November 14, 2003

Airlie Beach

I left this morning from Cairns to take the Tilt train to Airlie Beach. The Tilt train has been in service since mid-2003 and offers business class seats. I took it as it was the train leaving today and it allowed me to do some work with the laptop all day since there is a power point available for each seat. It was a minor upgrade cost from the basic Queenslander economy seat and I took a pass to go to Brisbane ($A220). The train however can hardly reach 90km/h except in specific conditions, so it is hardly comparable with the TGV even though it looks visually similar.

After taking a transit bus from Proserpine (train station) to Airlie Beach located about 30km away, I arrived at the recommended backpacker to find it full. That's the case for all of them here, even though I fail to locate 'a lot' of people, so obviouslly there is not enough accommodation.

The contact with all staff members from backpacker hostels, to visitor center to internet centre is far from being pleasant. Considering the atrocious amount of money (A$55) I spent tonight to stay in a shitty double room, I'm far from being motivated to stay more than 24 hours and may jump on another train to bring me to Bundaberg tomorrow.

Airlie Beach is THE place to go sailing or diving the Whitsundays islands, but that smells enormously 'superficial', 'charter' and 'bad value for money'.

Posted by stephane at November 14, 2003 10:38 AM