Airlie Beach, Australia

posted Feb 23, 2011, 3:04 AM by Darren Cannell   [ updated Feb 28, 2011, 1:22 PM ]
Airlie Beach is on the coast in Queensland.  It is about a 7-9 hour drive from Cairns and I highly recommend visiting Airlie Beach.  It is a large town with its own McDonald’s, not that this matters but it gives you an idea of how large it really is; large enough to sustain a Mackers (what the Aussies call McDonalds).  Aussies shorten every word in the English language.  This pretty town is very laid back and many of the locals and others walk around bare foot.  In fact many Aussies walk in their bare feet; even into grocery stores and restaurants.  It is very different for me to see this because in Canada this would be against health code.  I would have fit in very well here when I was a kid, I went everywhere in my bare feet and it killed me putting shoes back on to go back to school after the summer holidays were over.

There are a ton of yellow crested cockatoos here and we watch them off our huge balcony overlooking the Coral Sea.  These are stunningly gorgeous birds but they are hideously loud and large, larger than my backyard crows and a hell of allot prettier.  They fight allot with each other.  They are bright white with an intensely yellow 6 inch crest on their head.  Underneath their impressive wing span is again the intensely yellow color.  You should not feed them because they will become very aggressive and come right into your house apparently. 
Dax and I will miss watching these entertaining birds.  The Ku Ku on the other hand is ugly as hell and not as entertaining.  When we came out of our hotel area onto the road to wait for our pick up to the reef there was a Ku Ku eating out the inside of a coconut.  The Ku Ku looks like a black turkey with a red head and ugly with a capital U.

All of Australia is very expensive to eat out at restaurants and it is no different here.  Thank goodness we have a full kitchen here at our timeshare, so it does keep expenses down.  We went grocery shopping and I bought 4 Pink Lady apples and it came to $8.34, so you really have to watch your prices at the grocery store too.  There is a Coles here to get your groceries and it is full service and quite large.  Their clothes are not that expensive to buy though and I have bought many dresses here.

One thing I have noticed here is that hardly anyone has a cell phone or Blackberry surgically implanted into their hand.  When we were in Hong Kong the first time in 2000 there were more people with cell phones then, then there is people with cell phones in Australia.  We did some talking to locals about cell phone coverage and internet and apparently there is a phone company that has a monopoly and the prices are too high.  Internet here is slow and archaic and grossly expensive and they charge by megabyte download which is what Sask Tel was looking at doing and we do not want this at all.  It would be a major step backwards for Saskatchewan.  The internet is knowledge and in Australia the monopoly is keeping knowledge away from the people.  Hopefully the new prime minister can fix this and get rid of the expensive grip that this company has on the Aussie people.  You would never know that this is a first world country if you focused only on their technology, it is a bit disappointing to say the least not to mention really expensive and really embarrassing for the Aussie people (that is what one of the locals said to us).
Australia is a great country and I have been here twice.  The first time was to New South Wales area.  I would like to return again and go to the Western Coast and see Perth and Melbourne in the south and we want to go to the Outback in the centre.  I really like the people too, they love to talk and they love to play and party hard, you can almost tell that their roots go back to prisons and prostitution and these exiled people from England formed a great nation here in this very harsh climate.  They are also very hardy like the Saskatchewan people.  The Aussie people have suffered so many natural disasters in the past two months and they are still smiling and going about their daily lives.

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