founder, Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter tragically died and now the Australia Zoo has become like a memorial to his memory.

There is a lot to see from the famous Crocoseum, from lessons on how to handle a crocodile to the newest feature, the African Safari Park and of course, you don’t want to miss out on cuddling a Koala.

Our next stop will be Sydney and our cruise will come to an end. I would like to thank the many staff on Voyager of the Seas for making the journey so pleasant; they just cannot do enough for you.

I’ll miss just turning up for meals whenever you feel like it, but I think I might have a slight weight problem that will now have to be rectified.

Until next time,

Safe Travel’n,

Geoff Vallance.