Hellllooooooo ‘Straya! We have landed in paradise, Hamilton Island. This portion of our “mooniversary” is all about kickin’ back relaxin’. We loved all of our adventures in New Zealand but here it is all R&R.
That’s not how we roll.
Within 30 seconds of boarding our van for our lovely hotel the Beach Club Resort we befriend a fabulous couple. Our new friends are Tony and Kylie (Ky for short) quickly became our BFF’s on this trip. We don’t stop talking during our quick 15 minute drive to the hotel.
Once we do arrive at the hotel we are greeted with glasses of champagne and are seated in a comfy welcoming area. What can we say except BALLER! Cheers to paradise!
Our kind and patient hostess (you thought we were chatty before just add champagne to the mix) proceeds to walk us through the accommodations of the resort as well as available activities. We are all very excited so of course this calls for another glass of the bubbly! Jules and I already have a day trip planned to see the reef (more on that later) but we all agree that we must do something together. So we decide we will all rent jet ski’s together (more on this one too).
We are just having a grand ole time here in the guest receiving area (haven’t even made it to our rooms) that we are kindly kicked out to make room for the next guests. So we move our little party to a table by the pool. It is lunch time after all.
Side Note: The hotel staff thought we were all traveling together that’s how smitten we were.
After a few more cocktails and a fabulous lunch it is time to check into our rooms. Our view is stunning and the room is beautiful. We walk out onto our balcony and who should be right below us…Tony & Ky!!! It’s just meant to be.
We unpack, change into appropriate beach attire and head out to enjoy the day. Of course we choose the lounge chairs next to Tony & Ky, duh. We order some more cocktails and enjoy the view.
This my friends is basically how our days would go:
- Eat breakfast (see Tony & Ky).
- Go layout on the beach.
- Have lunch on the beach (with Tony & Ky).
- Go back to the room to clean up for dinner.
- Have dinner (with Tony & Ky).
It may sound like we were all practically attached at the hip. This would be a fair assumption. Though we did manage (a couple of times) to separate ourselves. One of our solo adventures was a day trip out to see the Great Barrier Reef.
This is exciting. I mean we are going to see the Great Barrier Reef! It is one of the wonders of the world and we get to go see it. Of course, we were seeing it along with about a 100 other eager tourists.
We board our catamaran and settle in for our next adventure. During our cruise out to the reef we are pitched all the extra activities one can do once we reach our docking spot. Of course we have to do an activity! We must have an adventure!
Here our our options:
- Snorkeling (nope, neither one of us enjoy that).
- Helicopter ride (for 15 min at a crazy sum…pass. Besides we can’t top the NZ one at least not on the same trip).
- Scuba diving (DONE!).
Mind you neither one of us have ever scuba’d before. Bring. It. On.
We arrive at our destination. I know I should be ooohhhing and ahhhhing but honestly the reef looks like a big sandbar from above. I really hope the view is better below the water.
We are part of the first group to gear up for diving. Once we are all suited up and attached to our tanks we walk down some stairs to a semi-submerged platform.
We get a few quick instructions put on our masks, stick our regulators in our mouth and are told to stick our faces in the water (step 1).
About 3 seconds later…
Me: (quickly pop head up) Nope, not going to do this (somewhat panicky).
Jules: (pops his head up, look of concern on his face).
Instructor: (comes over, grabs my hands) Just breathe you’ve been doing it your entire life.
Me: (internal thought: this is true, I can do this. Slowly, hands held I stick my face back in the water).
Now we have to continue our lesson by going to our knees (step 2). I am breathing like my life depends on it. I got this shit down! Who am I kidding. I am nervous as fuck!!
The instructor feeling confident that I won’t die lets go of my hands and we spend the next couple of minutes on our knees, clinging (ok, only I was clinging) to the rail and breathing. Finally our instructor takes our hands and off we go (step 3).
Disclaimer: We are not certified and the instructors keep a hold of your hands for obvious safety reasons.
Here is the part of the story where one would start to describe the beauty of the reef and marine life. If Jules was writing this he would have started that part about 3 paragraphs ago. Alas, he is not. I can’t even being to take in the underwater world around me because my only goal at this point is to keep breathing and hope to the powers that be that I don’t run out of air. I’m also trying not to death grip the instructors’ hand. I was trying so hard not to be that girl but inside I was so that girl.
Meanwhile Mr. Chill on the other side was just soaking it all in like it is his natural habitat. So jealous.
Good thing I was in charge of the Go Pro to keep me distracted. I did manage to get the obligatory underwater shots. Good thing there was an underwater photographer to capture the moment (and fear and better photos).
Great Barrier Reef Diving
**All photos in gallery were taken by the on board underwater photographer of Cruise Whitsundays.
By the time I “relaxed” and really began to enjoy the dive our time was up. Go figure.
Update: This initial diving adventure lead us to get our diving certification less than 6 months later.
Soon it was time to head back to our hotel. We couldn’t wait to tell Tony and Ky all about our day. Which of course we did, over dinner.
For the next couple of days we enjoy the beach, sun and sea. Then the adventure bug bites again (it was scheduled to after all). Our jet ski tour of the island awaits.
This was so much fun!!!
Ky and Jules were the captains of our crafts. We get a brief in service on how to operate our seacycles (coined that one) and then set out to the open sea.
Note: This is a guide led tour who establishes “the path” you must follow. Which can sound a bit restricting at first. It is of course necessary for the safety of the drivers/riders and the marine ecosystem. But still a TON OF FUN!
We sped around the island. Wind whipping through our hair and the sea mist in our face. Everyone had a fantastic time and no one died (always a plus)!! Check off another great day.
Alas, it is time for us to leave Hamilton Island and our new friends. We all promise to keep in touch and hope to see each other soon. Jules and I board our next flight to head back to his home in New South Wales (NSW) for a few days.
This concludes our “mooniversay” my friends. It was a hell of a ride and we are already planning our next adventure.
What can we say we just have the lust to wander.
Amber & Julian