Airlee Beach is a very pretty place and surrounded by equally pretty islands.
Most people on board were visiting one of the remote island beaches (there were rave reviews from our table companions for Whitehaven Beach) or the Barrier Reef. We decided simply to go to the little town and were tendered across at about nine.
Once again we got a wonderful reception from innumerable volunteers who greeted us with maps and advice n where to go. There were shuttle buses available to take people from the tender point to the centre, but we enjoyed the 20-minute walk along the Boardwalk.
The centre is mostly shops selling beach gear and marketing excursions to the Reef and to nearby beaches. It’s a very young resort with an accent on activity. There were lots of bars and cafes too and we had a very good lunch. I had half a dozen excellent oysters.
Between the tender point and the town there were about four or five pretty beaches. But swimming is not encouraged until May because of the possible presence of box jellyfish. So there was no one in the sea at all despite it being such a lovely day. But between the beaches there was a very pretty manmade lagoon with lawns leading down to it and with filtered seawater. It was delightful, and the swimming was perfect. We spent quite some time there before a sudden rainstorm drove us into a cafe for about 30 minutes before the sun returned. We wandered a little more before enjoying the tender ride back to the ship, which looked beautiful:
Later and in evening weather which is now very warm we watched another splendid sunset as we began to enter the main area of the Barrier Reef through which we will be navigated by a specialist pilot.