Waking up and checked our camera after it has dried overnight, all the buttons worked!!! BUT….the shutter release button did not urg! We pre-booked a half day cruise to the Whitehaven Beach; Australia’s #1 beach with Viator.com and since we did not have an operating DSLR camera, we relied on Jason’s Samsung Galaxy Edge 6+. We tried out the phone’s capability of recording in RAW file to see if we could count on the phone camera for the rest of the trip….
We booked the afternoon tour so we had plenty of time to walk around the island before the tour. We went to Popeyes again for a quick lunch before the tour.
We ordered the fried shrimp cones, calamari, and a salt & pepper squid sandwich and enjoyed them at a gazebo with the awesome view of the marina. The shrimp cones were super yummy!
We boarded our boat, same operator as our Great Barrier Reef Adventures – Cruise Whitsunday. I took the motion sickness pill and thank god I did because it was super rocky on the way there and back! If you do this cruise, please sit inside the cabin because we saw two girls who sat on the open deck were totally wet by the waves; although they looked like they had fun with the waves splashing all over them!
We arrived one of the top beaches in the world – Whitehaven Beach.
We had three hours on the beach to do whatever we want. I was thinking to visit the Hill Inset but I found out it was not possible from this side of the beach 😦 I should’ve double checked before booking the tour…….I recommend the half day Hill Inset tour by Explore Group!
But Whitehaven Beach is gorgeous! It is the whitest white sand beach I have ever seen! The reason is….the beach is made up of 98% pure silica! Two other characteristics of silica sand: very fine that they can damage electronics and they do not absorb as much heat as other sand to make it comfortable walking on them barefoot even in hot sunny days like this!
Very fine like powdery sand!
It was so hot that we had to find shade! There were plenty of small bushes around the beach so it was easy to find a shaded area. I bought along the beach towel to sit on 🙂
I tried to select an open area and not too close to the trees because I heard very dangerous and nasty creatures in Australia…my most feared animal – snake!
As we were taking photos of the fine sand, we heard some noises that came from the back of us like something stepping on the leaves. We turned back to take a look and OMG this thing freaked me out!!!
We have never seen this species before, what is this? It looked like an iguana but skinnier and longer. It walked very slow and sticking its long tongue out to lick on the sand…probably to eat insects?
Its skin pattern is interesting….
It walked back into the woods…..from that on, I was extra cautious on my surroundings but still enjoy this beautiful view:
3 hours passed, not so bad, and the boat came back to pick us up…a lot of us that the boat was filled. Once everyone boarded, they served fruits and muffins! We got back to Hamilton Island at 5 pm and we walked to TAKO for dinner; people tend to have dinner early in Hamilton Island! We waited 30 minutes for the restaurant to open and got in with a table looking directly at the marina; it would be awesome if the sunset was great but unfortunately not. Our dinner, we tried out different dishes and they were good.
Their signature “Tako Taco” which is octopus with pork. I am not particularly like it since I am not a seafood person so the whole crunchy octopus was too much for my taste. We ordered the crab and avocado tostadas, I preferred the one we ordered the night before baby octopus. Last was the Mayan style chicken quesadillas, pretty good. Total for our dinner was $42 AUD.
We hopped in the green line bus to get back to our apartment, I imported the RAW files from Jason’s phone and oh boy they did not turn out good. The raw files looked so grainy even though was low ISO and when zoom in the details were blurred 😦 The conclusion was can’t depend on the phone camera for the rest of the trip. We searched Auckland camera stores hoping to rent a Canon 5DIII but the rental cost was ridiculously high, hundreds of dollars! We found one camera store that is selling a second hand for $2800 NZD which is around $2000 USD, the price that I could buy a brand new body at home. But we were in urgent need of one so the following day after we landed Auckland, we went in the store to check it out! It was a small camera store like a Radio Shack but they have a lot of professional camera equipment so it looked reputable. The lady said they just got the Canon 5DIII few days ago so we were in luck. I put on the lens, turned it on, and took a few shots. No problem so swiped our credit card; that was the fastest decision ever for making big purchase LOL! I felt relieved that I have my camera back for the second part of our trip – the beautiful French Polynesia!!!