A cheap holiday, purchased spur of the moment one workday morning evolved in to a group of four heading to the Whitsundays for some R and R. In order to make it really cheap we booked the bottom of the line 3 star hotel since we figured we wouldn’t stay in the room much. A month or so later a stroke of luck occurred when we got an email stating that the hotel we booked was closed for renovations and we had been upgraded to the 4 star Reef View hotel. That sounded cool, but I didn’t realise how cool that would be – they have the biggest standard rooms in Australia.

Come the well needed day of the trip and we find Pauline and I being picked up around 9.15am on a Friday morning. While stuck in traffic in the valley, Chris set himself 3 challenges for the day. Challenge 1 was to get us in to Qanas Club and have a good seating spot, challange 2 was that row 5 would have no one sitting between Chris and Drew, and lastly 3, try and get us some kick ass rooms.

Since we had checked in online and only had carry on, we sailed straight through to security at the airport. Drew had some issues with his shoes and the beep machine, while I went through too quick and got checked for explosives. Pauline and Chris went through without issues, but once Drew finished with the beep machine they checked him for explosives too.

Next was challenge one. With masterful skill Chris, Drew, Pauline and I entered Qantas club where I was alerted to a brand new world I had heard existed, but thought was only the stuff of dreams. Free food and drink, free internet, television, magazines, comfortable seats and OMG clean toilets. This was truly heaven at the airport and something Pauline and I resolved to get when we do a real proper travel next year. I might even use the showers that time. Chris and Drew meanwhile were old hands at this stuff so they had set about collecting nescafe hot chocolate packets – a competition that they had been playing at for years. The one with the most packets at the end was the winner. Meanwhile Pauline and I ate the ham with mustard, fruit, apple juice, coffee, biscuits and cake. YUM.

Sadly we left the club and headed down to Jetstar to wait at the gate. Horrible chairs, horrible smells and lots of people. I’ve been ruined by club and I’m not sure I can go back now. 🙁 It was made worse by the fact that the flight was delayed by 20mins so we had to wait even longer. I’m such a snob, club has ruined me.

On the flight I was in the middle, so I sat next to a pretty girl with a beret and not so great breath. Chris and Drew had no one between them, which meant challenge 2 was successful. The two of them did another one of their traditions and made airplanes on take off. I read book and listened to Elliott Smith while Pauline drank wine and Chris and Drew had diet coke and spirits. Virtually one hour later and we were preparing to land. Quick as flight and they made up for the delay by getting us there on time.

Landing on Hamilton IslandThe airport is an obvious scar on the landscape and it has cut cliffs in to the rock on the island. While we were walking on the tarmac another Jetstar plane took off right next to us which was an adrenalin rush. I felt like John Cusak and Billy bob in that movie about traffic controllers.

Inside the Reef View LobbyOff the plan and we were herded to the baggage area like cows. Chris didn’t like the heat so he convinced the guy to let us sit in the bus to the reef hotel so we waited there until it was full and headed off to the hotel. 3 minutes later and we were standing in the humid lobby waiting to check in. The lobby looks nice, but the waterfall inside makes it really humid and it must be painful for the staff to stand there all day. This was challenge three now, try and get a good room. Chris wasn’t feeling the generosity in the girl booking us in since she mentioned we were already upgraded and that it was a good room, so we just took the key and set off to see what we were stuck with.

Our Room, largest standard room in AustraliaStuck with? It was amazing! Two queen size beds, a shower AND bath, LCD flat screen tv and best of all – a balcony with a view of the coral sea, pool and gardens. “Garden View” room my ass! They totally undersold themselves with the naming of it. We were on floor 4 which was good too because it’s less of an elevator ride. We all jumped up with joy and danced that this holiday and room was under a grand and was as good as some of the places we’ve paid more for. DOING THIS AGAIN!!!

After settling for 30 minutes or so, we decided to explore and headed down to the lobby. We were deciding whether to get a buggy when Chris saw a bus that said it was going to the Marina. At first the lady said it wasn’t that kind of bus, but then Chris convinced her with his reasoning that he was fat and hot. She took pity and we were in!

By this time it was about 4pm and we hadn’t had lunch. Walking the shops at the marina we decided to have pizza at the Manta Ray cafe. Chris chatted up the waitress who was from Melbourne and the three of them (including Drew) played suburb guess. For pizza, Pauline and I ordered meatlovers while Chris and Drew did the chicken tandoori. Pauline had a beer, Chris had a mocktail and Drew and I decided on the 1st Affair cocktail which was lovely.

Buggies at the MarinaWandering the marina district along the main street again, we were astonished at how many testicles we saw hanging out of mens shorts as they drived the buggies. This viewing amused Chris, Drew and Pauline no end, but try as I might I was never looking at mens balls to notice them hanging out. It became a running joke for the rest of the trip, always use your shirt triangle to hide your balls.

In the bottleshop we picked up some wine and UDLs while Chris and Drew had movember fun. Since they are both big gay bears and partial to hairy men, an entire month dedicated to men growing mustaches for charity is their favourite time of the year. Everywhere you looked there were hairy men, which made having a conversation with the two of them rather difficult since their eyes would glaze over and they’d stop listening to you. At least Pauline doesn’t do that. 🙂

The reef view pool at nightAnother bus ride back to the hotel and Pauline noticed that there was no one in the pool. We all slipped in to our swimmers and took advantage of the situation. Although there was no one in the pool, we still had an audience as the pool terrace restaurant is right beside the pool. Also, all balconies look on to the pool, so if you think it’s private it’s not. Had some interesting rude conversations that were funny enough to make a guy loiter around the pool listening in (he left as soon as we did) – the balconies could also probably hear everything. Chris also mooned them for entertainment.

Upstairs after the swim we dried off, had some more chats on the deck and drank some UDLs until we could speak no more. A fine introduction to the island paradise.

More day 1 photos



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